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Office of the President
University of the Pacific
3601 Pacific Avenue
Stockton, CA 95211
209.946.2222

Veterans Day 2016

     Seal of the US Navy    US Army Seal    Seal of the Air Force    US Marines Seal    Seal of the US Coast Guard

This Veterans Day, Learning + Development honors veterans serving in staff and faculty roles across Pacific's three campuses. We asked them about their experiences in the military, the leadership lessons they learned from their service, and ways that we can be a more veteran/military-friendly university.  Click on their profiles to read full responses below. Reach out and get to know your fellow Pacificans!

Dr Mark Christiansen

Dr. Mark Christiansen

Founding Director
Physician Assistant Program

Sacramento Campus

 Lieut Jason Darling 

Jason Darling

Lieutenant
Dept of Public Safety

Sacramento Campus

Ron Ellison

Ron Ellison

AVP
University Budget and
Financial Services

Stockton Campus


Hector Escalante

Ombuds

All three campuses
(Office at Stockton Campus)

Jed Grant 
Jed Grant

Admissions Director
PA Program

Sacramento Campus

Steven Hamer 
Steven Hamer

Program Assistant
CPCE

Stockton Campus

Sean Metter

Sean Metter

Accounting Manager

San Francisco Campus

Chad Reed

Chad Reed

Veterans Resource Coordinator

Stockton Campus 

 
Army Seal  

Ruby Roman

Records Coordinator
Office of Admission

Stockton Campus


Randy Schwantes

Director of Internal Audit
& Compliance

Stockton Campus

Faye 
Faye Snowden

Senior Project Manager
Pacific Technology

Stockton Campus

 Marine Seal
Zac Spurlin

HRIS/Compensation
Analyst, HR

 Stockton Campus

Are you a veteran who'd like to share your experience and/or connect with other veterans on campus? If so, fill out this form here.  

 

Mark Christiansen, PhD, PA-C, Founding Director, Physician Assistant Program, Sacramento Campus


In which branch did you serve, for how long, where you served, and any other info you'd like to share. 

I served for three years in the U.S. Army as a medical corpsman. I trained at Fort Leonardwood, MO, and Fort Sam Houston, TX. I was stationed for two years in Germany and spent the rest of the time at Fort Detrick, MD, at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRID). I later joined the U.S. Air Force as a physician assistant and served for twenty years mostly at Offutt AFB, NE, except for a call to active duty during Desert Storm in 1991 when I was stationed at Tyndall AFB, FL.   

What are a few leadership lessons you learned from the military that you still practice today?
Some of the lessons I learned are: Respect the chain of command, camaraderie with your fellow soldiers or airmen, and service to your fellow man and your country.   

What aspects of working at Pacific are similar to the military?  
There is a structure and hierarchy (chain of command) that needs to be respected and worked through to get things done.  There is a service component to what we do. Service to the students and to the community. 

What are different?
The specific rank structure does not exist at Pacific with separation between officers and enlisted personnel. There is some separation between staff and faculty duties, but it is much different than my experience with military structures. In the military you are often separated from family support, and you really need to stick together with your fellow service members. There is some sense of that here, but it certainly is not as strong.    

What can Pacific do to become a more military/veteran-friendly University?
The Yellow Ribbon Program is a good start. Providing support to veteran students is important — how to use their GI bill most effectively, etc. I also think we could do much more to connect with the military bases in the general area for recruiting. We can also give paid time off for our current reservists and national guard.   

What have I not asked, but should ask other veterans at Pacific?
What does your service mean to you as a person? Especially for those veterans who have been involved in direct combat it is important to acknowledge that they have been through experiences that the rest of us can not even imagine. Being thanked for service is a good start, but I think just a willingness to acknowledge their sacrifices as well as the sacrifices of their families and to have a listening ear are also key components of understanding veterans.  

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Jason Darling, Lieutenant, Department of Public Safety, Sacramento Campus


In which branch did you serve, for how long, where you served, and any other info you'd like to share.  

