Veterans Spotlight: RJ Brown


Photo submitted to the Simpsonian

by Bailey Earls, Staff Reporter

November is National Veterans and Military Families Month. Simpson College recognizes and supports military personnel and veterans for their service.

This week’s spotlight is alumni RJ Brown.

What is your hometown? 

Tucson, Arizona.

What branch are you serving in? When did you join?

Army National Guard, I joined in Jan. 2019.

What has your experience been like? Do you have any memories of your experience? 

I am pretty new to the guard, as my first drill was in November. I have really enjoyed my experience making lots of memories from Basic Training and AIT (advanced individual training). I made some amazing buddies from all different parts of the country and even a few from all over the world. I got to do some pretty amazing stuff, such as shoot M4 Carbines, throw live hand grenades, ride in Black Hawk helicopters and so much more. I also had the opportunity to be mentored by some of the best professionals in the whole world and they have helped reframe my view on life and my career. 

Why did you enlist?

I originally only enlisted for the student loan repayment plan that the Army offers, but after being in the Iowa National Guard, I am finding out that there are so many more benefits that I receive. It is now going to make getting my master’s degree possible. 

How or why did you choose Simpson?

I chose Simpson College back in 2015 because I was recruited for wrestling. After digging more into the school and taking a visit, I knew I needed to go to school here. 

When did you graduate from college?

I graduated in May 2019.

Any advice for those who are considering service?

I would advise people to take a real good look into every branch, but specifically the National Guard. There are so many benefits that you receive from being in the military, including getting school paid for. While there may be some struggle from typical military hoops, the rest of what you get from it is totally worth it.