Years as a Camper:
1999-2004 camper, 2005 CILT summer
Years as a Staff Member/Positions held:
From 2006-2011 my positions included:
Years as a Professional Staff Member/Positions held:
Assistant Director of Personnel 2012-2013
Current Profession and Title/Years in role:
Lieutenant, U.S. Coast Guard, commissioned June 2021
Would you tell us a little about your career path from Camp to your current position?
When I was working as a full-time Director and thinking about how I wanted to challenge myself a little bit differently, I thought back to undergrad and two pre-law classes that I really enjoyed. I made the decision to leave Camp and attend law school, where I developed particular interests in maritime and admiralty law.
Both my parents and my time at Camp taught me the value of public service. While in law school, I learned about the Coast Guard Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps and recognized it as an opportunity to both practice maritime law and serve at a higher level. Additionally, Grant Thomas, who also serves in the Coast Guard, has been a friend and mentor of mine since he was my Head Counselor of Camp III when I was a camper. Grant spoke highly of the organization and its missions and he encouraged me to apply.
Coast Guard JAG is competitive and I was not selected after going through two application cycles as a law student. After graduating, I served as a prosecutor in Virginia for two years before becoming an associate at a law firm in Raleigh for another two years. Each of those experiences helped me become a better attorney but I could not shake off my unfulfilled goal of joining the Coast Guard. I decided, with the continued support of Grant Thomas, to reapply for a commission in the Coast Guard. I am thrilled to now be serving as a JAG.
Can you provide a brief overview of your job responsibilities?
In my initial billet, I serve as a Special Victims’ Counsel and I represent Coast Guard members who have been the victim of sexual assault during courts-martial and investigation. I also provide related counsel in the areas of military justice, administrative hearings, civilian criminal and civil law, and I ensure that my clients have access to the resources they need. My day-to-day schedule typically consists of meeting with clients, preparing written motions and briefs, and appearing in court-martial proceedings.
The position is relatively new and I think extremely important to provide victims of sexual assault with a direct advocate as they navigate a particularly difficult and emotionally taxing process.
How do the values or skills you learned at Camp show up in your everyday work and/or personal life?
I believe that I employ values and skills learned at Camp every day. In particular, I think that key components of leadership are represented by Camp’s core values and the Good Sport Award. Camp puts people in positions to demonstrate leadership from a young age. That starts with the autonomy you are given as a camper and extends through the responsibility you have as a high school and college age counselor leading a cabin group and components of an activity. Camp taught me how to set goals, take initiative, problem solve, and how to engage those around me to facilitate positive changes, all with the backdrop of respect, honesty, courage, and integrity. I’ve carried each of these skills into my legal career and they are especially important as a military officer.
Do you have a professional or personal accomplishment that you are most proud of or a goal you are currently working toward?
Professionally, I am most proud of a 25 count felony embezzlement conviction that I secured after a contested trial during my time as a prosecutor, which included several hundred thousand dollars in restitution to be paid to the victim, a family run business.
Is there a person or a situation that had a huge influence on you while you were at Camp? How and why did they/it impact you?
John Hyde returned to Camp as Program Director when I became a Sailing UA. That summer John spearheaded an effort to completely restructure the manner in which we taught fundamental sailing skills. John’s leadership made a distinct impression on me, particularly how he empowered those around him to feel ownership over the program and invest in its success. His collaborative approach facilitated a strong bond among the staff, whose excitement for the new changes fostered engagement from campers and ultimately resulted in a much more effective program. John inspired me to work hard as a Sailing UA working underneath him, but more importantly he modeled how to be an effective leader and how to drive institutional change. John continued to serve as a mentor to me as I became a full time director and I can only hope to emulate his leadership in my Coast Guard career.
Are there other connections you made at Camp that continue to be present in your life?
I’ve made some of my closest friends through Camp and I even met my wife E-beth when we were on staff together as Jr. Counselors. She’s completing a fellowship in pediatric hospital medicine at Children’s National Hospital here in DC. To really drive home the camp connections response, one of her oldest friends from Seafarer, Lexi Crawford (from the time when they were campers together in Cabin 8!), is also a fellow at Children’s National and her husband, Douglas Crawford, is a close friend of mine from when we were cabin counselors. E-beth and Lexi will be volunteer physicians at Camp this summer and Douglas and I shamelessly look forward to being able to enjoy Camp for a week!
Favorite Camp meal:
Grilled cheese and tomato soup
Do you have a hidden talent?
I am a decent curler (the illustrious and historied ice sport!)
What three words best describe you?
Easy-going, funny, and dependable
What profession other than your own would you like to try?
Favorite Camp memory?
Sailing winning the ACC when I was a Sailing UA