By The Major Brent Taylor Foundation
Rob Ferguson joined the Army in 2011. He explained, “I grew up patriotic, and I always wanted to follow in my dad’s footsteps. He loved to tell stories about basic training and learning to jump out of planes. He was such a huge influence in my life. My uncle spent two years in Vietnam. I admire both of them.”
Rob didn’t join the military right out of high school. “I already had my degree and decided to join at 34,” he remembers. He attended basic training at Fort Benning, GA. “At 34, everyone called me grandpa in my basic training class.” But the rest of his peers soon grew to respect Rob’s greater maturity.
“It’s a little similar in my work as a college professor. We get a wide variety of students, from young people to others in their 40s or 50s, and that extra maturity aids them in their studies. It was the same for me in the army. The drill sergeants recognized that and they didn’t give me too hard of a time.”
His father, Fred Ferguson, remembers his own time in the military. “My brother and I were both in the Special Forces, the Green Berets. The training you receive and the discipline you learn in the military has a positive effect on the rest of your life. To be successful in the Special Forces, you need to be very independent, good at making decisions, and a self-starter. These same skills are valuable in business and other important areas of your life.”
“As Special Forces, we like to stay low key and not draw too much attention. We don’t want people to know how dangerous we really are,” he says with a wink.
Fred shared some of his memories of serving with other amazing soldiers. He said, “I had dear friends who died in Vietnam and paid the ultimate price for our country at a time when they weren’t treated well. They are the heroes. They are the ones who deserve the praise, not I. They are the ones that took bullets, or came back with permanent injuries. There’s no way in the world that I would want to be looked at as someone who accomplished anything extraordinary. My hope is that through my work, I’ve blessed the lives of others and helped them. As I see people who I’ve mentored become successful, that’s all the reward I need.”
Rob was deployed to Afghanistan and served there for 7 months. He was the Camp Commander at Camp Dalke and worked with Afghan Generals and the Afghan National Army (ANA). “We had to depend on each other there. The military is a tight-knit community. I’m not sure anyone who hasn’t experienced it realizes the bond we feel with other people who have served in the armed forces.”
Rob is currently a Captain serving as an instructor for Officer Candidate School, as well as his civilian job as a professor at Weber State University. He thrives on teaching and mentoring others. Thank you for your service.
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