A military man embraces a life of the mind


December 2, 2022

Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable fall 2022 graduates.

Although Lane Hiser intends to make a career in the military, he’s keeping his options open. This Arizona State University student is rounding out his experiences in the physical, precise world of Army ROTC with a walk on the “softer” side: a degree in the humanities. ASU graduate Lane Hiser, who stands smiling and wearing his military uniform. "I would say I owe my academic success to the teachings of my military lifestyle regarding hard work," said graduating ASU student Lane Hiser. "I also think I will owe future success to my literature background because I have learned new creative ways of thinking, read books about different cultures to understand people and have developed an analytical process applicable to military strategy." Download Full Image

Hiser, who is originally from Frederick, Colorado, is graduating from Arizona State University this fall with a 4.13 GPA, earning a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and a minor in military leadership. He was also selected as The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean’s Medalist for the Department of English, an honor bestowed on the most outstanding graduate in the unit.

It’s clear that Hiser got here by dotting all the “I”s and crossing all the “T”s. “At ASU, Hiser has played an active role in the ASU community by playing intramurals, working on campus and participating in ASU ROTC events. As a student, Hiser has been on the Dean's list for all four semesters,” wrote the Dean's Medalist selection committee in its justification.

Hiser funded his studies with a Green to Gold Hip-Pocket Scholarship from the Army ROTC, which he earned in a rigorous and competitive scholarship application process. He credits the leadership experience he gained in the Army and in ROTC with spurring his interest in teaching and mentoring. “I love training, teaching, and leading anyone and everyone, especially cadets/soldiers,” he said.

Upon retiring from the military, Hiser said that he would like to write a novel and teach English to share his love for writing and literature with others. We sat down with Hiser to learn a bit more about his ASU experience before he’s off to his next post: officer’s school.

Question: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study in your field?

Answer: Long story short … I wanted to be a writer and have always loved words. Unfortunately for me, there are so many talented writers at ASU that I was not one of those selected into the creative writing focus. As a result, I switched over to the literature side of the English degree. My first semester of the degree, I had 24 books to read in four months. Despite the stress of reading and the work that comes with it, I absolutely fell in love with the feeling of absorbing knowledge while reading. I was never a big reader growing up, but something inside me clicked — now reading four books at once — and everything about literature became so interesting. I fell in love with the writers, the words, the stories, everything.

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you, that changed your perspective?

A: In my ENG 332 Jewish Writers and The Cold War class, I had a bit of a revelation. This class was unbelievably inspiring. The writers we talked about can only be defined as geniuses. The revelation came in the word these writers often used: “intellectuals.” Intellectuals, as presented by these writers, were the upper echelon of thinkers who did not conform and sought excellence. I found a bit of a home in this word and found myself striving to think like an intellectual might.

Q: What’s it like to switch between such a physical, practical discipline — the military — with the intellectual and creative discipline required for your English literature degree? Is there a disconnect?

A: There is definitely some disconnect between the two, but they also translate nicely. The military is a very structured and precise organization. Leaving that lifestyle does not always go well for some as life outside the military can be very chaotic and unfocused. Being in ROTC helped because there was still a small trace of that disciplined structure even though academics are the main focus instead of military operations. That being said, the military does rely on intellect and creativity, but it is in a different way.

Where English lit focuses more on the imagination and analyzing of thematic purpose in literature, the military is more about creative problem-solving and focused decision-making in planning. I will say, having a military background did help me to focus and push myself in my studies. I woke up at 5:30 a.m. every day of school; gym at 6 a.m.; classes throughout the day; work before, after or weekends; I did homework whenever I had free time; and I was typically always asleep by 10:30 p.m. It might sound crazy to some, but the routine is normal and crucial to service members.

I would say I owe my academic success to the teachings of my military lifestyle regarding hard work. I also think I will owe future success to my literature background because I have learned new creative ways of thinking, read books about different cultures to understand people and have developed an analytical process applicable to military strategy. The English department and its professors have benefited my experience greatly.

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: I chose ASU because my family moved to Arizona. I had not seen them more than one week every year due to being in the military for four years. The ROTC program at ASU is also one of the most elite in the nation, ranking in the top eight of all programs. Additionally, ASU is one of the biggest, most well-known schools in the country, and I still cannot really believe that I am about to be an alumnus of this amazing university.

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?

A: I would be remiss if I didn't mention two professors here. First, (Assistant Professor of English) Brian Goodman is one of the most interesting professors I have ever had. His passion and expertise were so refreshing and inspiring to experience. He brought out a love for reading in me and made everyone feel comfortable in sharing their observations no matter what they were. I would also like to mention (Professor of English) James Blasingame. After the military, I want to teach English, and he made learning so fun. His love for teaching was beautiful to be a part of, and I hope to bring that energy to my classroom. Both of them taught me that it is okay to think differently than those around you because your way of thinking is unique to you.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: The best thing I can say is just to relax and try to breathe. School can be hard, and life does not always make it easier. When things get hard, just take a step back and breathe. You can do this; just be the best possible version of yourself, and give it your all.

