In only one year, Cadet Qian Kecheng of Shanghai proved to the leadership at St. John’s, and to himself, that he was capable of being one of the top cadet leaders at the school. It was this service-minded work ethic, as well as an attention to detail and a mind for logistics, that earned him the position of S4, the Cadet Battalion Supply Officer, for the school’s 131st Corps of Cadets.
To attend his first day at St. John’s Military School, Qian traveled much farther than many of his fellow cadets. The trip from Shanghai, China to Salina, Kansas required Cadet Qian to cross nearly 7,000 miles. Finding himself in a place with an unfamiliar landscape and an unfamiliar language may have caused some young men to retreat inward, but not Cadet Qian. He has embraced every moment of his first year at St. John’s, proving that when it comes to serving a higher cause, there are no such things as culture or language barriers.
According to Cadet Qian, he and his family chose enrollment at St. John’s so that he could experience a more disciplined learning environment. Cadet Qian has more than adapted to the focused consistency of life at St. John’s. He has proven that despite growing up nearly 7,000 miles away, he is not only a perfect fit for the St. John’s Corps of Cadets, but also that he has the inherent skills and personality needed to serve a critical role in the 131st Corps’ Battalion Command.
After a structured and competitive application and interview process, Cadet Qian was chosen by the leadership at St. John’s to serve in the position of the S4 (Battalion Supply Officer) in the Battalion Command his senior year. The S4 is primarily responsible for coordinating the logistics of supplies and for ensuring the school’s mess hall is operated efficiently and maintained to the highest standards of quality and cleanliness.
According to Sergeant Major Ray Nunweiler, St. John’s Commandant, the S4’s responsibilities are vital.
“Cadet Qian will primarily be responsible for coordinating with the dining facility staff to make sure the mess hall is ready for every meal and then recovered after every meal. That’s three times per day, which is a challenging task for any young man who is highly focused on his academics.”
When asked what motivated the school’s leadership to select Cadet Qian for the position of S4, Sergeant Major Nunweiler reflected on Cadet Qian’s positivity and his willingness to take action.
“His disposition makes him well-suited for the position,” said Sgt. Major Nunweiler. “He is an eternal optimist who always seems to have a smile on his face. He is eager to learn and willing to take action and tackle any situation.”
Cadet Qian has prepared to step up to the challenge of the role of S4 by seeking advice from the outgoing S4 of the 130th Corps of Cadets.
“I talked to the old S4 about the duties I’ll have next year,” said Cadet Qian. “I really want to help make things better and find even healthier options for the mess hall, and keep it clean every day.”
Nunweiler expects Cadet Qian to be successful in the role of S4 in part due to his natural participatory style of leadership.
“Cadet Qian leads by example,” said Nunweiler. “He will do everything that he expects the other cadets working with him to do. If a job requires the cadets to get their hands dirty, he’ll get his hands dirty too.”
Cadet Qian is excited to return to St. John’s for his senior year.
“I am excited about next year,” said Cadet Qian with the tone of perpetual optimism that Sgt. Maj. Nunweiler so aptly used to describe his disposition. “I’m excited to come back and see what will happen. The battalion staff will come back to school early next year for Leadership Camp. I am ready to be of service to the Corps of Cadets and to the do the best for them and help make their lives better.”