May 26th, 2020
My journey with learning leadership started in September 1969, when I began my years as a cadet at Lyman Ward Military Academy, now Southern Preparatory Academy. As a 14-year-old new cadet, I was immersed in a very disciplined and structured environment. We were blessed with a caring staff and faculty. As we [cadets] learned to lead, we had to first learn to follow. We became self-disciplined and developed attention to detail, especially when it was inspection time. These lessons of leadership shaped my life and still affect me today. As young men we truly were “prepared for the mission of life.”
The lessons of leadership, learned at LWMA, have followed me for many years, in both military service and as a civilian. At LWMA, the lessons in leadership were fundamental in my Army career. After graduating from college, I served 25 years on Active Duty and in the Army National Guard. I learned more about practical leadership in my four years at the academy than in any Army school. The relationships formed at LWMA last a lifetime and grow as you meet others who have an affiliation with the school, be they parents, cadets, alumni or faculty and staff.
I am proud to be a graduate of Lyman Ward Military Academy, now Southern Preparatory Academy. Those years were and still are the most influential years in my life. I owe much to the faculty, staff and to my lessons learned through cadet leadership.
Rangers Lead The Way!
Dave Thompson, Class of ’73