Where I lead: Going for Gold

Cadet 1st Lt. Addison Albershardt
is devoted to two goals – the gold bars of a U.S. Army lieutenant and the chance to compete for Olympic gold in cycling.

Junior from Charlotte, North Carolina

Became a professional cyclist at 15 and achieved success on the international circuit.

Training to return to competition while finishing her degree in physical education and training as a member of the National Guard and Corps of Cadets.

What lessons has cycling taught you?

One of the biggest things is crashing. When you fall off your bike, you have to get back on. And here, there often are days when I feel like, “Man, I’ve fallen off my bike,” but I have to keep moving and the best thing to do is get back on the bike.

A member of UNG’s Ranger Challenge Team, you were named honor graduate out of about 30 mostly male cadets from across the U.S. in the Mountain Warfare School in the Republic of Georgia this summer. What was that like?

It basically entails rappelling, rock climbing, ruck marching – all of these great things that I love to do. Every day I woke up and said, “Okay. What’s the fun for today?”

I’m also competitive. I think people see things in me that I don’t see in myself. I have self-confidence, but when I’m stacked up against the guys, it’s just human nature to think they are better than me. I’m still shocked by winning honor graduate.

What led you to create the Female Mentorship Program for UNG’s Corps of Cadets?

Last semester, my sociology project was to find something I could improve. I looked at all the statistics from the corps specialty units from the last 20 years, and I found below 1 percent female involvement.

Last year was the first year of our Female Mentorship Program, and we had about 30 members. This semester at our first meeting we had a prospective group of more than 60.

You have some national cycling competitions and tryouts coming up, but you’re also a contracted cadet and will commission in two years. What is your plan?

It’s been my dream to go to the Olympics since I was 6 years old.

The Army has a world-class athlete program that I’m interested in pursuing … it would definitely be an amazing dream to be a part of that program and compete in the Olympics.

I’m still commissioning, no matter what. If I have to drop cycling, I will, because being able to serve as an officer for the United States Army is something that not everyone is able to do. I will have worked four hard years here to just throw that away, and I don’t want to do that.