I joined the University of the Pacific Sacramento Campus as a public safety officer in June 2010 and was promoted to sergeant in 2014 and to lieutenant (assistant director) in 2015. I enlisted in the U.S. Army as an airborne ranger in 1993. I spent my first year in training at Ft. Benning, GA, where I was recruited by The Presidential Honor Guard (Old Guard of the Army) and spent the next three years at Ft. Myer, VA. Duties there included White House and Pentagon details, foreign dignitary escorts and Full Honor funeral services at Arlington National Cemetery. Ft. Myer was also the home of the Army Drill Team and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

After completing my enlistment, I served as a special police officer for the Department of Defense; as a contractor for the Department of State, where I provided construction security management for diplomatic construction projects (Embassies and Consulates) at various locations worldwide; and as a deputy sheriff with the San Joaquin County Sheriff's and Coroner's Office. I also worked and lived abroad for 10 years in Russia, China, Croatia, Kenya, the United Arab Emirates, Luxembourg, Afghanistan, Ecuador and Nicaragua. 

What are a few leadership lessons you learned from the military that you still practice today?
The military taught me discipline, team work, to pay attention to detail, to always work hard, to always complete your mission no matter how difficult, and never give up. It taught me that everyone has a job to do and when everyone does their job the task or mission can be completed efficiently and accurately. Training is important so everyone knows their job; training is everything. I was taught to take care of others first and to help with what I can in any given situation. I was taught to learn as much as I can about all the working pieces of a task, project or mission, because you never know when you might find yourself in charge of a situation.

What aspects of working at Pacific are similar to the military?  What are different?
A lot of what I do at Pacific is very similar. As a public safety officer, I try and keep our campus as safe and free of interference so that the students, staff, faculty, visitors and guests to campus can have the best experience possible. The difference is the campus is open to outside entities, which creates a very different set of safety concerns. In the military, I was usually on a secure facility where everyone was processed through security, so a certain level of safety was expected and almost guaranteed once inside.

What can Pacific do to become a more military/veteran-friendly University?
Veterans are pretty happy with someone just saying "Thank you for your service," but believe it or not, most veterans don't always need to be recognized regularly for their service. We served because it was important to us and our families. My grandfather served in the U.S. Air Force for 26 years and fought in WWII and the Korean Conflict. My father was drafted into the U.S. Army and fought in Vietnam. We all have different reasons for serving, but served nonetheless. Pacific doesn't recognize Veterans Day as a holiday, so here is my thought: maybe Pacific could offer Veterans the day off with pay on Veterans Day as gratitude of military service from Pacific.

 

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Ron Ellison, Associate Vice President for University Budget and Financial Services


In which branch did you serve, for how long, where you served, and any other info you'd like to share.
U.S.Navy 4 years; Maryland, Hawaii, Japan  

What are the main leadership lessons you learned from the military that you still practice today?

  • Teamwork — In a battle casualty situation, the crew shares responsibility for carrying out the mission, defending the ship and addressing the casualty (in order to save the ship). That takes the whole crew — everyone has a part to play.
  • Taking responsibility/owning the outcome/being accountable — If you see a problem you own it. It is your responsibility to see it to resolution.
  • Keep it clear and simple — Assure that plans are easily understood and executable.  

What aspects of working at Pacific are similar to the military?  What are different?
The Navy and Pacific are similar in that they are both learning cultures. The acquisition and application of knowledge is highly valued and forms the basis for all we do. Like the Navy, Pacific is rich in history, tradition, symbols, pride, reputation and acronyms. Military/Veteran Learners share the same types of financial challenges, family issues and accommodation needs as their fellow Pacific students.

Unlike the Navy, college life is less disciplined and many faculty, staff and fellow students cannot relate to their Military/Veteran student peers — traditional students usually do not have the same strong team/peer relationships as their service member contemporaries. Many military and former military (non-traditional) students come to Pacific with significant prior college experience and transfer credits — enrolling more transfer students is an area that Pacific is beginning to turn its focus toward.  

How might Pacific benefit from leadership styles you experienced in the military?
Just as here at Pacific, there are as many different leadership styles in the U.S. Navy as there are leaders. I believe whatever leadership style that enables individuals and organizations to adapt and thrive in challenging environments, fosters common purpose, builds rapport and trust within and between units, engenders good and timely decisions and empowers individuals to make independent decisions and actions is vitally important for any organization to be successful.  

What have I not asked, but should ask other veterans at Pacific?
One question I'd like to ask is — What can Pacific do to become a more military/veteran-friendly University?  

Is there anything else you'd like to share or contribute?
Go Navy!!! To all who have served, thank you for your service and Happy Veteran's Day!!!

