Article and photos by Cadet First Lieutenant Nigel Arias, West Oahu Composite Squadron

“You cannot climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pocket.”

– Rep. Bob McDermott

KAPOLEI, Hawaii – Hawaii State Representative Robert “Bob” McDermott, Hawaii House District 40, was the guest speaker at the weekly West Oahu Composite Squadron (WOCS) Civil Air Patrol (CAP) meeting.  Representative McDermott gave an inspirational speech to the WOCS cadets on how to follow their dreams.

Representative McDermott speaking to cadets of West Oahu Composite Squadron on May 18, 2019. Photo by Cadet First Lieutenant Nigel Arias, West Oahu Composite Squadron.

McDermott related that as a young man, he was undisciplined, so he joined the U.S. Marine Corps as an enlisted member.  He stated it was the best decision of his life.  The Marine Corps would give him the maturity and discipline he needed in life. 

After separating from the U.S. Marine Corps, he got married and attended Chaminade University.  After graduating from Chaminade, he decided to go back to the U.S. Marine Corps, but this time as an officer.  He attended U.S. Marine Officer Candidate School held at Quantico, Virginia.  After being commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, he served in Gulf War I.

Representative McDermott with West Oahu Composite Squadron cadets on May 18, 2019. Photo by Cadet First Lieutenant Nigel Arias, West Oahu Composite Squadron.

McDermott told the cadets not to let anyone tell them they cannot reach their dreams or goals.  But it also means that everyone must try their hardest, no matter what their dreams are.   He said, “You cannot climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pocket.”

Representative McDermott has been married for 25 years and is the father of eight children. He holds an MBA degree from Chaminade University and is currently an executive in Honolulu for a non-profit organization. He has served three terms in the Hawaii State House of Representatives.  He is serving the Ewa Beach Community in his fourth term in the State Legislature.

Cadet First Lieutenant Arias is a 2019 graduate of Campbell High School and the cadet commander for West Oahu Composite Squadron. He will be attending George Mason University to study computer science.