What is our true potential? Do we know where life is going to take us?

While it's hard to see the future, we'll never know what our future holds if we don't take that first step.

The first step takes courage. It's a step into the unknown, the start of a journey into unknown territory. It's easy to be held back. Anxiety, confusion, and even those close to us can hold us back.

We'll hear voices telling us not to jump in, not to go ahead, to maintain the status quo, and to let it be.

But how will we know our true potential if we listen to all of those voices?

I've heard those voices before in my life and sometimes it's hard not to listen to them. Looking back, many of those first steps that I've taken have been the hardest. When I joined the Army – just after coming out of high school – that was an extremely challenging first step.

This step was taken with uncertainty. I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life and I recall thinking about all of the reasons why I shouldn't take that oath and make that commitment.

But now when I look back, ignoring those voices was one of the best decisions I've ever made. The Army changed my life forever. As you grow older and gain wisdom, you think about these first steps that seemed so tough, but now they look so simple.

These first steps can lead to rewards and shape our lives for the better. The journey may be tough at times, but as we look back we're glad that we took that first step.

There was another first step that was difficult for me – and that was when I took that first step towards continuing my education. That journey may have been difficult, but I would do it over without hesitation.

Many of you are standing in my boots right now. You're unsure about taking that first step towards an education. The voices are trying to discourage you, but as someone who has been there before, you should take that first step. Take that first step with boldness, knowing that there will be fear and excitement on the journey.

Keep marching forward because while it may seem like a very tough decision now, you will find out that it will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life!

March forward for yourself, for your family, and for your friends. March forward for your peers and those who hesitate to start this journey.

Once you take this first step, you're making a huge investment into your future. This first step will take you places you never imagined, allowing you to master skills you never imagined you'd learn. This first step will be the start of the journey that will lead you closer to your true potential.

We at Trident are here to help you take that first step and accompany you on this journey. We've been there before and we don't want you to make the journey alone. From the first step to your final steps walking across that stage at graduation, we will be there proudly standing with you.

Believing in yourself is your first step to success.

And never forget, the first step is the best step in a journey towards a destination.