A humble, Michigan State chemistry graduate is making a difference by passing on his knowledge after joining the Army. Think313 had the opportunity to speak with Captain (CPT) Nick Shafer about his past experiences serving for our country and how they had transitioned him into his current career.
Nick, whose father retired from a career in the Army, decided to pursue becoming an Army Officer after completing college. Initially, Nick was not only motivated by the financial benefits that military service had to offer but also the development in career and personal growth that joining the force would bring. After enlisting in 2011, Nick attended Basic Combat Training and Officer Candidate School before commissioning as an Air Defense Artillery Officer. As his Army career has progressed, he’s served in a variety of leadership roles with increasing responsibility in Georgia, Texas, Kuwait, Oklahoma and Iowa. Also, during his active-duty service, he took advantage of the Army Tuition Assistance Program and is currently finishing a Master’s of Science in Operations Management from the University of Alabama.
For those unfamiliar with the rank structure of the US Army- Soldiers carry out orders, complete missions, and are integral to its success whereas Army Officers are the managers and planners of the Army. Commissioned Officers are responsible for planning missions, operations, and commanding units. Since completing the training required to commission as an Army officer, Nick has attained the rank of Captain.
Since 2016, Nick has been assigned as an Assistant Professor of Military Science (APMS) at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) in Cedar Falls, Nick leads classes made up of an arrangement of contracted cadets to curious college students. As an APMS, Nick is responsible for educating, training and mentoring students and cadets for future service as commissioned Officers in the US Army. The students in his course gain knowledge in topics such as small group leadership skills, followership, leadership theory, and an introduction to army tactics.
For those considering enlisting in the US Army, Nick suggests learning more about the part-time (Reserves or National Guard) or full-time (Active Duty) opportunities available to see if they align with your personal goals. He also suggests ensuring that the information received is timely and accurate – due to the dynamic requirements of a large organization such as the Army. It is crucial for potential Soldiers to conduct research and gather information to ensure that they are making the right decision for themselves.
Originally from St. Clair Shores, MI, Nick will be transitioning from Active Duty Service to a civilian career in October of this year. He is interested in using his military leadership experience and education to bring value to a future employer in an operations, project or supply chain management role in the Metro-Detroit area. To get into contact with Captain Nick Shafer- please reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or via LinkedIn.