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Hector Escalante, MA, MFA, Ombuds

In which branch did you serve, for how long, where you served, and any other info you'd like to share.
I served in the U.S. Marine Corp. I was a radio man for an infantry unit and also served in an amphibious beach assault unit. My job was to establish communications once we hit the beach or desert. We specialized in desert and jungle warfare. I was considered a "jungle  and desert rat."  

What are a few leadership lessons you learned from the military that you still practice today?
I learned that there are good and bad leaders in the military, and I had my share of both. The military does a good job of promoting people, but at times it was a revolving door. Decisions regarding who would lead were often based on need. I had some really good leaders who taught me a lot about integrity, resilience, purpose and innovation. The best leaders acknowledged my skills and taught me new ones. The worst leaders saw no potential in me and ignored me.  

What aspects of working at Pacific are similar to the military?  What are different?
The chain of command is similar; however, there aren't too many other similarities. The main difference is that the military spends a lot of resources to train soldiers and officers who lead soldiers. There is a camaraderie within units that is rare in the workplace. I do think Pacific can attain that type of workplace culture, but it will take time and resources.   

What can Pacific do to become a more military/veteran-friendly University?
Recognizing veterans for their service is a good step. I know Pacific appreciates its veteran students and we could do a better job acknowledging them and welcoming them into the Pacific culture.  

What have I not asked, but should ask other veterans at Pacific?
I wonder if veterans feel like they fit in at Pacific and if they feel appreciated? I would ask them how they would like to be involved with Pacific and how they can bring their areas of expertise to the Pacific culture.    

Is there anything else you'd like to share or contribute?
I enjoy working for Pacific and I especially enjoy being part of leadership. I think that my military training and secular experiences have prepared me to be a better Pacifican, and I hope to continue contributing to a healthy workplace environment here.

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Jed Grant, MPAS, PA-C, Admissions Director, Physician Assistant Program, Sacramento Campus


In which branch did you serve, for how long, where you served, and any other info you'd like to share.

I am a currently serving as captain in the Army National Guard as an aeromedical PA. I have been in the Army for 15 years, six years on active duty and in the Guard for nine years. I started out as a combat medic, and attended PA school through the military and took a commission. I have been to Panama, Germany and Ukraine with the Army, as well as serving at various posts in the U.S., including Fort Sam Houston, TX; Fort Irwin, CA; and Fort Knox, KY.   

What are a few leadership lessons you learned from the military that you still practice today?   
It is hard to distill all I have learned about leadership from my military service into a few phrases, but I would say the most critical things are: always be willing to say the hard things, embrace honest evaluations, support your subordinates, accept responsibility, experience matters — seek it, lead from the front, identify and train your replacement as soon as possible, and always be positive, because things are never so bad that they can't get worse.   

What aspects of working at Pacific are similar to the military?  What are different?
Like the military, Pacific has organizational structure and chain of command with traditions and values focused on the mission, with accountability for outcomes. Unlike the university environment, there are hard times and often no trigger warnings or safe spaces in the military, but we work hard to make things as fair as possible.   

What can Pacific do to become a more military/veteran-friendly University?  
I think Pacific does a good job at being veteran friendly, particularly with the Yellow Ribbon program. As a current Guardsman, I would like to be able to serve without burning my vacation time. I also think we should be reaching out to the nearby military installations for recruiting. I think it would be good to be careful about being inclusive of veterans both as students and faculty/staff — it is easy to feel like an outsider in the educational environment, because it is so different from our time in the service. I recall many times not contributing to groups or in class, because I knew that my opinion was not in line with the instructor or many of the other students in the class. Education, particularly in undergrad, should be about exploring ALL viewpoints in a respectful dialogue where parties can disagree without being disagreeable. Veterans have a lot to contribute and have opinions formed on experience, which is markedly different than the average student, but will not usually share unless invited to do so in an environment conducive to open dialogue without bias.

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Steven Hamer, MPA, Program Assistant, Center for Professional and Continuing Education (CPCE)


Please introduce yourself: In which branch did you serve, for how long, where you served, and any other info you'd like to share.

I served 20 years active duty — 18 overseas — in the U.S. Air Force. From the Far East to Europe and the Middle East, I was fortunate enough to experience parts of the world I'd previously only read about or dreamed of. One of the high points of my career was serving in Berlin and witnessing first-hand the fall of the Berlin Wall, the eventual re-unification of Germany and, a short time later, the end of the Cold War.           

What are a few leadership lessons you learned from the military that you still practice today? 
The military instilled in me a sense of confidence, personal responsibility and dedication to service before self, no matter what position I held in my organization. In addition to an ability to innovate and multitask while remaining focused on the mission at hand, setting an example for others remained then — as now — a priority.  

