“Creating Positive Change”: A Cadet Regimental Commander On Leadership, Discipline, And Striving For Excellence

David Rapp


CDT David Rapp, the 3rd Regimental Commander (“Wolfpack”) grew up as an Army brat on various military bases (including West Point) before entering the Academy as a cadet. He branched Infantry, and his first assignment is at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where he will join the 3rd Brigade (“Rakkasans”). His experiences on the crew team and as the 3rd Regimental Commander were formative and taught him many leadership lessons. As the 3rd Regiment’s Commander during the academic year, he aimed to create a family environment within the regiment, along with a sense of commitment and a pursuit of excellence. Commanding the most geographically separated regiment in the Corps presented difficulties as he attempted to create a sense of unity, and to maintain a presence by visiting each Company. In this interview, CDT Rapp talks about the lessons he learned from his father, his experiences with the crew team, and his time in leadership positions as a cadet. He discusses lessons he learned from his father, such as leading by example and always keeping a positive attitude. He highlights the semester he spent at the US Air Force Academy, and addresses how the two Academies are fundamentally different in the ways they train and develop leaders. He explores the lessons he learned on the crew team, and the importance of each position in the boat being fully committed to a synchronized effort. He analyzes his assignment as Cadet Basic Training commander during the second detail in Beast Barracks, and in the academic year as a Regimental Commander. He reflects on learning the amount of effort that goes into planning training and the importance of being able to work outside of your comfort zone. Finally, he explains what West Point means to him. The Military Academy is a place he has seen from different perspectives, first as a middle school student and now as a cadet. In the future, he hopes to return and serve again at West Point in some capacity.


topics Leadership West Point History Camaraderie Military Family
interviewer Allard Peng
date 07 May 2019


name David Rapp
institution USMA
graduation year 2019
service Infantry
unit USCC
specialty 3rd Regimental Commander
service dates 2019