Three-Star General Flora Darpino '83 to grads: Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from succeeding

Darpino spoke to 660 graduates at Gettysburg College's 179th Commencement.

Lieutenant General Flora Darpino, Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Army, spoke to 660 graduates May 18 at Gettysburg College’s 179th Commencement Exercises, reinforcing that success takes courage and the acceptance that you might fail.

“There are two types of failure. There is the failure from trying and the failure from not trying. Much of our focus is on the failure from trying. This, I would submit, is not the failure that should give you angst. When you face failure after having tried, you gain from your efforts because if you learn from those missteps you will continue to grow. Failing is a reflection of your perseverance,” Darpino said.

Darpino cited examples of times in her own life and career when she could have let the fear of failure stop her from trying something new. When speaking about her decision to join her husband in the U.S. Army, Darpino admitted that she was “scared to death,” and has fallen several times since, but has always moved forward with resolve, taking on new challenges as they come along.

“I look back and there were many times that I could have declined a challenge and not risk the disappointment. I could have opted out. But I expect more from myself. Have expectations. Be willing to risk the disappointment. Risk failing. For only then can you truly succeed,” she said.

Read more and watch a video of Darpino's remarks