Warrior-scholar: Warrior-scholar:

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Warrior-scholar: Warrior-scholar:

ining Program of Excellence | Training Program of Excellence | Training Program of Excellence | Training Program of Excellence | Training Program of Excellence | Training ProgStudents of the Warrior-ScholarProject listen to the welcome address.(Warrior-Scholar)Warrior-Scholar:Easing the Service-to-Study TransitionThe Warrior-Scholar Project seeks to providesupport through dedicated tutoring andmentoring of those wishing to transitionfrom servicemember to student.By David R. Howell, WSP Director of StudiesHundreds of thousands of veterans now attend college,but many do not make it through their freshman year andmost do not graduate. While the G.I. Bill provides the means,there is a need to help veterans find the way. Supporting thetroops also requires supporting their transition to civilian lifeafter years of service to their country.In that sense, the Warrior-Scholar Project (WSP) is aninitiative to provide war heroes, veterans, and servicemenand women with the tools and the skills to operate aseffectively in college as they do on the battlefield. OperationOpportunity held its inaugural WSP in summer 2012 at YaleUniversity, where we sought to help these warriors becomescholars by utilizing their drive, discipline, and motivation tolearn effectively in an immersive, inspiring setting.We all had the privilege of being taught by acclaimedprofessors such as Pulitzer Prize winner John Lewis Gaddis;former Reagan White House Official Charles Hill; renownedscholar of Ancient Greece and the Pelopanesian War DonaldKagan; ineffable scholar of the humanities Norma Thompson;and towering intellectual Adam Tooze, alongside the exceptionalguidance of professors like Karin Gosselink, Alfie Guy, andRyan Wepler at the Yale Writing Center and Michael Fotosand Barbara Stuart from the Political Science and EnglishDepartments, respectively.During dinner discussions we also had the fortune of talkingwith Deans Jeff Brenzel and Bill Whobrey about how to navigateundergraduate admissions and choose academic institutionsand with veteran psychiatrist William Sledge about how to dealwith the challenges and stresses of post-war civilian life.Conceiving the ProjectThree Yale students, Jesse Reising, Nick Rugoff, andChristopher Howell worked together to found the non-profitOperation Opportunity with the hope of providing greatereducational opportunities for veterans and the children of fallenservice members.26 | Combat & Casualty Care | Q1 2013www.tacticaldefensemedia.com


am of Excellence | Training Program of Excellence | Training Program of Excellence | Training Program of Excellence | Training Program of Excellence | Training Program of ExcPulitzer Prize-winning author Professor John Lewis Gaddis leads a seminar with the Warrior-Scholars. (Warrior-Scholar)Jesse Reising’s life-longdream was to join the U.S. MarineCorps. While a student at Yale, hecompleted Marine Corps OfficerCandidate School. However, in thefinal game of his college footballcareer, Jesse was seriously injuredand his right arm was partiallyparalyzed.“The goal of earninga college degree hasbecome a priority for me,and the experience I hadat Yale has shown methat regardless of whereone is at in life’s journey—the opportunities arethere for the taking.”Despite the injury, Jesse still feltcompelled to follow his dream, andso he approached Nick Rugoff,a friend and classmate, aboutstarting a non-profit initiative aimedat providing greater educationalopportunities for veterans and thechildren of fallen servicemembers.Nick then introduced Jesse tohis neighbor, Christopher Howell, a former Australian specialoperations soldier who was studying at Yale.–Stephen Lewis, Gulf War veteranWhile he excelled in the military, Chris hoped to eventuallyleave and attend college before his thirties. To help make thattransition, Chris’ brother David taught him how to read scholarlyessays, how to write well, and how to study efficiently. That“academic boot camp” of sorts gaveChris the skills to excel in his first yearat the University of Sydney. In fact, incontrast to his time in high school, Chrisconsistently performed at the top of hisclass, which paved the way for him totransfer to Yale through its Eli WhitneyProgram for mature age students withextraordinary backgrounds.Chris told Jesse and Nick about hisexperiences transitioning to universityfrom the military and how he’d alwayswanted to somehow formalize theprocess and compress it into a coursethat would offer other veterans similaropportunities. Jesse, Nick, and Chrisdecided to partner together and createthe Warrior-Scholar Project, and itsumbrella organization, Operation Opportunity. Veterans notonly have the potential to succeed in college but to be leadersin the classroom, and the program seeks to unlock thatpotential.More info: operationopportunity.orgwww.tacticaldefensemedia.com Combat & Casualty Care | Q1 2013 | 27

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