Finding Inspiration in Family and Craving his own Path: Cadet Adrian Cabildo Arias

To me, being a leader is an opportunity to help other people to get the best out of themselves. Adrian Cabildo Arias
Battalion S-3
131st Corps of Cadets

At home for the summer in Puebla, Mexico, Cadet Adrian Cabildo Arias has much to look forward to as he prepares to return to St. John’s Military School as a junior for his third year. Adrian will hold the position of the Cadet Battalion Training Officer (S-3) for the school’s 131st Corps of Cadets. It is a position that is critical to new cadets’ transition to life at St. John’s, as well as to the overall performance of the Corps—a Corps with a history of the highest academic and military performance standards.

In achieving the position of S-3, Adrian has benefitted from the support of his family, his mother Edna Arias and father Rodolfo Cabildo, and his brother Erik, who graduated in 2018 having also achieved the position of S-3 his senior year. What ultimately allowed Adrian to earn the rank of S-3, however, was his commitment to excellence, and a drive to see the collective brotherhood at St. John’s reach its fullest potential.

Inspiring Future Leaders

While serving in the role of S-3, Adrian will have the critical responsibility of planning, organizing, and supervising the cadet training initiatives for the school’s new boy program.

“I think this is a very important position,” said Adrian. “The S-3 is in charge of every New Boy who arrives, and I think that the New Boy training is a crucial part in the development of a cadet here at the school.”

It is also a position that requires the type of demeanor and personal conduct that earns respect among New Boys looking for a leader to emulate.

“Adrian will do well as the Battalion S-3 because he is a critical thinker who assesses situations from a variety of standpoints before he acts,” said Commandant of Cadets CSM Ray Nunweiler. “His SDI experience, combined with his knowledge of the leadership structure at the school, will provide him the necessary tools to implement the improvements we have planned in our leadership development program.  I am excited to have Adrian on the Battalion Staff so we can work together to make St. John’s a little bit better every day.”

According to Adrian’s mother, Edna, Adrian is an ideal fit for the role.

“After his hard work, commitment, and effort to do his job well, we think that this new position was fairly earned,” said Edna. “Of course, we are so proud and happy that St. John’s recognized his qualities and work. It’s something that we love about St. John’s because they see what’s in the boys and they seek to empower those talents.”

When asked about his reaction to the news that he had been chosen to serve as S-3, Adrian responded with humility and pride.

“Actually, I applied for the position of Company Commander, but the adult staff decided that it would be better if I were to be the Battalion S-3,” said Adrian “I got really excited, in part because it was the position my brother held during the 130th Corps. Also, because during the year I was an SDI, and I enjoyed working in the New Boy program.”

Adrian’s parents believe the time their sons spent at St. John’s together offered a valuable opportunity for both of them, and for Adrian, it provided him with a very personal and meaningful role model.

“As big brother, Erik has certainly been a role model for Adrian, and I must say that the model has been excellent,” said Edna. “No doubt Adrian will make his own way with his own talents based on a good example.”

Setting High Expectations

Adrian may be following in his brother’s footsteps, but he is already starting to carve a unique path by establishing lofty goals for himself, and his fellow cadets.

“One of my main goals is to gain the blue beret (an honor earned by only the top three GPA-earners in the high school and middle school). I also hope to get good grades in my college classes, and I want to help other cadets to develop into better leaders and better persons.”

Edna and Rodolfo believe that the opportunity for their son to hold a leadership position will help him to refine his personal sense of leadership further, and prepare him for further achievements in his future.

“Undoubtedly his talents especially his personal sense of leadership will help his fellow cadets reach their maximum potential because that position will demand it, and all the people in St. John’s will support him and help him to do it,” said Edna.

For a young man, Adrian has developed an astute, and selfless understanding of what it means to be a leader, an understanding cultivated during the past three years of enrollment at St, John’s.

“To me, being a leader is an opportunity to help other people to get the best out of themselves,” said Adrian, adding, “I think I would describe my personal style of leadership as a mutual agreement, something like, ‘I can help you if you let me.’”

Looking Toward a Bright Future

Edna and Rodolfo have already witnessed a positive evolution in Adrian during his time at St. John’s, and now they look forward to seeing their youngest son seek a bright future of limitless possibilities.

“Before enrolling in St. John’s, Adrian was mature in many aspects, but now we see a more confident young man, more independent, and surprisingly organized and orderly,” said Edna. “We are so happy and proud to have had the opportunity for Adrian to be a part of St. John’s.”

For brothers who traveled nearly 2,500 miles away from home to achieve a quality education, a key to their success was having their mother nearby. Last year, Edna relocated to Salina, Kansas, to ease the separation for both of them. During Adrian’s final year, she will continue to live only ten minutes away from the St. John’s campus, which also keeps her close to Erik, who will begin his freshman year at Kansas University.

“I want to be close to Erik and Adrian,” said Edna, “Especially for Adrian because he is my youngest son. And I want to be close to Erik who is going to start a new stage in his life. He is going to attend KU and will study finance and economics. He is now going to start building the future that will make him an independent and successful professional man. This is what has been prepared all these years.”

Having seen her oldest son well on the pathway to achieving his goals and building a successful future, Edna is optimistic that her youngest son will again follow in his brother’s footsteps while creating his own, unique path toward success.

“First of all, I hope Adrian feels happy and proud of having fulfilled his own expectations in this new position,” said Edna. “Second, I hope he finds his vocation and studies at a university, and finally I hope he becomes a happy man in all aspects of his life.”