Academy cadet leads on, off the field

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Rachel Hammes
  • U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs
Throughout the four years cadets spend at the Academy, the Center for Character and Leadership Development works to coordinate events, speakers and leadership opportunities to mold cadets into principled leaders. Despite that, it's ultimately the cadet's decision whether or not they commit to being a leader of character, and for Cadet 1st Class Broam Hart, the choice was obvious.

"Helping people is something that has become a priority in my life," said Hart, who plays Division-I football with the Falcons and is active in the Cadet-Athletes against Sexual Violence program.

While balancing his time as a cadet, an athlete and a volunteer can be difficult, Hart said  devoting time to help others is important to him.

"Everyone can find the time to do something - everyone can find the time to do their hobbies, so I can sacrifice a couple hours to do something for someone else," he said. "Time management is a huge thing I've learned through all of this - always do the job first and then worry about yourself whenever you have time. I can better enjoy myself when I've already accomplished my tasks for the day."

In addition to teaching Sunday school at Pikes Peak Church in Colorado Springs, Hart was active in helping with flood-prevention efforts following the Waldo Canyon fire in 2013. He also volunteered at Marian House, a soup kitchen in downtown Colorado Springs.

Hart received the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Humanitarian Award at the Boise Centre Dec. 18, in Boise, Idaho. He was also a nominee for the 2014 Allstate American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team, which recognizes leadership in football players and volunteer work in their communities.

While Hart played 38 career games for the Falcons - the most career games played by any current offensive player - he was also instrumental in helping film the Cadet-Athletes against Sexual Violence video, and used his role as a member of the Air Force football leadership council to accelerate a training program against sexual violence for his teammates.

"I think sexual assault is a problem in our country and it's something we need to recognize," he said. "With my background and my faith I know it is wrong to sexually assault somebody. Nobody deserves to be treated that way."

Lt. Col. Eddie Wagner, Hart's air officer commanding for the 2013-2014 academic year, said Hart was a pleasure to have in his squadron.

"He did an exceptional job balancing all of his requirements in the squadron, in the classroom, on the football field and in the local community," Wagner said. "Cadet Hart was extremely supportive of his classmates and took a vested interest in developing others.  He never carried himself like he was above other cadets because he played Division-I football, and that really resonated with others in the squadron.  This explains why he is so well liked by everyone, and why my two boys run around the backyard pretending to be him.  I have no doubt that he is going to be an outstanding officer because he honestly cares more about others than his own interests."

Hart cites Falcons head coach Troy Calhoun for inspiring him on and off the field.

"He's really good about showing us how to become men instead of little boys," Hart said. "He wants us to be men of character. He definitely encourages us to develop as leaders through volunteer work."

Hart is slated to enter the Acquisition career field upon graduation, but prior to heading to training he will spend a year as a military training officer at the Preparatory School here. He will spend the year mentoring and training cadet candidates who hope to receive an appointment at the Academy.

"I'll be excited to get involved with the Prep School," he said. "And when I'm done for the day at the Prep School, I hope to get out in the community and work with a small peewee football team. I learned to become a leader through athletics: I became a leader on the field, and that helped me become a leader off the field."