Thursday, November 5, 2015

What do you do here? 

I help prepare our college students who are going to be future army officers. Here in UI Army ROTC, our function is to make sure that we train agile, adaptive future leaders of this country who can make decisions, lead, and train others.

How did you get into this field of work?

 It might sound silly, but part of it was curiosity and the desire to do something different. I also came from a family where you try to serve your community, and joining the Army seemed like a good way to do it. 

The rundown


Job Title: Professor of Military Science

Hometown: Knoxville, Iowa

At the UI since: July 2015

Family: Wife Kerrie, daughter Erica, and sons Derek and Justin

Alma Mater: The University of Iowa

What do you enjoy most about working in a higher education setting?

One of the things I really like about this program is that we have the opportunity to help students go to college who might not have otherwise had the chance. We have quite a few first-generation college students whose parents don't have the ability to help them pay for an education, but with an ROTC scholarship they get an education, and they're better set up to get a job when they're finished. I like to think that we help students get on a track where their kids will have more opportunities. That's one of the things that's neat about this program—we're able to help people create a future for themselves.

What's the biggest risk you've ever taken and why? 

 I would actually say joining the Army. My dad wasn't in the Army and none of my immediate family was. I really didn't know what I was signing up for. In retrospect, I made a very good decision, but I didn't know as much about it as I thought I did at the time. All in all, I've had a great career, and I might not have met my wife if I didn't join the Army—we met and were married during one of my deployments to Iraq.

What was the most memorable or significant day of your military career?

 Unfortunately, things have changed, but one of my most significant memories was in 2010. I was in one of the first units deployed to Iraq in 2003, and I was also one of the last to leave in 2010, which was supposed to be the very end.

If you could spend one day with anyone from any era, who would it be and why?

 Mark Twain. I saw a lot of humor and courage and understanding in his books, and I've always wondered what he would have been like as a person.

If you could get rid of any invention in the world, what would it be? 

The cell phone. That's probably a cliché answer, but it's changed so much about the way we interact with one another. I get very distracted by my email, and sometimes it just seems it would be easier without it. 

Name five of your favorite things.

  • Reading (all types of books, but science fiction in particular)
  • Running
  • Country music
  • Spending time with my family
  • Grilling