From a whisper to a commander’s call

Junior selected as next semester's AFJROTC Corps Commander

Maynard+presents+an+award+to+sophomore+Erykah+Owens-Taylor+at+Change+of+Command.

Alejandro Norato

Maynard presents an award to sophomore Erykah Owens-Taylor at Change of Command.

by Claire Kyllonen, Assistant Editor

When the AFJROTC students look to junior Ann Maynard, they see a future leader. An up-and-coming Corps Commander with a presence strong enough to run their program swiftly and efficiently. When Maynard presents to her cadets, no one would imagine that she once struggled with a fear of public speaking that used to cripple her.

But that’s exactly what happened.

“I’ve always been kind of quiet, not really wanting to talk to people,” Maynard said. “Freshman year, I was so nervous giving a presentation that I ran out crying.”

Despite this initial setback, Maynard loved ROTC from her initial introduction to the program her freshman year. She was determined to stick with it.

“I signed up for it during freshman orientation,” Maynard said. “Over that summer, I met a lot of friendly people in the program that were welcoming and nice to me.”

Over the next few years, Maynard went from being a quiet freshman to claiming leadership positions, slowly climbing the ranks. She even presented to the LISD school board this past semester on the progress of the program.

“ROTC has definitely helped me with presenting,” Maynard said. “Sometimes I still get nervous, but now I know how to handle it.”

This past December, Maynard, along with several other students, submitted letters to their instructors that they wanted to apply to become Corps Commander.

“It was stressful because I kept comparing myself to the other kids,” Maynard said. “I kept thinking they had more to offer or were better in some way.”

When Maynard heard her instructors announce that she received the honor at award night, she was stunned.

“I couldn’t believe they called my name for a second,” Maynard said. “I just feel lucky enough that I was chosen.”

Maynard has plans to keep the corps running smooth next semester. She intends to work with her chosen staff to keep the program at the best it can be.

“There will be a whole bunch of people that are helping me, so that really eases my mind,” Maynard said. “What’s easy is that I just have to tell them what to do, but what’s scary is that I have to know what to do first.”

Maynard knows there’s pressure and expectations, but she’s determined to take what the corps has taught her and give back.

“The people have always been my favorite part of being in ROTC,” Maynard said. “I never thought that I’d talk and become friends with so many people. I’ve learned the value of interaction.”