Q: What was your favorite spot for power studying?

A: I kind of studied all over actually. I typically wrote essays at home, but sometimes I would end up in the library to write. As for reading, pretty much anywhere outdoors where there weren’t too many people at one time. The Secret Garden is nice, but so is the beautiful scenery inside the Farmer Education Building. Just watch out for mosquitoes!

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: After graduation, I will be commissioned into the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant. I will go to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, to my basic officer leader course for the field artillery branch. I plan to make a career in the Army and serve for as long as I can. While serving, I plan to pursue my master’s degree in hopes of bettering myself to one day teach English in high school or potentially at a college.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: There are so many issues in our world that need our attention, but if I had $40 million, I would put it all toward saving animals on the brink of extinction. The reality of that mostly means saving their habitats — from the humid, beautiful rainforests to the cold landscapes of the arctic. The good news is that saving them likely means the world is being saved, too. So, I think it is a good place to start because of the positive effects it could have on everything else in the world.

Kristen LaRue-Sandler

Manager, marketing + communications, Department of English

480-965-7611

ASU Army ROTC program awarded 2021 General Douglas MacArthur Award


March 18, 2022

Arizona State University’s Army ROTC program was recently recognized as one of the top Army ROTC programs nationwide with the 2021 General Douglas MacArthur Award.

Presented annually by the General Douglas MacArthur Foundation, the award recognizes the top eight Army ROTC programs among 274 programs nationwide.  ASU Army ROTC graduating cadets seated in a row, wearing ceremonial regalia at the 2019 Spring Commissioning Ceremony. Graduating cadets at ASU's 2019 Spring Commissioning Ceremony. Download Full Image

“This honor from the General Douglas MacArthur Foundation represents a huge team accomplishment for the cadre and staff that support the program at Arizona State University daily, but more importantly, for the phenomenal cadets that fill the ranks of the Sun Devil Battalion,” said Col. Mark Olsen of the 5th Army ROTC Brigade.

ASU’s Army ROTC program was selected for a combination of achievement in commissioning mission, cadets' performance during Cadet Summer Training and retention rates. In their last fiscal year, the Sun Devil Battalion added 50 commissioned officers, with program enrollment increasing by 17% in the last academic year. 

“ASU’s Army ROTC has now been recognized as not only one of the largest, but among the very best training programs for producing our nation’s next generation of Army officers,” said Paul LePore, associate dean in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

“To be recognized as one of the top eight ROTC programs in the country is a testament to the hard work and commitment put forward by our Sun Devil cadets along with the outstanding learning and training environment established by the cadre officers and enlisted men and women that lead ASU’s Sun Devil Battalion.”

The program continues to expand its reach through new universitywide collaborations including the Tactical Athlete Seminar, a three-day program on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus that trains cadet coaches to lead physical training programs in partnership with ASU’s College of Health Solutions.

“The 86-year-old partnership established between Arizona State University and the Army ROTC program is enduring, thriving and all around exceptional. Not only does this exceptional program continue to exceed their assigned mission year after year, they do so with the quality that we demand to succeed on the global stage,” Olsen said.

Emily Balli

Multimedia specialist, New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

ASU Army ROTC, College of Health Solutions partner to provide specialized cadet training program


February 8, 2022

Last month, Arizona State University’s Army ROTC and the College of Health Solutions joined forces to hold the second-ever semi-annual Tactical Athlete Seminar, a three-day program on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus to train cadet coaches to lead physical training programs at ASU and Grand Canyon University.

Through the program, over 20 ROTC cadets gained tactical proficiency in a number of areas, including foundational movement, coach-to-coach mentor training and recovery nutrition. ASU professors and subject matter experts taught cadets how to develop a physical training plan that will allow them to improve their performance on the Army Combat Fitness Test.  ASU ROTC students lifting weights. Jray Sotiangco (left) and Sean Valentine (right) during the Tactical Athlete Seminar on Jan. 4. Photo courtesy ASU Army ROTC Download Full Image

This is the beginning of a new partnership between ASU’s Army ROTC and the College of Health Solutions to accelerate the university’s cadet physical fitness program

“This program will lay a strong foundation in combat readiness for cadets as they progress in their military careers and lead as officers in their future units,” said Capt. Tim Martin, assistant professor in the Department of Military Sciences. “We have already seen tremendous improvement in cadets’ (Army Combat Fitness Test) scores from fall semester and look to build on that moving forward this spring.”

Three faculty members from the College of Health Solutions led and designed the programming: Lecturer Rachel Larson, Senior Lecturer Joe Marsit and Assistant Professor Floris Wardenaar.

Larson instructed cadets on fitness during the seminar, focusing on assessment, mobility and strength, resistance training and exercise programming.

“The seminar is important not only for our students within the College of Health Solutions but also the ROTC students. Our seminar educates and equips leaders within the ROTC program with the proper knowledge to assist their underclassmen and fellow cadets with training to meet fitness standards. With more knowledge on proper fitness preparation, training can occur in a safe and productive manner,” Larson said. “With the new occupational opportunities within the military for strength and conditioning professionals, our students will be better equipped to apply and be selected for these positions.”

