Cadet Tsui Sun Kit did not immediately tell his parents when the leadership at St. John’s Military School selected him to serve as the Company First Sergeant for Headquarters Company for the 131st Corps of Cadets.
“I’m leaving soon to go back home for the summer,” said Tsui. “I haven’t been home since last Fall. I want to surprise them when I see them and tell them the news in person.”
For Tsui, “home” is far from Salina, Kansas, and St. John’s Military School. He was born in Hong Kong and made the difficult choice to travel halfway around the world to receive a high school education at St. John’s Military School for his freshman year in 2017.
“When I first arrived, I toured the school and thought I would especially like the structure,” he explained. “I had been homeschooled in China for six years previously and needed a disciplined environment.”
The maturity required to realize the value of a structured learning environment is only one of the qualities that make Tsui the ideal fit to serve as a company first sergeant in his sophomore year. He also possesses a direct style of leadership, a desire to hold himself and those around him to the highest standards, and a desire to motivate others to greatness.
Leading Fellow Leaders
Tsui will be responsible for assisting the company commander in running HQ Company. According to St. John’s Commandant of Cadet Sergeant Major Ray Nunweiler, the role of company first sergeant requires a regimented mindset and a commitment to improvement.
“The position requires good order and discipline,” said Nunweiler. “We knew Cadet Tsui was the right fit because of his professionalism.”
Developing an Influential Style of Leadership
Serving as a drill instructor during his first year, he has already learned vital lessons of leadership and has the maturity and wisdom to understand how to maintain a commanding presence while inspiring those around him to succeed.
“I’ve learned that leading is not all about yelling,” said Tsui. “It’s about giving those who lead purpose and guidance so that they can reach their goals.”
Developing such a commanding, confident presence was not an easy task for a young man for whom English is not his native language, and for whom America was at first a foreign country. Commandant Sergeant Major Nunweiler has influenced much of Cadet Tsui’s leadership qualities.
“The Commandant gave me a lot of guidance, especially in my position as a drill instructor,” said Cadet Tsui. “He gave us a lot of guidance during New Boy Training, and any time any of us have needed help solving a problem.”
Command Sergeant Major Nunweiler praised Cadet Tsui’s unique style of leadership, saying, “Cadet Tsui is incredibly professional. He has a commanding presence. He carries himself in a way that very few on campus can match. He leads by example. He sets high standards and upholds for himself what he expects of the whole company. That resolve makes him uniquely fit for the role of company first sergeant.”