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Graduate Receives Commission as U.S. Army 2nd Lieutenant and Earns M.B.A.

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – MAY 31, 2012 – Armed with his Master of Business Administration degree and his gold bars commissioning him as a second lieutenant in the United States Army, Jose Campos now sets off for the next chapter of his life.

Jose Campos 
M.B.A. graduate and U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Jose Campos.

“It’s been a long journey,” Campos said. “Fourteen years ago, I left Brownsville the first time to join the military, and I’m happy to have this second opportunity, now going back in as an officer.”

At Spring Commencement at The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College, Campos crossed the stage to receive his M.B.A. The evening prior to Commencement, he attended another ceremony where his mother and brother pinned on his gold bars after he was sworn in as a second lieutenant.

A Brownsville native since first grade, where he was placed in an English-as-a-Second-Language class, Campos, now 32 years old, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps upon graduation from Brownsville Hanna High School in 1998.

While on active duty he was assigned to Marine Air Group 26, Marine Corps Air Station New River close to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. During this time, Campos took advantage of the Lejeune Education Center, where he received his Associate of Arts degree from Campbell University.

When his enlistment was up in 2002, Campos returned to Brownsville, joined Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 23rd Marines reserve unit in Harlingen in 2003 and began working on his bachelor’s degree at UTB and TSC the following year. However, his education was cut short when his reserve unit was activated, and in June of 2004, he was deployed with his unit for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Back to Brownsville and to college, Campos received his Bachelor of Business Administration in May 2007.

“Everyone here has been very helpful,” Campos said. “The counselors are knowledgeable and go above and beyond to answer questions, especially relating to my GI Bill. On a personal level, I am grateful to David Rivera at Veterans Upward Bound for all that he and his staff do for the veterans, and I also appreciate Jose Escobedo at the Veterans Resource Center for his help in handling my benefits.”

After graduation, Campos continued with his full-time job as a Staff Duty Officer at the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen, he did some substitute teaching at BISD, and he took some classes in auto mechanics. During this time, he decided to tackle remodeling his family home, top to bottom.

“My brother was in the process of relocating to San Antonio, but he delayed that to stay and help,” Campos said. “We poured our energy into the project. This kept both of us occupied and focused on something productive, and now we have a nice house for our mom.”

Campos decided to take the next step and work toward his M.B.A. All the while, he felt something was missing and he realized it was the military, so he began thinking about the possibility of returning to active duty.

“I know the military is not for everyone,” he said. “I’ve experienced that, and I am comfortable with the structure. To me, it isn’t just a job, it’s a lifestyle.”

Walking through the door of the university’s ROTC office opened another chapter in Campos’ life. The ROTC office and study lab became his second home over the next two years, studying and attending pre-dawn physical training sessions under the guidance of Capt. Eva Bratschi, Assistant Professor and Chair of the Department of Military Science.

“Lt. Campos will be a definite asset to the U.S. Army,” Bratschi said. “His prior service experience and leadership skills helped establish a solid troop chain of command, in which communication flowed freely to ensure all training events were meaningful.”

Now tying up loose ends, Campos departs Brownsville on May 31 for Fort Knox, Kentucky, where he will serve as an instructor for new cadets. He then will spend time at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, for a basic officer course in his future specialty of medical services.

“I hope to apply all I’ve learned here at UTB and in the ROTC program and from my previous experience as an enlisted Marine,” Campos said. “It will all help when I finally get to my first duty station.”

That won’t occur until December, but he says he is already looking forward to joining the 325th Combat Support Battalion Headquarters at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

For more information about ROTC, contact Diane Miles at 956-882-7621 or rotc@utb.edu. For more information about the Veterans Resource Center, contact Jose Escobedo at 956-882-4205 or jose.a.escobedo@utb.edu.

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