2016 Tillman Scholar
When he enlisted in the Army in 1996, Chris had little doubt that his decision would prove to be the most consequential of his life. Over twenty-one years, his military service has changed his life by illustrating, in stark relief, what the true essentials are for human fulfillment and happiness. The perspective he gained, particularly during wartime and long separations from his family, quickly exposed many of the trappings of modern day living for what they are – distractions from things more worthy of human endeavor. These lessons were consistently conveyed to him not only through his own experiences but also through observation of those with whom he served.
Though exceptionally proud of the service rendered by military members in the years following 9-11, Chris recently retired from the Army with an undeniable sense that these efforts were, at times, reduced in consequence as a result of ineffective policy-making. For this reason, he is now pursuing his Master’s in foreign policy at Johns Hopkins University, believing that his education combined with his experiences over the last twenty-one years in uniform can be of value to the country in the years ahead. In particular, he wants to focus his efforts on undercutting the underpinnings of the radical Islam that now plagues certain portions of the Islamic world. He hopes this research, coupled with his fluency in Arabic and nearly 15 years of direct involvement in the Islamic world, will prove of considerable value to policymakers in Washington as well as influential power-brokers throughout the Middle East region.