Featured Firstie: 1/C Thomas Pearson
POSTED ON: Friday, April 7, 2023 12:04 PM by firstname.lastname@example.org
This week’s Firstie Friday is Midshipman 1st Class (senior) Thomas Pearson from Jupiter, Florida. In the fall you can catch him on the soccer field as a goalkeeper for Navy Men's Soccer, and this spring Pearson stands as the Brigade Sexual Harassment and Assault Prevention Education (SHAPE) program commander. He is a member of the Navy fishing club and 17th Company, and an oceanography major.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM). Pearson is the brigade advocate for SHAPE where this month he focuses on promoting healthy discourse about sexual harassment. “We planned events that focus on our theme of Respect, Prevent, Empower, highlighting each of those facets of the culture that we are trying to build here on the yard,” said Pearson. “We all want to create that culture, and in my opinion, it starts with hard, honest conversations, which SAAPM is the catalyst for.”
Thomas has had multiple role models in his life that motivated him to apply to USNA and sculpt his leadership. His uncle, class of '95, great uncle, a Navy veteran, and grandfather, an air force veteran, shows that the military runs through his family. His great uncle, who opened a bait and tackle and beach supply shop in Ocean City, NJ in 1968 after serving in WWII, helped shape him into the man he is today. Spending most of his summers helping out in the store, Pearson learned the importance of watching and listening. “The funny thing is that I think the majority of the lessons learned were when I wasn’t the one doing the talking but listening to him talk to customers. I think there’s something to be said about taking a step back and listening every once in a while,” said Pearson. His father, Chuck Pearson, a successful leader of a pharmaceutical company, directly influences his leadership every day. Thomas attributes his leadership style to him: “From him, I learned to value everyone’s opinions, know the people that I’m leading and serving with, and take a pause when times start to get hard.”
Pearson’s favorite memory from his time at the academy was winning the Patriot League Championship this past fall with Navy Men's Soccer. “Our whole team put so much work into this season and went through a lot of ups and downs the last few years. To win in our senior season means a ton, and it shows a lot about the culture that we have to be resilient and keep battling to make it happen.”
Pearson will commission into the #SubmarineForce in May 2023.
Category: Midshipman, General Interest