Academy Spotlight

Cadet 2nd Class Shaeffer McHenry

Cadet 2nd Class Shaeffer McHenry

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. --

Cadet 2nd Class Schaeffer McHenry is political science major, a cadet athlete and an element leader for Cadet Squadron 01.

“As an element leader, I am responsible for six subordinates, their wellbeing and success throughout the spring semester. It is a lot of responsibility, but something I deeply enjoy. It’s a position where I have a direct effect on the lives of the cadets under my leadership. I am also a squadron PEER, essentially a counselor for the squadron. I’m the person in the squadron who other cadets turn to when they are stressed out, sad or having issues or just want to talk. It can be a very busy job and requires me to keep my eyes and ears open at all times, but it is a job I love."

Hometown:  Naples, Florida

Favorite aspect of being a cadet:  “The opportunities the Academy provides. I have participated in the soaring program, which drove me to want to be a pilot; the Cadet for a Day Program;  traveled to Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi to learned more about the operational Air Force; and many others. This summer, I will travel to Nerja, Spain as part of the Academy’s cultural immersion program. This is another opportunity that had I not attended the Academy, I would miss out on. There are so many amazing things to get involved in at the Academy.

Hobbies/interests: Intercollegiate fencing, serving as cadet in charge of the Cadet for a Day Program, volunteer support for the less-fortunate.

Advice to cadets: “No matter what, keep pushing through. There were times I wanted to quit, but if I had, I would have missed out on a lifetime of opportunity. Cling to your classmates during the toughest times and they will push you to keep going. Never forget why you wanted to come to the Academy in the first place. Even when you want to give up, never forget this. I promise you, it will all be worth it.”

Air officer commanding quote:  The tremendous qualities of Cadet McHenry are known throughout the Cadet Wing. Her reputation precedes her and I cannot tell you how many individuals, from the Dean of Faulty and other units, including the 306th Flying Training Group, tell me what an amazing job she does as a cadet leader and for a variety of programs, including Cadet for a Day. – Maj. David Pouska