Thomas Haverty ’14

Learning German really paid off during my travel to New Zealand. I had no idea how many Germans and Austrians travel to Oceania on a year round basis and being able to communicate with them in their language really helped out whenever I was looking for new friends in hostels or just some help with traveling around. Believe it or not, I ended up making more German friends in New Zealand than I did in Germany!

At the moment, I have completed 4 months of a 6 month school called “The Basic School” down here in Quantico Virginia. I have been working extensively on developing myself as an officer in charge of about 40 Marines as a 2nd lieutenant. In a few weeks I will find out my specialty, which could be anything from an Infantry Officer to a Logistics Officer.

I have been forced out of my comfort zone at every turn during my experience at this school. Almost every day you are expected to take command and seek amongst your peers. You are also expected to be able to decide, communicate and act under a stressful environment. I contribute a great deal of my success in overcoming such obstacles here to my experience at Trinity College. I was already accustomed to speaking in front of a large group after doing so numerous times in a variety of seminars at Trinity. I learned to deal with the combination of physical and mental stress when I was transitioning from a gruesome football practice to a long night of studying for finals. I also found myself having a better grasp on current events after my German Major required me to go abroad and understand the world from a different perspective other than just Americas. I am so thankful for all these reasons that I attended Trinity and not some massive state school.

Our itinerary has amplified exponentially in the past few weeks so I have been quite busy. However, once again German was a factor in determining my experience here. As an officer, you are assigned different regions of the world that you are responsible for knowing in depth. Regions vary from West Africa all the way to sections of Europe. Depending on what region you get assigned, it can determine where you end up being stationed after your first 3 year duty station. Knowing German gives me a huge advantage at getting assigned a region of my choice and could end up with me being stationed in Stuttgart, Germany like I always wanted! The job would be much further down the road, but the job consists of being in charge of Marines working in several embassies throughout the region.

In the meantime, I am awaiting on finding out where I will be stationed for my first 3 years. My options are Hawaii, California, North Carolina, and Japan. Needless to say, my first choice is Hawaii, but only time will tell.