People lifting weights

Grand Canyon University students Viviana Mora (left) and Nicole Hartley (right) during the Tactical Athlete Seminar on Jan. 4. Photo courtesy ASU Army ROTC

Larson added that the response from participants has been overwhelmingly positive, and the faculty will continue to improve the programming to meet student needs.

“It has been an honor to work with such a great group of individuals. These cadets are able to gain the valuable experience they need to succeed,” she said. “All of the faculty involved have been very engaged and dedicated to the education of our Sun Devil Battalion. We have worked to refine the seminar and have offered two (weeklong) courses already."

One of the seminar participants was Crystal Pittman, a senior working toward a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies with a minor in military leadership, who is the cadet command sergeant major for ASU’s Sun Devil Battalion. Having served in the Army for 10 years, Pittman said she enjoyed the hands-on experience provided through the seminar and is eager to utilize the skills she learned in her future career.

“The tactical athlete seminar gave me tools to better myself as an athlete and a soldier, and to also be able to coach other cadets and develop them,” Pittman said. “This program gives you foundational information that you can take with you and develop into a stronger, faster, more agile soldier and athlete, which in turn will make you more resilient and perform better.”

Moving forward, those involved hope to continue the momentum of the seminar, conducting it regularly at the beginning of each academic semester.

The next Tactical Athlete Seminar will take place in fall 2022. Students interested in participating should contact Joe Marsit and join the Athletics and Tactical Performance Affinity Network in the College of Health Solutions.

Emily Balli

Multimedia specialist, New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Sun Devil Battalion wins regional Ranger Challenge Competition, places 5th overall


December 2, 2021

This fall, Arizona State University’s Sun Devil Battalion participated in the Ranger Challenge Competition, a two-round varsity sport where Army ROTC teams from across the country compete in events that test mental and physical toughness. The team placed first in the regional round and fifth in the overall competition.

“I am extremely proud of the way the team came together and executed. From the beginning this team had a mindset that they would go to this event and win, and they went out and did it,” said Capt. Tyler Alavekios, an assistant professor in the Department of Military Sciences. “Nearly all the members had never competed before, so no one really knew what to expect from the event. The win validated the focus and effort our team has put into not only training the team but into how we train cadets.” The Sun Devil Ranger Challenge team poses with the battalion guidon after being named winners of the regional Ranger Challenge Competition. Photo courtesy of ASU Department of Military Sciences Download Full Image

The challenges the cadets participated in included basic rifle marksmanship, an Army physical fitness test, a written navigation test, day and night orienteering and a grenade assault course. Each team that participates is awarded points based on how well they perform in each event. 

The first round of the Ranger Challenge took place at Fort Bliss in Texas from Oct. 22–23. The Sun Devil Battalion was one of eight teams competing from Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. In this round, the Sun Devil Battalion placed first and was one of two teams from the region to move on to the second and final round. This was the first regional competition win for the team since 2009.

The final round was held at Camp Gruber in Oklahoma from Nov. 5–7. There, the Sun Devil Battalion placed fifth among 10 teams from Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. 

The Sun Devil Battalion’s Ranger Challenge team was made up of seven students from ASU and four from Grand Canyon University.

“In less than a week, the team quickly developed trust, confidence and cohesion to excel during their competition during physical and marksmanship events,” said Lt. Col. Erich Schneider, a professor in the Department of Military Sciences for ASU and GCU Army ROTC. 

Jack Frus, a third-year student double-majoring in civic and economic thought and leadership, and political science, with minors in history and military leadership, was part of the Sun Devil Battalion’s Ranger Challenge team and has previously participated in the Ranger Challenge. 

Jack Frus (left) and Dane McCall hold the Task Force Jicarilla Ranger Challenge Competition trophy. Photo courtesy ASU Department of Military Sciences

He said this year's competition was more than just a physical and mental challenge for him.

“Participating in the Ranger Challenge allowed me more time to hone in on my skills as a soldier and put them to the test. It also allowed me to build better camaraderie and trust with my fellow cadets,” Frus said. “My favorite part of the Ranger Challenge was the shared experience between myself and the other cadets in the challenge. We built strong bonds through intense training and rigorous competitions. In stressful situations, trusting one another is the key to success when under extreme pressure.”

Frus, who hopes to serve in the Army Special Forces and eventually hold a leadership position within the government, said participating in the Ranger Challenge has helped prepare him for his future.

“The Ranger Challenge also gave me a better understanding of basic soldiering skills that will aid me in my career,” he said. “I would recommend the Ranger Challenge to anyone who wants to serve in a combat-arms role in the Army, or even for anyone who wants to challenge themselves in a new way.”

The goals of the Ranger Challenge center on developing leaders while fostering teamwork, a sentiment that is similarly at the heart of ASU’s Army ROTC program.

