By Michele Vogel
State Command Chief, Maryland Air National Guard
Over the past six months, I have been reflecting on my life after military service and specifically what I need to do to prepare to transition to a civilian career. I recognize the job market is extremely competitive, and it is essential to have a college education. It was during this reflection that I decided it was time to go back to college and complete my master’s degree.
Why I Chose GCU
Several years ago, I started a master’s program at Loyola University in school guidance counseling, and I was unable to complete it due to my military obligations and travel requirements. In 2012, I was selected for a new military position that required me to commute 90 minutes one way to work, in addition to frequent travel requirements assisting other units across the United States. As a result of the new requirements of my position and the travel, I had to take a leave of absence from college.
Following that position, I was selected for another position in 2014 that required even greater travel and did not allow for me to continue my education. During this educational leave of absence, I decided to change my area of study.
I have always considered myself a lifetime learner and I sincerely believe that in order to continue to grow and develop, one needs to make an academic investment in themselves. This is evidenced by my varied educational background, which has led me to this next academic chapter as I seek to continue my passion for learning and complete a master’s program.
I became interested in obtaining a degree from Grand Canyon University because of its reputation as a leader in Christian education. As a Christian, it is important for me to study in an academic environment that fosters religious principles and assists me as I grow and develop in my spiritual journey.
How Did I Get to GCU?
As is true with many individuals, I am a Christian, and I have a strong desire to serve others. I inherently believe it is our responsibility as human beings to work for the greater good and wellbeing of others, and to continually give back to our community and nation throughout our service to others.
I have honorably served in the Air National Guard, a component of the United States Air Force, for over 26 years. I have lived by the core values of integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do throughout my military career and personal life. These values and principles are extremely important to me, and it is equally important for me to follow my military service with a community-based organization that embodies the same values and principles.
In pursuing my education, I am hopeful I will be able to obtain a master’s degree and utilize this educational experience to assist me in obtaining a civilian career where I can continue to fulfill my desire to serve others. I wish to obtain a position where I can provide support and advocacy services to our military and veteran population as well as my community.
In terms of my personal and business goals, the first thing that comes to mind very simply stated is that I want to make a difference and have a positive impact on those around me. At the end of every day, I want to feel a sense of fulfillment, peace and comfort in knowing I have served others honorably, with passion and commitment.
With my passion for serving others and my commitment to academic and personal success, I am certain I will represent GCU in an exemplary manner, making the university proud to have me as an alumna.
Grand Canyon University proudly serves the military community, offering flexible learning options and scholarships off tuition. Learn more about our programs by visiting our website or contacting us today.
More about Michele Vogel:
Chief Master Sergeant Michele L. Vogel is the 11th Maryland Air National Guard State Command Chief. She serves as the personal advisor and key advocate to the Adjutant General and the Assistant Adjutant General for Air for the state of Maryland on matters of health, morale and welfare, professional development and the effective utilization of more than 1,400 Airmen assigned to the Maryland Air National Guard. Chief Master Sergeant Vogel enlisted in the Air National Guard and reported for Air Force Basic Military Training in September 1989. Her background includes numerous leadership roles at flight, squadron, group and wing levels serving in financial management, counter drug operations, airfield management, personnel, commander support staff, and as a Group and Wing First Sergeant. On a personal note, Chief Vogel has been married to her husband for 22 years and they have two children, ages 16 and 18. She is committed to improving the community through volunteerism and her spirit of continued service.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.