Support System at VMI Key to Cadet Success
LEXINGTON, Va., January 14, 2022—Julian Kim ’24 has found success in martial arts, Army ROTC, and in academics. Hailing from Haymarket, Virginia, Kim is a modern languages and cultures major with a focus on Chinese. After graduation, he plans to commission into the Army and branch aviation or military intelligence.
Kim was raised in a a traditional Korean-American household by parents who immigrated to the United States. His parents own a taekwondo school, and they were a constant encouragement for Kim growing up. Kim trained under his parents and found national success in taekwondo.
“I competed in sparring for the USA Taekwondo National Team for five years, and two of those years I was elected team captain,” Kim stated. “Being team captain of the national team taught me a lot about what it takes to be a leader.”
His father has been a strong role model for Kim and encouraged him to apply to VMI.
“[Not being able to spend] time with my dad is probably the hardest thing for me being here at VMI,” Kim shared. “His experiences in life and his different perspective of how the world works is what helped me become the person I am today. I just wish I could become half the man he is.”
As a cadet, Kim faced challenges in the Rat Line, but he found support from his dykes.
“The Rat Line challenged my physical fitness and mental fortitude with everything that goes on between class, Army time, and cadre time,” Kim said.
“Through the care and mentorship [of my dykes], I was able to build my own understanding of what is expected of a cadet,” Kim continued. “They told me to focus on my academics, and they helped me find ways to relieve my stress during the Rat Line. I played sports with them on the parade field, we worked out together, and I got to hang out in their room after the completion of my academics at night.”
In Army ROTC, Kim has built friendships and relationships amid training hard, especially in Field Training Exercises (FTXs).
“Spring FTX was probably the most miserable, fun thing I’ve gotten to do at this school,” Kim continued. “During Spring FTX, everybody was cold, wet, and sleeping in the rain with just a sleeping bag and a mat. But looking back at those miserable times also brings a lot of good moments with my platoon-mates.”
As he looks ahead to completing his time at VMI, Kim hopes future cadets remember to focus on what is important and “find that balance between academics, physical fitness, and free time.”
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