“By having cadets participate in the Ranger Challenge, we increase our ability to generate quality leaders of character for our university, community, state and nation,” Schneider said. “I am confident that our cadets built trust and confidence in one another that will serve as the foundation for many more competitive teams to come in the future of the Sun Devil Battalion.” 

Emily Balli

Multimedia specialist, New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

 
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New Army ROTC initiative connects past with future

May 17, 2021

Program will provide mentorship for ASU cadets

A new program at Arizona State University will carry the name of a legendary Arizona figure and ASU’s first Alumni Association president with the goal of mentoring tomorrow’s leaders by connecting them with those who came before.  

The Department of Military Science recently established the ASU Army ROTC James McClintock Hall of Fame and inducted its first two alumni members during the battalion’s commissioning ceremony held at Tempe Diablo Stadium May 5.

“This was a project that was important to me, important to our former senior noncommissioned officer Master Sgt. Cunningham and important to Mrs. Robbins, who really did all the work to make this happen,” said Col. James Sink, professor of military science and Army ROTC commander, during the ceremony. “The reason it is important to us — it’s because I saw it not only as a way to honor people who’ve had a huge impact on this ROTC program but also to reconnect our program, our cadets, to officers like the ones you’re about to meet, former officers Col. James Barker and Lt. Col. Dallas Eubanks.”

Lisa Robbins, Army ROTC business operations specialist, has worked for seven years at linking the university’s military history with ROTC. One link to honor this history is by holding commissioning ceremonies for their cadets at Old Main, which is where the original Corps of Cadets held military formations in the 1880s. But they wanted to do more.

“Two years ago we started working on the hall of fame,” said Robbins, who grew up in an Army family. “We wanted to honor individuals who went above and beyond to advance the Army ROTC program at ASU. By starting this program we hope to establish a tradition of mentorship.”

Robbins' father, retired Lt. Col. Jerry Lape served his final military assignment as the executive officer for ASU Army ROTC. Her brother graduated from the program in 1985. With these program connections, in addition to her nine years working for the department, Robbins is enthused about what the hall of fame can mean for the unit.

“I look forward to seeing it grow over the coming years,” Robbins said. “We look to establish a link between the program’s history and the future. It will allow a connection between past graduates and people who have had great impact on the program to mentor our current and future cadets as they go forward into a life of service.”  

The first two inductees attended ASU in the late 1980s.

Barker was commissioned as an armor officer from ASU in 1988. He spent 26 years in the Army at various places in the U.S., Korea and Germany. Barker served in combat as a battalion task force scout platoon leader during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in Iraq in the early 1990s, where he earned the Silver Star for “gallantry in action.” He returned to the region in recent years as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

After being inducted to the hall of fame, Barker addressed the cadets.

“Those of us in uniform, we are in the people business,” Barker said. “It’s the people that make the equipment function, that give us the opportunities to train with it, that maintain it with us and for us, and help us to employ it in combat if necessary.

“Leadership truly is about empowering your subordinates, it’s about empowering them with the responsibility and authority to do their job, and then it’s about holding them accountable — expecting them to know and do that job.”

Eubanks is the current Army ROTC recruiting operations officer at ASU. After commissioning at ASU in 1987, he went on to serve 21 years in the Army as a field artillery and fire support officer. He served in operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Joint Guard in Bosnia. Eubanks was also inducted in the U.S. Army ROTC National Hall of Fame in 2016.

“When I returned to ASU in 2015 to work for the Department of Military Science, it was surreal being back where it all began,” Eubanks said. “It’s an honor to help recruit and mentor future Sun Devil Battalion alums, and I’m lucky to have come full circle and be back here at ASU.

“As for being inducted into the hall of fame, I’m so humbled with the recognition, thankful to my family for their support along the way, and thankful to the noncommissioned officers and soldiers I served with throughout my 21 years of active duty.”

As the first two inductees, Barker and Eubanks are now responsible for working with the ROTC commander to develop by-laws and procedures for selecting future former cadets to the hall of fame, with the intent of organizing an induction every year around homecoming weekend. 

“This year is the beginning of a new tradition to honor deserving classmates and future generations of Sun Devil lieutenants with future induction into this hall of fame,” Eubanks said.

McClintock was part of the first Territorial Normal School at Tempe graduating class. The school later became ASU. McClintock was also part of Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders and fought in Cuba during the Spanish-American War, where he was seriously wounded. McClintock continued his military service after being elected colonel of the First Arizona Infantry. He went on to volunteer in several organizations, including serving as first president of the Normal School Alumni Association,  Rough Riders Association, and as the first commander for the Spanish War Veterans for the Department of Arizona. He was an educator, historian and community leader.

Top photo: Lt. Col. Dallas Eubanks (left) and Col. James Barker, both retired, stand at attention while being inducted into the ASU Army ROTC James McClintock Hall of Fame, during the unit's commissioning ceremony at Tempe Diablo Stadium, May 5. Photo by Lisa Robbins/ASU Army ROTC  

Jerry Gonzalez

Media Relations Officer , Media Relations and Strategic Communications

 
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October 30, 2019

Tradition points to ASU’s commitment to all who serve, national defense

Arizona State University has a long history of supporting those in uniform, but the stance became university tradition in 2011 after the first Salute to Service was held to celebrate active duty military members and veterans.

