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During their time as Corps Commanders, these individuals led the Corps of Cadets by example and served as a source of inspiration to their peers.

Robert “Bob” Harvey ’77
1976-77 Corps Commander and the first non-commissioning Commander
President and CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership

A lesson learned in leading the Corps:

As Commander, I discovered the difference between leadership and management. I learned that leadership is about having a vision of what an organization can be beyond what it is and figuring out how to get people to rally behind, take ownership of and contribute to that vision. Visionary leadership, or having a passion for the possible, has been central to every leadership role I’ve had.

On defining “success” as a leader:

Simply put, “success” means that under my leadership, the organization advanced and achieved its objective in a way that is beyond expectations. When people look back at the trajectory of an organization, I want to believe they’ll see a positive inflection point when I was the leader.

On staying motivated:

A good leader must constantly refresh their vision of the possible. I like to take time to daydream a bit, get completely away from the day to day and think about cultivating a new vision for what my organization can achieve.

Matt Segrest ’95
1994-95 Corps Commander
President of real estate developer Alamo Manhattan


Most valuable leadership skill learned in the Corps:

The Corps taught me how to make decisions. Whether it was something simple like choosing the uniform of the day or something more complicated like determining training agendas and priorities, I was forced to give directions and didn’t have the luxury of being passive. Constantly making decisions enabled me to become comfortable in exercising and accepting authority. I learned the value of seeking wise counsel and input from others in decision-making and that a timely decision is sometimes more valuable than a perfect decision.

One must-have leadership trait:

Humility. We grow by understanding our limits and striving to be better. A leader should forsake ego, welcome criticism and adopt an “always learning” mindset. Nothing will hold back your development as a leader like assuming you have it all figured out. Face the world with humility and actively seek opportunities for improvement and growth.

How the Corps prepared you for entrepreneurism:

It taught me self-discipline. It requires significant discipline to go out on your own, especially when you have no one else pushing you. I’ve found the world is generally run by people who wake up early and make their beds every day. If there is one basic thing the Corps teaches, it is this virtue. Personal discipline allows an entrepreneur to eliminate distractions, which allows the freedom to pursue their mission.

Matt Ockwood ’06
2005-06 Corps Commander
President of Tachus Fiber Internet

An impactful leadership experience in the Corps:

When I was Commander, the Corps set up a shelter in Reed Arena for approximately 300 evacuees of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Leading this initiative was exciting because it was a genuine, purposeful mission, not something we did for practice. It was immersive in terms of leadership and coordination, and more importantly, it served families at a very dire time.

On making challenging decisions: 

The most challenging decisions are not ones where the outcome might be bad, or I don’t like the options I must choose between. Those are unfortunate or painful decisions, which can be different from a hard decision. A challenging decision for me is where the consequence of the outcome is high while the information I’m relying on is poor or incomplete, so my decision is closer to an educated guess. Personnel decisions come to mind. Those can be high-consequence decisions because while you know what a prospective new hire’s work experience looks like, it’s hard to know how they’ll fit your team’s culture.

Leadership role model:

Lt. Gen. John Van Alstyne ’66 was Commandant when I was Commander, and he is the most skilled person I know at understanding human, team and organizational dynamics. At age 21, I didn’t have any experience other than instinct, and I benefited tremendously from weekly meetings with him that allowed me to understand his philosophies and become a better leader. It’s been nearly two decades since I was Commander, and I still talk with him. Our relationship is truly a special gift.

Alyssa Stipek ’16
2015-16 Corps Commander and the first female Commander
Senior process engineer for MNX Global Logistics


Leadership philosophy:

I believe a leader’s No. 1 priority is to serve at every level—the people above, around and below—and I tried to embody that philosophy in my position. Since about 35% of cadets enter the military, that left around 2,000 other cadets with different career paths, dreams and aspirations. I constantly thought about steps I needed to take to make the organization better so that it allowed everyone to achieve their goals.

How the Corps shaped you:

I came to Texas A&M as a self-centered and overconfident freshman, but the Corps refined me into a selfless servant and helped me define selflessness—not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less. I started asking, “What can I do for others?” instead of “What’s good for me?” I found that when I focused on helping others, I became a more grateful person and felt more fulfilled because I was living for others.

One mistake leaders make:

Holding themselves to a different—and often lower—standard. When you sign up for leadership, your privileges decrease. You can’t make excuses and take shortcuts. Leaders have an obligation to serve the people around them, and that often requires extra sacrifice.

Today’s cadets can take a deep dive into growing their leadership skills through the Hollingsworth Center for Ethical Leadership, a structured certificate and career readiness program. To learn how you can support the endeavor, contact Kelly Corcoran ’95, assistant vice president of development, at the bottom of this page.

  • Kelly Corcoran '95

  • Assistant Vice President of Development
  • Division of Student Affairs
  • Call: 979.314.9475

Make Your Impact

Help today’s cadets grow their leadership skills through a gift to the Hollingsworth Center for Ethical Leadership.