The role of Battalion Commander at St. John’s Military School is a critical component for success of the Corps of Cadets. According to Col. William Clark, President of St. John’s Military School, the role of Battalion Commander requires an understanding of how to collaborate with others, an ability to understand and shape the culture of an organization, and above all, a desire to serve for the betterment of the brotherhood—not a desire for recognition or prestige.
Based on these requirements, the decision by the school’s leadership to select Cadet Philip Tabor to serve the role of Battalion Commander of the 131st Corps of Cadets was simple.
“I feel honored to be chosen,” said Philip Tabor, who is spending his summer home in Colorado Springs with his family before returning to St. John’s for his second, and final year of high school at the military school.
“Philip is a brilliant young man,” said Col. Clark. “He understands organizational dynamics, and he has a wiliness to be a part of the solution and to be a servant leader who will help move the organization forward.”
Achieving Unexplored Potential
Cadet Tabor has spent only one year at St. John’s Military School, but according to his parents, Greg and Lenora Tabor, the time has been transformative. Over the past year, The Tabor’s have watched their son reach his academic and leadership potential and develop abilities that are opening up opportunities he had not previously considered.
“Shortly after Philip enrolled at St. John’s his grades turned up pretty abruptly,” said Greg Tabor. “We always knew he was capable of achieving straight As. We’re excited about the opportunities that his accomplishments are now opening up and for his future career beyond St. John’s.”
Not only has Philip excelled academically, but he has also demonstrated a furtive commitment to success in every role in which he has been assigned and had an opportunity to lead.
“After the New Boy period, Philip became a drill instructor, and after that, he advanced to a senior drill instructor,” said Greg. “Lenora and I spoke to the president and commandant during Parents Weekend. They shared with us that they had observed Philip had demonstrated exceptional leadership abilities that were benefiting the cadets under his instruction.”
Finding a Role Within the Battalion Command
When Cadet Tabor first began to consider the possibility of applying for a position in the Battalion Command for the following year, his interest surrounded a role that would allow him to focus on what he believed to be his area of greatest strength—leading and developing others.
“I applied for the position of S3, the Battalion Operations and Training officer; I figured it was a logical next step,” said Cadet Tabor before adding with humility, “But I guess the president and commandant and the leadership staff decided I would be best suited for a different position.”
According to Col. Clark, Cadet Tabor’s inherent leadership abilities had been evolving throughout his junior year at St. John’s, proving he had the skills needed for a critical position that would maximize his potential and impact the greater good of the entire brotherhood. The singular moment that crystalized Philip’s aptness for the role of Battalion Commander occurred during his Battalion Command interview with the school’s leadership.
“I asked Philip if he would be interested in any positions other than S3,” said Col. Clark. “Philip looked at me and said, ‘I will do whatever the school needs me to do to lead the corps to a higher level next year.’ And that’s why Philip Tabor is our Battalion Commander.”
Learning Lessons of Leadership
Greg and Lenora Tabor are thrilled to see their son earn such an impactful role at St. John’s.
“We are very proud of Philip and his accomplishments,” said Lenora Tabor. “He has done so well. We weren’t expecting him to be appointed as Battalion Commander, but I think he’s up for the challenge. Deciding to send our son to St. John’s was not an easy decision, but it was the best decision. He’s really blossomed there. I don’t know how they do it, but the school finds a way to motivate its cadets and help them to reach their fullest potential.”
While the school’s leadership has the utmost confidence in Philip’s ability to inspire others and be a positive force for change, Philip has the utmost confidence in his Battalion Command staff.
“I’m most excited about my staff,” said Cadet Tabor with enthusiasm. “My S4 will be Qian—we went through new boy together. And I’m glad that Golden will be our XO and Fitzek the Command Sergeant Major, and Cabildo the S3. I was anxious about who would get the S3 if I didn’t, but I feel completely confident with Cabildo.”
A Future with Limitless Possibilities
For Greg and Lenora Tabor, they are most excited about the future that lays ahead of their son after he graduates, and how his experiences leading the 131st Corps of Cadets will further help to shape their son into a man with limitless potential.“Philip’s experience as the Battalion Commander will help him develop his abilities and is already helping him build a strong résumé as he considers his next move,” said Greg.
“There’s a lot of mail coming to our house for Philip these days,” adds Lenora with pride in her voice. “There are so many colleges starting to express interest in him now. We weren’t sure if college was going to be part of his future path. It’s great to see he has so many opportunities. That’s what every parent wants for their child—a future that is filled with opportunities and choices that they have made for themselves and that they have choices that can lead them to a happy and successful life.”