This year Salute to Service runs from Nov. 1–11 with events scheduled across all ASU Phoenix-area campuses. Event organizers invite the campus community and the public to get involved.  

The event theme — “Salute to Service through service” — points to a broadening of the idea of service beyond the military, said Steve Borden, director of ASU’s Pat Tillman Veterans Center.

“Few actions in life are more honorable than dedicating your life to serving others,” said Borden, a retired U.S. Navy captain and co-chair of the Salute to Service committee. “Whether you served in uniform as a member of the military, as a first responder or as a civilian dedicating your life to public service or helping those in need at home or abroad, it is all these selfless endeavors that we strive to recognize during Salute to Service.” 

RELATED: 6 ASU veterans share the keys to their success in college

ASU contributes in the veteran, service and national defense space through robust academic and support programs, and other far-reaching initiatives. To gain perspective on the range of the university’s military focus and achievements, here are 10 unique ASU facts:

1. The Pat Tillman Veterans Center supports more than 9,200 military-affiliated ASU students.

In the past five years, enrollment of student veterans and other military-affiliated students using GI Bill and/or Department of Defense tuition assistance benefits has more than doubled. Per capita, ASU boasts more military-affiliated students than most other universities, ahead of schools traditionally known for military friendliness, such as Syracuse, Texas A&M and Colorado State.

2. ASU faculty includes more than 150 members who have served in the U.S. military.

Over 460 military veterans work at ASU, including 151 in the faculty and 312 who are university staff.

3. The first and only university Public Service Academy in the nation to date resides at ASU.

The Public Service Academy, a unit of the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, prepares students for careers in public service through a challenging program that provides unique education and service opportunities with the goal of building character-driven leaders. Established in 2014, the academy graduated its first student cohort in May 2019. 

4. Every year ASU researchers work on vital defense projects.

In fiscal year 2019, ASU researchers submitted $186 million in proposals to the Department of Defense, received more than $50 million in award obligations and reached more than $36 million in DOD-funded research expenditures. 

5. ASU researchers are helping the U.S. Army discover how best to use pollen to trace origins of explosives and other materials.

With support from a Department of Defense Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative grant awarded by the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Laboratory through its Army Research Office, faculty with ASU’s Center for Spatial Reasoning and Policy Analytics are using forensic palynology to improve the U.S. government’s ability to identify where and when weapons of mass destruction are moving.  

6. ASU is home to one of the oldest Army ROTC programs in the nation.

Army ROTC was established at ASU in 1935, followed by Air Force ROTC in 1948, and Navy and Marine Corps ROTC in 2010.  The ROTC programs combined host over 450 students. Upon graduation, students are commissioned as officers in their respective service branches. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences houses and supports all the ROTC programs.

7. Through the Melikian Center, ASU offers world-class language training for ROTC cadets.

ASU’s Melikian Center Critical Languages Institute offers intensive training in Armenian, Russian, Bosnian and 12 other Eastern European languages. The center also supports ROTC-specific training through Project Go, a summer program in Persian, Russian, Turkish and Uzbek.

8. Education industry publications consistently recognize ASU for its veteran programs. Current accolades include:

  • The Military Times Group Best for Vets 2019
  • Viqtory Military Media “Military Friendly” Silver Award 2019-2020
  • College Factual #10 Top Colleges for Veterans
  • U.S. News & World Report #2 Best Online Programs for Veterans, #3 Best Online MBA Program for Veterans

9. ASU leverages the experience of top military leaders through its Flag Officer Council.

Created in 2014, the council provides advice and perspective to the university including ASU President Michael Crow, faculty and staff on matters of national significance. The council consists of retired military generals and admirals who served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. They are leaders who have worked in the highest levels of government at home and abroad, combating terrorism, responding to national disasters and defending the homeland. They are experts in complex decision-making, leadership, strategic planning, business development and many other fields.

10. The Veterans ASU Alumni Chapter serves as a focal point for veteran graduates.  Many alums have distinguished themselves through military and public service, including: 