What aspects of working at Pacific are similar to the military?  What are different?  
Similar to many of the units in which I served, there is a sense of pride here — that feeling of being part of something special.  That pride extends to the teamwork approach to getting things done while taking care of one another in the process. Also similar to the military, there are plenty of opportunities for professional development. Perhaps the greatest difference — beyond the obvious absence of uniforms, morning formations and deployments, to name just a few — is a greater sense of personal independence.  

What can Pacific do to become a more military/veteran-friendly University? 
Like other institutions, Pacific can recognize that veterans bring a unique set of life experiences to the classroom. These experiences are not only the result of past deployments to far-flung reaches of the planet, but also the result of training and working with diverse groups of people. They are proven problem solvers, team players, effective time managers, and can be positive role models for their fellow students and the Pacific community.  

What have I not asked, but should ask other veterans at Pacific?  
Beyond graduation, what are your career goals?  How can Pacific help you achieve them? As part of the Pacific community, are there any academic or professional development programs you would like to see offered in the near future, and would you be willing to assist in creating them?  

Is there anything else you'd like to share or contribute?   
In many respects, veterans share similar goals and expectations as other non-traditional students, i.e., those pursuing their college degrees after time spent raising families, working full-time, and facing a host of life's challenges. Both groups are adept at multi-tasking and time management and have as their primary goal the completion of their degrees and moving on into their chosen professions. For them, the degree is a culmination of years of hard work and, in many cases, personal sacrifice. Their dedication and perseverance can be considered a positive example for Pacific's younger student population as well as future Pacific students currently in both the high school and community college setting.       

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Sean Metter, Accounting Manager, San Francisco Campus


Please introduce yourself: In which branch did you serve, for how long, where you served, and any other info you'd like to share.

I was a sergeant in the U.S. Army. I served on active duty for four years (2006-2010) and in the reserves for two years (2010-2012). While on active duty I was stationed at Fort Jackson, SC, and Fort Lewis, WA. I also deployed to Kuwait as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, November 2007 – January 2009.  

What are a few leadership lessons you learned from the military that you still practice today?
The biggest thing I took away from the military was teamwork and trust. You cannot be successful in the military unless you have a trust in the soldiers to your left and to your right and you can count on each other to do their job. No matter what supplies, tools, weapons, etc. we had at our disposal, nothing matched the human tenacity and ability of each person on the team. I learned that the people I had the responsibility for leading were by far my greatest asset, and that I needed to provide them with all the possible tools and training available so they could do their job to the best of their ability. I still operate under that mindset to this day. I strongly believe that the people I work with on a daily basis our my greatest asset and my job is to support them so we can be the best team possible.  

What aspects of working at Pacific are similar to the military?  What are different?
Well, I get to go home every night while working at Pacific! Maybe during fiscal year-end it doesn't quite seem like that since I typically catch the last BART train out of the city, get some sleep, and come back into the office and do it all over again. But other that, I get to spend much more time with my family. No more year-plus-long deployments to the sandbox.        

The thing I do like very much about Pacific, compared to other non-military jobs that I've held, is the sense of teamwork. I do feel there is a similarity between Pacific and the military in this sense. The people I've had the opportunity to work with over the past five years have been tremendous. People work very well with one another, all trying to contribute to our goal of providing outstanding service to our students and help grow and improve our school. People genuinely care for one another and a sense of community and teamwork can be easily observed. It was one of the major reasons I accepted a position at Pacific about five years ago. While interviewing, I met a large number of people that had many years of service at Pacific. Companies do not get to keep so many longterm employees unless they are doing something right!  

What can Pacific do to become a more military/veteran-friendly University?
I don't really know what Pacific can do to become more military friendly other than to provide a streamlined and knowledgeable staff that understands the educational benefits veterans receive so when veterans are applying to our school we can help them through the process to get the benefits they are entitled to. Dealing with the VA is a headache. If a university can help make that process easier, I think that would be a great service to our veterans.  

What have I not asked, but should ask other veterans at Pacific?
As I said before, the greatest asset of the military is its people and the teamwork they demonstrate. Any business, Pacific included, should try and emulate that teamwork as best as they can. People are by far the greatest asset any business has and companies need to understand that to reach their full potential. I would imagine if you asked any other veterans at Pacific, you would probably get a similar response.

