Who Am I?

Watch this video. I don’t care what you’re doing right now. I don’t care if you’re on your phone, on a computer, in public or in private.  If you have three minutes of time, click the play button right now. Click it. I’m not joking.

Did you watch it? I can wait. No matter your opinion of the US Army, click on the big red “play” button.

Watch it. Now.

Alright, I’ve given you three chances. If you haven’t yet watched that clip, it’s your loss. That video completely changed my life, and there’s a chance it can change yours.

One morning in the fall of 2012, during my senior year, I was on Facebook before going to school. An acquaintance of mine posted this video. I was in the process of applying for an Army ROTC scholarship, and I was infatuated with anything that was even remotely related to the service. So I clicked on the link. And three minutes later, I clicked on it again. And Again. Again and again until I had the audio half-memorized. I was bouncing off of the walls; the voice in the video was speaking directly to me, piecing my heart, sending inhuman amounts of energy through my veins.

I loaded the clip onto my iPhone and I had the entire thing down pat in two days. A few weeks later, I recited the words right before going in for my scholarship interview. A few months later, I gave the speech to the Drill Team during a particularly hard morning at a meet. Almost a full year later, I watched the video in my dorm room as I readied for my first morning in the Blue Jay Battalion. And I watched it tonight for the first time since then.

True, the video is not of the highest quality. The music in the background is from The Last of the Mohicans (good choice, internet). The speech itself was originally given by a football coach. The pictures are of different units, a sort of collage, and they aren’t exactly taken by experts. But that doesn’t diminish its value to me. I could write forever about how much this clip means to me, but I’d never stop.

I wish I could have this thing projected on a loop everywhere I went. Not all of the words are entirely appropriate for every occasion (“I will rip the heart from my enemy and leave it bleeding on the ground” won’t go over so well with everyone), but many of them are. They are sacred words to me, words of strength, power, honor, personal courage, and camaraderie.

If I absolutely had to get a tattoo, I’d get the words “Who am I?” because the phrase has become something of a motto for me. It forces me to answer positively. It makes me think of success and triumph. These days, those two things are hard to come by, and it’s good to have a reminder.

I understand victory, and I understand never surrendering.

Who Am I?

I am a champion.

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