  • Allan McArtor: ’71 MSE, former Air Force fighter pilot and Vietnam veteran, chairman and CEO of Airbus Group and former administrator of U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.
  • Barbara Barrett: ’72 BS, ’75 MP., ’78 JD, current Secretary of the Air Force.
  • Barry Bruner: ’80 BS, retired Navy rear admiral, commanded Submarine Group 10, Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base, Georgia.
  • Daniel Yoo: ’84 BS, Marine Corps major general, currently commanding U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
  • John Goodman: ’71 BS, retired Marine lieutenant general, commanded Marine Forces Pacific and served as director of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance.
  • John Kenyon: ’85 BS, retired Coast Guard captain, former commanding officer of U.S. Coast Guard Activities Europe.
  • Margaret Woodward: ’82 BS, retired Air Force major general, commanded air forces during Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya.
  • Mark “Marshal” Dillon: ’83 BS, retired Air Force major general, former vice commander of Pacific Air Forces Command, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.
  • Pat Tillman: ’97 BS, former Army corporal, star ASU and Arizona Cardinals football player.
  • Phillip Breedlove: ’91 MS, retired Air Force four-star general, former commander, Supreme Allied Command, Europe, U.S. European Command, Stuttgart, Germany.
  • Ronald “Ron” Shoopman: ’72 BS, retired Air Force brigadier general, president of Southern Arizona Leadership Council and member of the Arizona Board of Regents.
  • Ryan Cleckner: ’08 BS, former Army Ranger sniper, veterans activist and vice president at Remington Outdoor Company.
  • Todd Canterbury: ’92 BS, Air Force brigadier general, current commander 56th Fighter Wing, Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.
  • Vern “Rusty” Findley: ’76 BS,  retired Air Force lieutenant general, former vice commander Air Force Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base Illinois.
  • Victor Petrenko: ’83 BS, Army brigadier general, former deputy commanding general and chief of staff for U.S. Army Accessions Command, Fort Knox, Kentucky.

For more details about ASU’s military programs, download the “Arizona State University: A leader in national defense” brochure.

Peggy Coulombe of the ASU Office of University Provost contributed to this article.

Jerry Gonzalez

Media Relations Officer , Media Relations and Strategic Communications

ASU, Army partnership funds master's degree programs

The new fellowship program will fully fund programs in any field for qualified students


February 4, 2019

A new partnership between the Office of Distinguished Graduate Fellowships and the U.S. Army Department of Military Science at Arizona State University will identify and fully fund selected incoming master’s degree students.

This new partnership — the ASU/Army Master’s Degree Fellowship Program (A/A MDFP) — was put together by Joshua Brooks, program manager of distinguished graduate fellowships, and Dallas Eubanks, Army scholarships officer for the Department of Military Science. Students on military scholarship outside Old Main on ASU's Tempe campus. Download Full Image

A/A MDFP will fund incoming master's degree students at ASU in any field of study who are interested in serving as an officer after graduation in either the Army, National Guard or the Army Reserve. The A/A MDFP award includes full tuition, a monthly stipend and an allowance for books/supplies. The funding for this program is theoretically unlimited; however, the nature of logistics and administration will put some degree of restraint on the number of students accepted into the program. A/A MDFP is a competitive fellowship, requiring an application, interviews, writings and fitness test. Current applicants to the program must be newly admitted or intending to apply and must be under 30 years of age.

This program also comes with a built-in career. Students can choose their department or field (humanities-focused, STEM-focused or professional) and, upon graduation, will begin their position at an elevated pay rate and with an officer’s rank.

Fellowships that both fully fund master’s degree programs and guarantee executive-level jobs immediately following graduation are very rare. This new partnership between the Office of Distinguished Graduate Fellowships and the U.S. Army Department of Military Science at ASU is a significant endeavor.

For more information, register for the student information session at 3 p.m. on Feb.12 in the La Paz Room of the Memorial Union.  

 
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Salute to Service: Dynamic military couple part of ASU community

November 4, 2018

West Point grads share perspective, whirlwind experiences

If they weren’t so humble, active-duty Army Capts. Natalie and Ed Mallue could serve as the face of a major beer label’s advertising campaign and be dubbed “The Most Interesting Couple in the World.”   

They graduated from the grueling U.S. Military Academy. They conquered Ranger school, the Army’s toughest feat of human physical and mental endurance. They returned recently from South Africa where they served as military advisers for a major on-location Hollywood movie production.

And they made headlines when former President Barack Obama called them to apologize for disrupting their wedding in Hawaii.  

The Mallues are a dynamic duo who have been “stationed” at Arizona State University since the summer of 2017, with Natalie pursuing a master’s degree with ASU’s School of Sustainability and Ed serving as an assistant professor of military science with Army ROTC. They represent the vast diversity and talent found within the ASU community and stand as a physical reminder of why the university organizes Salute to Service each year to recognize those who have served.

Salute to Service, which begins Monday, is a weeklong celebration that includes military-appreciation athletic events (including the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' Flag Football Tournament), performances, panel discussions and activities sponsored by student clubs.

“I think it’s great for ASU to do Salute to Service,” Ed said about recognizing the relatively few people who have worn the military uniform. “Less than 1 percent can actually serve. It’s a pretty small population of the United States.”

Celebrating service also plays another important role. It helps narrow the widening civil-military divide, Natalie said. More and more of those who are joining the military are coming from military families.

“There is definitely a problem with now creating a separate class of military members among society; that’s a huge issue I see in the future,” Natalie said. “When you have universities or communities attempting to get people mingling together, I think it’s a great thing.”

While here, the Mallues have seized the opportunity to mentor military students and, in the case of Natalie, dispel military myths among her civilian graduate-school peers.

“It’s been really nice to talk with my classmates … many of them have had no contact with military people,” Natalie said. “I consider myself an ambassador to the Army, because there are a lot of people that come into grad school with preconceived notions.”

