CPT Christopher Zilka Advice

To all aspiring cadets, I want to commend you for your decision to serve as an Army Officer. While challenging and sometimes very stressful, it’s extremely rewarding and fulfilling to serve and lead Soldiers. Having served in Platoon Leader, XO and staff officer roles, below are my biggest tips for success as a future leader:

1. Always listen to your NCO’s (they will set you up for success so use them to your advantage);

2. Be comfortable with uncertainty (it’s the nature of the job, always be adaptive and flexible as things will always change and be prepared for it at all times);

3. Take care of your people (doing this will pay dividends down the road as they will take care of you in return);

4. Be present (PT, training, command maintenance; Soldiers will notice your presence and will gain your respect if you’re there with them);

5. Always do the right thing (on-duty and off duty, always remember someone is watching you so be a professional 24/7);

6. Attitude is everything (your attitude is a direct reflection of your leadership, always be positive and upbeat);

7. Have fun!! (the Army is what you make of it).