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Chad Reed, MA, Veterans Resource Center Coordinator, Stockton Campus


Please introduce yourself: In which branch did you serve, for how long, where you served, and any other info you'd like to share.

Marine Corps/eight years. Military Police/three combat deployments to Al Anbar Province of Iraq     

What are a few leadership lessons you learned from the military that you still practice today? 
The first  leadership lesson that I gained from the military is the idea of leading from the front. This type of leadership enables leaders to inspire their co-workers and employees by setting the bar themselves and not expecting employees to meet objectives that they themselves are not capable of doing.

The second leadership lesson I learned from my time in the military is that leaders and supervisors are there to "lift up" their employees and co-workers and not the other way around. This can happen through a vast array of activities such as mentoring, collaborating, or by simply talking the time to really focus on the various needs of an employee.   

What aspects of working at Pacific are similar to the military?  What are different? 
Similar - Highly structured, hierarchical, bound in tradition, substantial amount of "customs and courtesies," team focused   
Different - Less specific directions for promotion     

What can Pacific do to become a more military/veteran-friendly University?
Put more emphasis on actively recruiting student-veterans and veteran staff/fFaculty   
 

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 Ruby Roman, Records Coordinator, Office of Admission, Stockton Campus


Please introduce yourself: In which branch did you serve in, for how long, where you served, and any other info you'd like to share.
I served in the Army for two years and was stationed at Fort Sill, OK, Fort Sam Houston, TX, Fort Lee, VA, and Wheeler Army Airfield, HI. I received an honorable discharge in 2013 and later gave birth to twin boys. Now I'm thrilled to say I work at UOP.

What are a few leadership lessons you learned from the military that you still practice today?
Punctuality, organization, and staying focused. The military is huge on advance preparation and organization, being ready to switch gears at a moment's notice, working until the mission is completed, and to absolutely never keep people waiting. My former drill sergeants literally said, "If you're on time, you're late!"  

What aspects of working at Pacific are similar to the military?  What are different?
During my time in the Army there was a huge initiative encouraging soldiers to advance their skills and knowledge by taking additional training courses and going back to school. People in the Army who held college degrees received higher rank and pay. I enlisted in the Army with an automatic promotion from E1 to E3 simply for having an associates degree. Pacific definitely shares with the Army philosophy in personal advancement through education by providing staff members and their family's tuition remission and offering tons of educational support through Learning and Develop classes and certification courses at the CPCE. My supervisors are completely supportive in my decision to go back to school and I'm proud to say I'm currently enrolled in the Organizational Behavior Program here at Pacific to obtain my bachelors degree.  

The biggest difference between the Army and Pacific would be in the company culture. The Military serves the needs of America first and foremost. A service member must be ready to deploy at a moment's notice therefore making higher education a bit more challenging to obtain. Here at Pacific we're free to learn in a beautiful, peaceful environment.   

What can Pacific do to become a more military/veteran-friendly University?
This survey is an awesome start and in addition maybe we can find ways to connect veterans here on campus. I don't personally know anyone else on campus who has served.  

What have I not asked, but should ask other veterans at Pacific?
Why they chose Pacific or what has their experience been like so far? For me, as a staff member it was an easy transition going back to school, especially with the help of so many staff members here on campus. Pacific's VA Rep Melissa Bailey has helped me every step of the way, Dave Hamlett keeps me on track ensuring all of my requirements are met, and Financial Aid and Human Resources have been awesome.  

Is there anything else you'd like to share or contribute?
The Org B program rocks!

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Randy Schwantes, CPA, CISA, CIA, CFE, Director of Internal Audit & Compliance


In which branch did you serve in, for how long, where you served, and any other info you'd like to share.
 
I served in the Army for 12 years. I started in Virginia with the Old Guard — this is the unit that guards the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and performs burials in Arlington Cemetery. It was the subject of the movie Gardens of Stone. I served as a Chaplain Assistant. I also served at Ft. Belvoir, VA, as an operations Sergeant for four chapels. I also served five years in Wurzburg, Germany, managing funds for over 40 congregations.  

What are a few leadership lessons you learned from the military that you still practice today? 
The biggest leadership lesson was understanding that before a decision is made, you should share your opinions on the subject freely and extensively. Once a decision is made by leadership, it is a leader's obligation to work wholeheartedly to make the decision successful whether we personally agree or not. Putting the good of the organization above our personal or departmental needs is important.  