Natalie has shattered some of the more inaccurate notions, including a popular one that military members are “war-hungry, hard conservatives.”

“There are multiple people that I’ve run into that really thought I was going to be like that,” said Natalie, who grew up near Portland, Oregon. “I feel like I’m a pretty typical person. I may have achieved some cool things, but there are plenty of other people out there just like me (in the military). You find the broad spectrum of experiences, backgrounds, political beliefs, religious beliefs.

“You find a diverse set of people. We are not all one mold.”

One of the coolest achievements for Natalie and Ed was having their wedding at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in 2014, which included that timely phone call from the former president.    

The couple scheduled their special day on the Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course’s scenic 16th hole in December, known to be the time of the year when the president typically flew in to play. They knew it was a gamble, but like good soldiers, they pressed on with the mission. They even tried to coordinate with the White House by sending the president a letter to inform him of the impending nuptials.

“It was an invite, but it was also like, ‘Hey, we’re getting married on this golf course, so probably not a great time to play golf,’” Natalie joked. “It was a little more tactful than that, and it also included an invitation.”

On their way to the rehearsal dinner the day before, it happened. Golf course staff called and delivered the bad news. The wedding location needed to change because the president would indeed be golfing the next day. Security reasons prohibited anyone not affiliated with the president’s entourage from being on the golf course.

“I didn’t take to that information too well,” said New Jersey native Ed, who initially wanted to personally call the president to complain but soon regained his composure. “So we’re like, ‘All right, we’re going to have to put in some hasty planning and figure out a new solution.’”

Fortunately for the Mallues, their wedding planner saved the day. She found a better location on a bluff above their original spot, which was quieter and had an even more astonishing view. The golf course refunded their money, and they still held a beautiful reception nearby in the backyard of the Marine Corps base commander’s house.   

Shortly after the wedding ceremony, in the middle of taking pictures, the unexpected phone call came.

“I had my phone in my pocket, and it kept vibrating; it wouldn’t stop,” Ed said. “I picked it up, and it was the White House press secretary and he said, ‘Hey, I have President Obama next to me and he would like to speak with you.’ Who says no to that, so I said, ‘OK, put him on.’”

They put the president on speaker, and some in the wedding party videotaped the lively conversation. News outlets got wind of the event and produced stories using the two-minute video clip.  

“He apologized; he felt really bad,” Ed said. “He would have adjusted his plans if he would have known. I felt like that was extremely nice and genuine. It made our day.”

More recently, the Army engineers had another encounter with fame. Actress Milla Jovovich invited Natalie, a 2017 Ranger School graduate, to work as a military consultant during the filming of a new movie in Cape Town, South Africa. Natalie and Jovovich had worked previously to develop the movie’s characters. Because Army force-protection rules prohibit soldiers from traveling alone to certain locations, Ed had the opportunity to accompany his wife on the just over two-week trip.  

“What an experience being on set,” Ed said. “We were linked in with the stunt team, which is a lot of fun. We talked directly with the director … and then they offered us a part in the movie. So we got to act a little bit.”

Natalie and Ed played the small role of Marine pilots, who unfortunately die in the movie. Ed is not sure if their scenes will survive the movie’s editing process.  

The Mallues' next adventure comes after Natalie graduates from ASU in 2019. They will return to the place where their military life started, West Point. Natalie will teach geography to the Army’s future leaders, and Ed will hold a senior staff position. Meanwhile, they will be missed.

“The Sun Devil Battalion is fortunate to have a great Army couple like Capts. Ed and Natalie Mallue,” said Lt. Col. James Sink, professor of military science for ASU Army ROTC. “They are great leaders for the Army, awesome role models for our cadets, and have made a lasting impact on our program.”

For now the Mallues are enjoying and appreciating the remainder of their time in Tempe.

“It's been really nice,” Natalie said. “It's really good for a person to step outside the military bubble for a little bit every now and then if you have the opportunity.”

In celebration of Veterans Day, Arizona State University proudly honors veterans and active members of the military through Salute to Service. Your support helps veterans succeed. Text ASUVets to 41444 to donate to the Veterans Education Fund or visit veterans.asu.edu to learn how you can honor a veteran. 

Jerry Gonzalez

Media Relations Officer , Media Relations and Strategic Communications

Join the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' third annual Salute to Service Flag Football Tournament


November 1, 2018

Student veterans, cadets and midshipmen will compete for the third annual flag football tournament title to honor America’s service members as part of Arizona State University’s annual Salute to Service celebration.

“This event is a great opportunity for Sun Devils to show their support to the men and women who have served or are planning to serve in our nation’s military,” said Paul LePore, associate dean for student and academic programs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Players at Salute to Service flag football game in 2017 Download Full Image

LePore said the college takes pride in helping ASU — which received the designation of a Military Friendly School for the ninth consecutive year — fulfill its commitment to the military, active-duty members of the armed forces and veterans and their dependents.

The college will host the third annual Salute to Service flag football tournament on Sunday, Nov. 4, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Sun Devil Stadium. Fans are encouraged to join the college for a morning of competition, community and camaraderie.

