B.S. Forest Resources '17
B.S. Fire Ecology & Management '17
M.S. Natural Resources '19
Cole enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 2009, a dream he had had since he was young. He served for four years as a 1345 Heavy Equipment Operator and deployed twice to Afghanistan. Once in 2011 to the Marjah District with the Engineer Company for Combat Logistics Battalion 7. Then again after an injury in 2012 to Camp Leatherneck with Redeployment and Retrograde in support of Reset and Reconstruction Operations Group. After returning home and finishing his active duty service he decided to pursue his passion of fighting fire. In 2013, with the support and encouragement from his wife Janessa, Cole decided to move to Moscow and finish up his bachelors degree and pursue a masters here at the university. Cole met his wife, Janessa, in 2009 and married just before his first deployment. In May 2017 he graduated with two bachelors, one in Fire Ecology and Management and the other in Forestry Resources. Upon graduation he accepted a position with the U.S. Forest Service and decided to complete a masters degree in Forestry with an emphasis in wildland fire. During his time in Moscow he has been active in the volunteer firefighting department where he’s met other combat veterans and community members that have helped him with the transition from military to civilian life. After completing his masters, Cole plans on working as a Silvicultural Forester for the U.S. Forest Service.
"Being a part of Operation Education as a scholar has been an extremely humbling experience. The amount of support I have received from the Operation Education program committee members and other scholars has been amazing. I cannot thank you enough for your support in empowering myself and other veterans with the opportunity to earn a college diploma".