The following question and answer session was done with football senior Marcus Hilton.
Why did you choose to come to West Point?
I came to West Point in order to play football and be part of something that is bigger than myself. West Point has a great tradition that everyone around the world respects, and I wanted to be part of that and represent not only myself, but my family and all those who have supported me my entire life.
What does it mean to you to be an Army football player?
Being an Army football player means that you are the best both physically and mentally in comparison to your opponents. An army football player is at his toughest when he faces adversity and is in a pressure situation.
How has playing football at Army changed you?
Playing football at Army has changed my perspective on the game itself. Growing up I always dreamed of playing in the NBA or NFL and being one of the best players to play the game. As I began my tenure at West Point I realized that the game of football is more than just the glamour and fame, it’s about the man to your left and right who sweat and bleed for one common goal, which is to win. We also play not only to represent West Point, but to represent the Army as a whole, for all those men and women who put their lives on the line to ensure that the United States can remain a free country.
Describe your fondest memory of Army football.
Playing at Tulane my sophomore year. We won that game decidedly and it seemed like the whole team was having fun winning. The offense was scoring and the defense was getting us the ball back all the time. We were doing all the right things that game to be successful.
Think back to your first day of practice as a plebe. If you could go back and give yourself some advice, what would it be?
I would tell the plebe version of me to continue to work hard and never let myself think that I cannot make it here. I doubted myself at the end of my plebe year because I had not done well academically, but I kept at it and continued to work hard and bring my GPA up. The thing you learn here is that you will always face something difficult; it is how you respond that determines how successful you really are.
Who at West Point has had the biggest impact on you over the last four years?
My friends have had the biggest impact on my life at West Point. Through thick and thin, they have helped me get through the best and worst of times.
What branch do you want to enter after graduation and why?
I am hoping to branch Air Defense Artillery because this summer I did CTLT (Cadet Troop Leader Training) at Fort Sill, Okla., and was exposed to the ins and outs of ADA and it really interested me. The soldiers and the atmosphere within the branch really fit the type of person I am, and I think I could really make a positive impact on the branch as well as the lives of the soldiers with whom I will interact.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I enjoy relaxing and having a good time with my friends. Most of the time you can find me joking around and making people laugh. I also like to play video games and party when I have time.
If you weren’t playing football, what other sport would you be playing?
If I weren’t playing football I would probably be playing basketball somewhere. Basketball has always been my first love and just the pure passion I have for the game would have made me compete for a scholarship at any school.
What is the most important lesson you have learned while at West Point?
West Point has taught me how to manage my time and to plan more effectively. Having to balance sports, school and military tasks are tough and if you don’t have a plan or schedule to balance those things, West Point can really be a tough place to handle and overcome.