Well Swift is coming to a close and it is truly bittersweet. This trip has taught me a lot about understanding our atmosphere and how a beautiful sky can become an EF-3 tornado in a matter of hours. But besides the training, I learned a lot about myself and my leadership style. As we drive towards Annapolis, I keep wishing we were heading towards Colorado for the convective storms developing out there for one more chance to prove my skills as a leader and weather predicting.
When I showed up to the first brief for SWIFT, I thought there is no way I will be able to do weather reports. The words cape, helicity, and bulk shear went right over my head, and now I can log into weather sites and have a understanding of their meaning and what that means for the sky outside. My understanding of storms has drastically changed over the last two weeks. When I showed up in Beaver Crossing, NE and saw the destruction of some homes and some homes stood untouched it motivated me to continue my passion for weather. Beaver Crossing was not a highlight but a wakeup call for me. I loved helping those people but it made me want to do more research for the prediction, early warning, and building of stronger structures.
As a leader, I went from having to be in control of everything to learning to truly delegate by the end of the trip. SWIFT teaches you to make quick decisions and be comfortable with that decision. I learned that being in a van with ten other people tensions can rise but at the end of the day we are a team all just wanting to see storms. I truly loved SWIFT. I learned a lot about myself and can honestly say this is the best training I have ever received at the Naval Academy.