Q&A With Chad Littlejohn




Sept. 21, 2011

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO WEST POINT?
After my senior year of football, I started to weigh my options. I wanted to continue to play football and get a good education. The West Point option was on the table and at the top of my list. I talked with a former Army football player, Grady Jett YEAR!!!, who told me about his experiences at West Point both on the team and after he graduated. After talking with him and other people who were attending West Point, I took my official visit and fell in love with the team and West Point. I felt like it was the right fit for me as a player and a person.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE AN ARMY FOOTBALL PLAYER?
Above all things, it's an honor. Each week we have the privilege to wear a jersey that not only represents our team, but also West Point, the Army and more importantly, the men and women who are putting their lives on the line to protect this country.

HOW HAS PLAYING FOOTBALL AT ARMY CHANGED YOU?
Football has changed how I deal with difficulties and challenges. There is no time to hang your head or blame others when things go wrong. Instead, you have to regroup, "clear" and expect to WIN the next challenge.

DESCRIBE YOUR FONDEST MEMORY OF ARMY FOOTBALL.
To be honest it has not happened yet. It will be when we lift the Commander In Chief's trophy and bring it back home to West Point after defeating Air force and Navy. We sing second.

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 myself not to worry about being completely lost. With time, the speed and unknowns will work themselves out.

TALK ABOUT YOUR POSITION AND HOW YOU CAME TO PLAY THAT ROLE.
I converted to linebacker my senior year in high school (midseason) from fullback due to injuries. West Point recruited me as a pro-I fullback, and not until my sophomore season did I change back to linebacker. The defense is where I belong. I was a kind of stand up D-lineman last year at the whip position, but didn't put my hand down until this last spring.

WHAT WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF BEING A LINEBACKER?
It's the ability to make decisions on the run, while also recognizing the offense. Each team has a set of unique tendencies and styles. A linebacker should be able to recognize these. The challenging part comes when you're on the field and you begin to think too much.

NOW, WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF BEING A DEFENSIVE LINEMAN?
Being able to recognize the offense once you are down in the trenches. Sometimes it can get really clogged up down there as you fight your way through.

WHAT BRANCH DO YOU WANT TO ENTER AFTER GRADUATION AND WHY?
I would like to branch either Military Intelligence (MI) or Engineers (EN) with a cross-detail into Infantry. This will give me a chance to go infantry for three years and then move over to MI or EN. I believe this is the best fit for me because I like to have a diverse set of skills and gaining experience in Infantry will help me make better decisions as a MI or EN officer.

IF YOU WEREN'T PLAYING FOOTBALL, WHAT OTHER SPORT WOULD YOU PLAY?
Probably golf. It's a sport that you can play for the rest of your life, and a lot of business is made on the golf course. Plus it is a "little" less stress on the body.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNED DURING YOUR TIME AT WEST POINT?
How important trust is. It has become the most important aspect of my relations (friends, family, etc.). If there is no trust in a relationship or organization, there is no shot of being successful.

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