Tag Archives: cadets

Becoming More at NMMI

By:  Cadet Alexandria Rivera

My life at NMMI started in August of 2013 when I was 14 years old. Now, five years later, I have much to say about how NMMI changed me. When I started, I remember never being challenged and doing homework without having to think hard about it at all. I found out that I was capable of much more after middle school. When I got my first bad grade, I knew I could have done better, so I got help from the teacher and it was a simple fix. Since then, I know what I can keep for last minute, and what needs more time. Time management is something I did not know existed. I learned quickly that time management would be my best friend that kept my life together. This school keeps you so busy that all you can think about is work and sleep. This makes free time much more enjoyable and you begin to be grateful for the little time you have to hang out with friends, making you value all the little moments the most. The friends I have made here are all good motivators and they have the same goals as me. Overall, the students here have a good head on their shoulders, so they are good influences compared to my friends back home. Going back home to where you used to be and lived for so long begins to feel different without you, and that it is good. You now have things to share and people to influence at home. If your friends see that you are more polite and open doors for other people, they begin to do the same. So, NMMI doesn’t only change your life, it changes your friends and family. NMMI has been a blessing for me and I would not be the person I am today without it.

The Importance of Finding Support at NMMI

By: Cadet Alejandro Lopez

Hello, my name is Alejandro Lopez, and I have been attending New Mexico Military Institute for three years. Every year is different because of different factors such as new rules and people leaving and entering the institute. One thing I have learned in this school is that there are many people who will help you succeed. For example, my parents have supported me when I have struggled. They give support and encourage me to continue and not to give up. Also, teachers here encourage and help you as much as they can. Teachers here actually care and want the students to succeed. One way this school is unique is that you get to live with your friends. In my case, whenever I feel like I am alone, I just go hang out with my friends and that feeling leaves my mind. Also, many of my friends ask me for help with math. Sometimes, students do not understand teachers, so helping my friends makes me feel good because I get to help them understand. The fact that I helped my friend makes me think I am a better person because that assignment could help him in the future to succeed.  In that way, I am partially responsible for his success. The thing that is magical about the school is that you can make friendships that can last a lifetime. I have met friends that I love with all my heart. It is a mutual support between us because we have all gone through the same challenges that NMMI provides. But, thanks to them, I am here in my senior year ready to graduate.


Friends Who are Like Family at NMMI

By Cadet Carlos Andres Retamoza

My name is Carlos Andres Retamoza, and I am 16 years old. I am from Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. At the age of 15, I went to live outside of my country to study at the New Mexico Military Institute. I think I threw myself into the abyss with all of the other students. It was the first time I left the country, and I did not speak the language of my new country of residence. I was going to live with strangers, and within days of arriving, I started classes within a system totally unknown to me. I came to study at the New Mexico Military Institute without knowing it was the best decision I had made in my life. Every day, every activity that I had to carry out was an apprenticeship.  Sometimes apprenticeships were full of pleasant surprises, and other times they were apprenticeships full of frustrations and effort. During this period, one of the things I learned was the importance of the friends I made at the New Mexico Military Institute. Many of these people were international students, like me, who were going through the same experience that I was going through, and they perfectly understood my difficulties. They quickly became an important support network and even more, I discovered that due to the circumstances that bind you, these friends happen to become “your family” while you are away from home. There are many stories that I can tell you about the support, the laughter, the love, and the solutions found together with friends. There are many stories that happen with my friends at the Institute, and I can tell right now the importance of all of them. Having friends and knowing that I am surrounded by so many wonderful people strengthens me.  Every time I have had to go through some difficult situation, I have never felt alone even though I am so far from home. That’s why I consider friends the greatest treasure you can have while living abroad.

The Importance of Being a RAT

By Cadet SFC Jose Robles

To be a RAT means to be a Recruit-At-Training. It means to be a follower, but most importantly, it means that you are becoming part of the NMMI family. The RAT traditions have been a part of the institute since it was founded, which is 127 years of traditions. Every new cadet is a RAT, no matter their age or grade. The first year you come to NMMI, you will be a RAT your entire first semester. During this period, you cannot gain any Rank or position in the corps of cadets. Your job is to be a follower. It is important to be a follower during this time because you gain knowledge and experience. Once the first semester is done, you will turn to the Rank of private. This is the time when you can apply for leadership positions and Rank in the Corps of Cadets.

Being a RAT comes with many responsibilities. You will have to do certain RAT duties like Rat walking, RAT running, popping to, and wearing certain distinctions on your uniform that identify you as a Recruit-at-Training. Many incoming cadets do not make it through this period. It really is hard. Everyone will be after you and making sure you do the right thing at all times, even if nobody is looking. But many do make it, and believe me, it is a great satisfaction when you see you did make it and you conquered all of the challenges that NMMI exposes you to.

Your RAT year will be the best year you will experience here at the institute because even though it is tough, your RAT buddy connections are incredible. Your RAT buddies are incoming cadets who are experiencing the same challenges you are, and that creates friendships that will last a lifetime. The connection you and your RAT buddies create is an amazing bond that will motivate you and make you get through the challenge of being a RAT.

A Piece of Home at NMMI

By Cadet Sierra Walker


Having a sister at New Mexico Military Institute is great. But, there’s something even better than having one sister at NMMI… having TWO! This is my sixth year at the institute, and I have been blessed with having the opportunity to attend the last five years with at least one of my three sisters. Two of my younger sisters, Mia and Tessa, are currently enrolled here at NMMI.  Mia is a junior, and Tessa is a freshman.

I love that I’ve had the chance to attend school with my sisters because it has brought us all closer together. We spend a lot of time here with each other. My favorite time to spend together is in the dining hall.  I love eating with them because we get to talk about our day and fill each other in on things that are going on. Before we came to NMMI, my family and I would sit down every evening at dinner and go around the table saying one good thing and one bad thing about our day. Eating dinner with them brings that little piece of home here to NMMI.

NMMI has provided us with many opportunities to spend time together. We all run cross country and track, so we get to see each other every day for practice. Having a sister here is awesome. The best part is that I always have a friend, or two, that I can count on no matter what. We have formed a special bond that we will share forever.

I am so grateful that I have been able to spend my last year here at the Institute with Mia and Tessa. Next year I will be in a different school and that will limit our time together. I am cherishing these moments I have with them now because I may never get to experience an opportunity like this again.