Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
I grew up in St. Louis, but I knew I had to get out, so I joined the US Army Infantry.
I spent over 15 months in Mosul Iraq during 2006-2007. Then a 12 month tour 2009-2010 back in Iraq.
While home between tours, I would go backpacking in Gila, New Mexico; I fostered a love of the wild.
Those trips helped me realize that some of my military skills would transfer into my civilian life.
It felt great to be out in the wilderness, to feel alive again and just like I felt in war.
I was in the military for five years, then was medically retired.
When I got out, I went back to college, knowing that I wanted to pursue these wilderness skills.
I now work as a backcountry ranger and simultaneously pursue nature photography as my side hobby.
Keep following my journey

Career

Backcountry Ranger / Photographer

I use my military skills to help protect my country's natural resources & the people who visit them.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Travel
Environment & Nature
Upholding a Cause and Belief

Day to Day

Everyday, I'm giving people ownership of their national parks; I help my guests see that these places belong to all of us. These places exist solely to be preserved and enjoyed, rather than used or consumed, which is so different than most things in our society. The restorative nature of the wilderness is great, so I want guests to be able to see that, experience it, respect it, and enjoy their time safely.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

Develop a comfort with, and a love for, natural resources. Whether you're backpacking or climbing or hiking, get out there and make sure you're going to be passionate enough to have this as a job, and comfortable enough to be out there alone for most of the time. There's that saying, "Make your avocation your vocation," which is great, but when I get off work, I don't necessarily want to go climbing or hiking—I do that all day. It's a fine line you'll walk, so make sure you're okay with that.

Recommended Education

My career is not related to what I studied. I'd recommend this path instead:

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"You're just one of those "crazy" veterans who can't get past their PTSD."

Challenges I Overcame

Learning Issues
Physical Issues

Interviewed By

Anonymous Student