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USCGA's First African-American Female Regimental Commander Leads by Example
Cadet 1st Class Jacqueline Fitch of Catonsville, Md., will lead the Corps of Cadets in a parade at the Academy’s Washington Parade Field, in honor of Parent’s Weekend, as the Academy’s first African-American female to hold the prestigious position of regimental commander.
The regimental commander, the highest ranking cadet in the corps, along with the rest of the regimental staff, tends to the administration of companies and activities at the cadet level.
Her selection came as a surprise earlier this summer when she was notified of being selected for the position.
"My company chief came to my room and told me that I needed to meet with the Regimental Officer,” said Fitch. “I went down to his office and he said, ‘Jackie you have been chosen to be next year’s RC.’ I was in shock because this is not what I had expected. I had originally just put in for a staff job. Sometimes I still feel like I am in shock. I find it hard to believe that I actually do hold this prestigious title,” she said.
Fitch hopes that her time as regimental commander will be well remembered and she will serve as a model for the newest cadets.
“I decided to take this position because I want to challenge myself as a leader and I wanted to grow as an individual, but most importantly, I applied for this position because I wanted to leave an impression and influence those who will come after me. I went to prep school and I trained the incoming class of students that went to prep school. I want them to know that they too can make a difference and can achieve anything that they desire,” she said.
The regimental commander is the liaison between the commandant of cadets and the corps. Other responsibilities include maintaining good order and discipline, overseeing welfare of the student body and ensuring cadets comply to the regulations and policies established by the superintendent and commandant of cadets.