Veterans Corner: Professor Shane Cox

by Bailey Earls, Layout Editor

Courtesy of Simpson College

Since 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 Professor Shane Cox.

Cox grew up in Des Moines and graduated from Lincoln High School. Before continuing his education, he joined the Navy in 1996-2000, about 6 months after graduating high school. Cox attended boot camp in Illinois then moved out to San Diego, Calif. He started off as a deck seamen apprentice. 

“I worked basically the labor: fueling, painting, cleaning, pulling the ropes, some of the hardcore labor,” Cox said.

He then moved up to a third-class petty officer Gunner’s Mate. He was one of the individuals in charge of the missile launchers on the ship.      

“It was a little frigate which is about a 445-foot ship that had a single-guided missile launcher on the front.” Cox said. “I was in charge of maintaining that (guided missile launcher), gun shoots, in the event that we were ever attacked we were the first line of defense with 50 cal and basic firearms.”

Cox found the experience to be life transformative. As the years go by, he reflects on the experience differently. 

“At the time it was intense.” Cox said. “You can’t understand the magnitude until you go out there.”

He lived on the USS Sides for two years but served four years. Within those four years, he went on two six-month deployments in the Pacific Ocean and traveled to different countries where he got to experience different cultures and religions.

“What I took away from it was looking back now how when you go and serve active duty you really do serve because you’re away from your family,” Cox said.

Cox joined the Navy because he was a first-generation student and wanted to go to college.

“My friend joined the Navy and, as a joke, he gave my other friend’s name to the recruiter and, as a joke, that friend gave my name to the recruiter,” Cox said.

After many attempts from the recruiter, Cox finally decided to join.

“I signed it, and I didn’t really understand how it was going to shake out, but I started figuring that out as I served.”

After his service in the Navy, Cox went to DMACC for two years. He then transferred here to Simpson College in Jan. 2003 and graduated in May 2005 with a degree in accounting. After spending a few years in public and private accounting, Cox went to Drake University to obtain his MBA.

Now he is the accounting professor here at Simpson and has been teaching for 12 years.

For those who are considering service Cox encourages you to, “Really think about what you want to do, what you want your experience to be. If you’re in the marines, for example, it is a whole different experience then if you were in the Navy or the Army.”

Simpson College thanks Professor Shane Cox for his service.