Since the founding of the Department of Military Science in 1935, the college has been the proud sponsor of ASU’s three Reserve Officer Training Corps programs. ROTC cadets and midshipmen from aerospace studies, military science and naval science, along with student veterans from Pat Tillman Veterans Center, will contend for the esteemed Dean’s Cup.

The event is free and open to the public. Fans should enter Sun Devil Stadium at the southwest entrance.

In celebration of Veterans Day, Arizona State University proudly honors veterans and active members of the military through Salute to Service. Your support helps veterans succeed. Text ASUVets to 41444 to donate to the Veterans Education Fund or visit veterans.asu.edu to learn how you can honor a veteran. 

ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences honors military members


December 1, 2017

In celebration of Veterans Day, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University honored and appreciated veterans and active members of the military during Salute to Service.  

Organized by ASU’s Alumni Association and the Pat Tillman Veterans Center, the annual Salute to Service tradition pays homage to the nation’s men and women in uniform. Students, faculty and staff planned more than 20 special recognition and service-themed events across the university, ranging from an interactive military experience to a veteran’s career appreciation mixer. ASU's Salute to Service flag-football game Student veterans from Pat Tillman Veterans Center kneel during an afternoon of competition, community and camaraderie at the 2017 Salute to Service flag-football tournament. Photo by Max Conacher Download Full Image

“It’s an opportunity for the university to focus on the relationship we have with the military and veterans. That relationship has to do with the students who are here and the faculty and staff who may have served,” said Paul LePore, associate dean for student and academic programs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “It’s a time that gives us a chance to pause and take stock in what we have as a country and to thank our military men and women for their service.”

This year, the Salute to Service theme was dedicated to the “Legacy of Service.” The annual week of events honored the generation of men and women who bravely served in the Vietnam War. 

“As a Navy Vietnam veteran, I was happy to receive the respect and honor that was not there when we came back from our tours,” said Michael Wold. “I was humbled to be in the presence of the other Vietnam vets who were being honored since they gave much more than I did. It was a memorable event for me. I thank the many people at ASU who worked so hard to make it a success.”

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, in partnership with the Pat Tillman Veterans Center and ASU’s Office for Veteran and Military Academic Engagement, hosted a Salute to Service reception, “50 Years After Vietnam,” and the second annual Salute to Service flag-football tournament.

“We are proud to honor the service of veterans and active-duty military members during ASU’s Salute to Service,” said Patrick Kenney, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “These events help us recognize all the men and women who have made sacrifices to serve this great nation.”

On Thursday, Nov. 2, the college held the Salute to Service reception in the backyard of Manzanita Residence Hall. The attendees were able to browse photographs from the "Veteran Vision Project" by alumnus Devin Mitchell, who is committed to helping veterans heal and spread awareness about the challenges they face. The project captures the striking diversity of veterans and their unique experiences in uniform as well as their lives after service.

“Over the last few years, we’ve highlighted different elements of the military service folks,” said LePore. “This year, we focused on the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. We had local vets who served come to the reception, and they were honored as part of a photo exhibition and one of their own spoke.”

Colonel Patricia Little-Upah, a member of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps who retired after serving 30 years, was a distinguished speaker at the event. She talked about her various positions and experiences throughout her military career. She has held many titles — including officer in charge of ICU, chief nurse, interim commander and commander of the 6253rd U.S. Army Reserve Hospital in Phoenix — and she has served in many places, such as Saudi Arabia and Long Bien and Da Nang in Vietnam.

“It is always a blessing to be able to hear the accounts of those who have served before me,” said Maj. Melinda Santos, assistant professor of aerospace studies and recruiting flight commander for the Air Force ROTC Detachment 025. “To learn and glean lessons from the trials and sacrifices of those who valiantly dedicated their service is truly humbling. I was taken back by the overwhelming support ASU provides to our military, not just during Salute to Service but every day.”

On Sunday, Nov. 5, the college geared up for its second annual flag-football tournament during the Salute to Service festivities. The tournament honors America’s service members for their courage and sacrifice while representing a source of pride for the college: being home to ASU’s ROTC programs.

Student veterans from Pat Tillman Veterans Center and cadets and midshipmen from the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine ROTC units competed to take home the coveted Dean’s Cup during an afternoon of competition, community and camaraderie.

This year, Navy ROTC won the tournament and will have the honor of “owning” and proudly displaying the Dean’s Cup trophy until next year.

“I think the success of the event rests in the fact that the groups are competitive; they want to win,” said LePore. “There are a lot of folks who work together in order to make this tournament happen, and it’s a nice way we can support our future military leaders along with our current student veterans.”

LePore said the event exemplifies the college’s commitment to supporting student veterans and ROTC members. The tournament gives cadets and midshipmen the opportunity to connect with student veterans, compete and focus on their service while preparing for a future in the military.

“The college understands the importance of service,” said Kenney. “We recognize the enduring legacy of all patriots in times of peace and war — past and present.” 

Rachel Bunning

Communications program coordinator, School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies

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