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Learning and leading with Michael Carty

Michael Carty at parade
Cadet COL Michael Carty leads the University of North Georgia’s Corps of Cadets in the Gold Rush Days parade, held each year as part of Dahlonega’s annual Gold Rush Days celebration.

As a University System of Georgia designated leadership institution, the University of North Georgia places great emphasis on instructing all students in the ways of leadership. The commanding officer for the Boar’s Head Brigade, Cadet Colonel Michael Carty, talks about his experience related to leadership, and how he maintains his life as a student while also leading more than 750 cadets.


What are some of the challenges of being a student and commander of the Corps of Cadets at the same time?

As the commanding officer, you realize that all eyes are on you. Anytime I’m in a public setting, my actions represent more than just myself. I represent an organization of more than 750 people, and that’s not including the thousands that have gone through the organization before me. That’s a huge reputation on the line. A close second is never being able to be in enough places at once. As a student leader, there are many obligations and commitments that I have coming from many different directions. The problem is they all seem to happen around the same time. It’s really difficult telling someone you aren’t able to support an event or meet with him or her because you have another engagement.

What led you to this role?

The desire to succeed is what ultimately led me to the role that I’m in now. I’ve always been tenacious in life. If there is something that I want, I go after it. I was just fortunate enough to be selected from amongst my peers for this position. Aside from that, I feel that my experiences in the Corps of Cadets have set me up for this position. I’ve seen this organization at virtually every level and understand it intricately. I put in the work to set me up for this position. Finally, I wanted to give back to the organization that invested so much into me. If this organization isn’t a better place when I pass off the mantle, then I’ve failed the organization.

How has this contributed to your education, college experience, and future plans?

This experience has to be one of the most prolific seasons in my life. Many doors have opened for me, and I’ve had the opportunity to meet, learn from, and build relations with many influential people. It has helped shape who I am now and who I plan to be. After graduation, I intend to commission into the Army in August. My long-term goal is to return to graduate school to seek a medical degree.

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