AGEC student’s summer with the Military

Written by Kendell Combs, Junior, Agribusiness Management & Agricultural Communication

While many Agricultural Economics students spent their summer working at an internship, there were a few students who sacrificed their time to serve with the military. Mitch Perkins (Junior; Applied Agricultural Economics; Wolcottville, IN) spent his summer at the Marine Corps Officer Candidates School in swampy and hilly area of Quantico, Virginia.

There, he devoted six weeks to officer training. His days started early with physical training known as PT, which involved the trainees running through the wooded hills and obstacle courses every day.  Calisthenics was also an essential part of PT. The rest of Mitch’s days were typically spent in class learning about the rich history and customs of the Marines and what it means to be a leader of the Marine Corps. 

Mitch admits that the Officer Candidates School is a physically, mentally and even emotionally stressful time, yet he has gained so much out of his experience. Sergeant Instructors, like what most know as a Drill Sergeants, constantly yell and push your limits every day that you are there. On top of this, everything you do at Officer Candidates School is testable. This means that everything Mitch learned in class as well as leadership, tactics and physical fitness was up for evaluation. “They accept nothing less than the best to lead United States Marines.” According to the official website of the United States Marine Corps, the mission of Officer Candidates School (OCS) is to educate and train officer candidates in Marine Corps knowledge and skills within a controlled and challenging environment to evaluate and screen individuals for the leadership, moral, mental, and physical qualities required for commissioning as a Marine Corps officer.  Mitch believes that the Sergeant Instructors really know how to develop leaders by testing how trainees react under different levels of stress and failures. He can apply the mental toughness and learning tactics he gained over the summer to his future career with the Marine Corps as well as his experiences here on Purdue’s campus.

Michael Johnson (Senior; Agribusiness Management; Zionsville, IN) also spent his summer with the military in Fort Knox for advance camp.

Agricultural Economics, 403 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907 USA, (765) 494-4191

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