Cadets find Values in making their beds

Cadets find Values in making their beds

10 Jun 2014

Capt Thomas White, the squadron’s character development instructor, invited cadets to begin making their beds. Does that sound like a hard sell? He had help from the Navy’s chief SEAL.

Admiral William H. McRaven,¬†Commander of the¬†United States Special Operations Command, gave the commencement address at the University of Texas on 17 May 2014. He started with an unorthodox piece of advice: begin the day by making your bed. Like his other advice, this piece of wisdom built on ADM McRaven’s SEAL training, and wasn’t as much about the bed as about the ability to begin the day with a task honorably completed.

Cadets listened to the address and then discussed which of the Civil Air Patrol’s core values were reflected in each piece of advice, helping them to cement their understanding of the advice and think about how to incorporate the Admiral’s advice in their life and service.

The video below starts at Admiral McRaven’s ten lessons; move the slider back to hear the full speech.



  1. C/MSgt Christopher Herman /

    It seems silly, but try doing it. Doing the little things gives you the fuel to do the big things.

  2. Capt Thomas White /

    Indeed, C/MSgt Herman. An insightful comment. What CAP core value does “making our bed” connect to?

    • C/MSgt Christopher Herman /

      While at encampment, we had to make our bunks perfect for bunk inspection every day. Sleeping bags had to be rolled tight, pillows unwrinkled and tucked in. But by looking at such a simple task done right, it gave me a sense of pride. Excellence is one of the key traits that reflects on this task.

  3. Maj Matthew Phillips /

    UPDATE: Admiral McRaven will be the next chancellor of the University of Texas system (the speech he gave in the video above was at graduation for the system’s flagship campus, the University of Texas at Austin). The full story is available in the Washington Post.

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