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NPS JAG is a Leader in Uniform, and on Skates

Article By: MC2 Shawn J. Stewart

The Naval Postgraduate School’s Staff Judge Advocate (JAG) Cmdr. Tracy Clark exercises leadership on the university campus on a daily basis. But her leadership is exercised off campus as well, motivating her teammates to victory as a leading member of her roller derby team, the Beasts of Eden.

“I am primarily a blocker,” said Clark. “Blockers are responsible for getting their jammer through the pack so that she can score while keeping the opposing jammer behind them. We do this through a combination of offensive blocking, such as sweeping an opposing blocker out of the way for our jammer, and defensive blocking, ‘holding’ a jammer behind our walls, or hitting her out of bounds and forcing her to recycle through the pack.”

Clark says she is tough mentally and physically … A trait that allows her to be an effective leader, and one she exercises daily with students, faculty and staff on the NPS campus.

“Being a JAG has really taught me the importance of leadership,” said Clark. “There is no one perfect style of leadership, but it’s important that the style you practice is genuine. If those that you are leading do not trust you, they will not follow you.”

Trust is a corner stone of leadership and it is not interchangeable in the Navy or in roller derby, where Clark says she has learned the value of teamwork.

“Although we learn skills individually, we are much stronger on the track when we are with our partners, and even stronger than that when we skate as a team,” she said.

NPS Staff Judge Advocate Cmdr. Tracy Clark shares a smile with her teammates during a game of roller derby at Marina’s Water City Sports Center. Clark’s team, the Beast of Eden, beat the Unforgiven Roller Girls 176 – 115 in the contest.

“My favorite part of being a leader is seeing someone that you have worked with, coached or mentored succeed. That truly is the reward,” continued Clark.  

“Success can mean a lot of different things. Here at NPS, it can often mean ensuring people do the right thing,” she said. “On the track, it can mean watching your teammate execute a new skill perfectly, and watching their face light up when they realize what they have done.”

Clark’s next home bout will take place in Marina’s Water City Sports Arena on September 12 at 7:00 p.m. The event is open to the public, but Clark says to arrive a bit early to get the ‘good seats.’

Posted August 26, 2015

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