What aspects of working at Pacific are similar to the military?  What are different?
I think the university has a really good sense of camaraderie. For the most part, staff and faculty are focused on the mission of the university and students. Changes, however, come much more slowly at the university. In the Army, within a large unit, if a commander made a decision, it was disseminated quickly and the unit followed through. Following through on decisions is much more fractured in a university environment.

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 Faye Snowden, MA, Senior Project Manager, Pacific Technology


In which branch did you serve, for how long, where you served, and any other info you'd like to share.
I served in the U.S. Navy for five years many moons ago; spent time in Washington D.C. and lived three years in Italy.

What are a few leadership lessons you learned from the military that you still practice today?
Be strong when you need to be, but primarily try to lead by listening and coaching; give people something to believe in and be invested in. I also learned to be accountable and take responsibility. 

What aspects of working at Pacific are similar to the military?  What are different?
I can't think of many similar aspects, but the family atmosphere you find in some departments reminds me of my years in the Navy. Definitely NOT as structured as the military! 

What can Pacific do to become a more military/veteran-friendly University?
Have more veteran activities and publicize them. Think about a support group for those just coming out of the service, and find some way to reach out to them. Let them know that they are welcome and have our support.

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Zac Spurlin, MBA, Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS)/Compensation Analyst


In which branch did you serve, for how long, where you served, and any other info you'd like to share.

U.S. Marine Corps 1996-2000. I was stationed at MCRD San Diego, CA (Marine Corps Recruit Depot), and then Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twenty-nine Palms, CA or as we called it Stumps. The military I served in was post-Desert Storm and Pre-9/11. It was a "peaceful" time to be in the military.    

What are a few leadership lessons you learned from the military that you still practice today?
The Marine Corps has two Leadership Objectives:                 

  • Primary Leadership Objective: Mission Accomplishment or in other words "Get the Job Done"                
  • Secondary Leadership Objective: Troop Welfare civilian translation "Take Care of Your People"                

I have always taken that with me, that true leadership comes from those two basic ideas of getting the job done and taking care of your people. In the Marine Corps this is solidified into the culture; for example whenever a unit or a group of Marines eat they will line up junior to senior, meaning that the lowest ranking person eats first and the highest ranking person eats last always!  What is great about this idea is that if food runs out then the Colonel or the General don't eat but the private does, reinforcing the idea that seniors are there to take care of their people. And that there is always a clear reporting and hierarchal structure.

What aspects of working at Pacific are similar to the military?  What are different?
There is definitely a rank structure here and that we all have our distinct role to support the university. In the Marine Corps, the primary function is combat operations. We have a saying that every Marine is a rRifleman, actually so much so that every Marine has to go through basic infantry skills training, qualify at the rifle range, and qualify using a gas mask, no matter what your job will be full time. Now everyone that is not in the infantry is simply combat support and that comes in many forms such as recruiting, food service, supplies, administration, finance and so on. To me, we are very similar because academics is our primary function and our infantry is our faculty serving on the front lines. Everything that isn't faculty is academic support and we should be doing everything we can to help support mission accomplishment.  

The biggest differences is that the Marine Corps was extremely intentional about leadership development. There is leadership training at every level from enlisted to the officers. This is ingrained in the culture and that you really can't advance unless you have attended this training. There is constant training and development, and that experience is rewarded.  

What can Pacific do to become a more military/veteran-friendly University?
Good question. Well I think the needs vary for each of the veterans and where they are at in their lives. For students, there should be resources dedicated to them for GI Bill, classes, life as they integrate back to society. These are older students that have seen a lot and are at different points in their lives as compared to the incoming freshman or transfer student. The ability to identify veterans and provide them a place or platform to connect with each other. There is always something nice about meeting a veteran and knowing that they know exactly what you mean if you let something slip like going high and to the right or know that a pizza box isn't a good thing. Veterans day seems like a day where there could be something provided like a lunch or something. I don't think there has to be a big celebration just a quiet nod and thank you, especially for your younger veterans. It's always funny how veterans have to work on Veterans Day here at Pacific.  

What have I not asked, but should ask other veterans at Pacific?
I think a good thing to know if any plans to recognize or celebrate veterans would be to find out how they want to be celebrated. Not everyone enjoys the spotlight so just finding out what that means to them and how the university could support that in a way that is meaningful.  

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Are you a veteran who'd like to share your experience and/or connect with other veterans on campus? If so, fill out this form here.