U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Praises Work of Student Veterans Organizations
Vice Admiral William A. Brown, deputy commander of the United States Navy’s U.S. Transportation Command at Scott Air Force Base, met with law students and other members of the campus-wide veterans group WUVETS recently to discuss the university’s support for veteran students.
“When anyone from the military decides to return to school, whether while on active duty or after finishing their service obligation, it is important that they have a community of people who can make them feel welcome and who have successfully made the transition from service member to student,” Brown said.
First-year law student, president of WUVETS, and president of the law school’s Student Veterans Association (SVA) David Marold also attended the meeting, along with second-year law student John Berosky, third-year law student Tim McHugh, and first-year law student Joshua Quaye.
“Vice Admiral Brown was very impressed with the progress WUVETS and SVA have made at Washington University, and he emphasized that when service members are deciding what school to attend, having these organizations can make a big difference,” Marold says. “Academic performance improves when those organizations are active on campus.”
Marold graduated from West Point and was commissioned as an infantry officer in 2008. After graduating from Ranger School, he became a platoon leader and company executive officer before being deployed to Afghanistan from 2011–12 as a reconnaissance platoon leader. He is attending law school under the Army Funded Legal Education Program, noting that the SVA is working on a scholarship for veterans who wish to attend law school at the university.
Meanwhile, the law school also offers internships to work in the Judge Advocate General (JAG) office at Scott Air Force Base. Berosky benefited from the internship program in the 2013–14 academic year. “Vice Admiral Brown discussed the potential for other Washington University schools to partner with Scott AFB, using the law school program as a model,” Berosky says.
Brown, who also met with Washington University Chancellor Mark Wrighton, left a lasting impression on the students.
“Talking with an experienced military leader was a great experience for all of us, and it reinforced many of the ideas and initiatives the student veterans discussed,” Marold says. “Our conversation helped to highlight the different opportunities for our two organizations to learn from each other. Given the large number of service members separating from the military over the next five years, it is important that everyone—from the administration to the professors to the students—is aware of the veterans on campus and the leadership and diversity they bring to all aspects of the university experience.”
McHugh is just one example of how military experience can lead to the study of law. He spent five years in the U.S. Army, stationed out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. A member of the JD Class of 2014, he now works for Hunton & Williams LLP in Richmond, Virginia.
“I saw first-hand what life without rule of law is like in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he says. “That experience inspired me to pursue a legal education and career.”
Timothy J. Fox, Summer 2014