2018 Tillman Scholar

Elijah Hernandez

Texas A&M University

“Through passionate education and the right tools, we can help impoverished people of the world change their current circumstances.”

Upon graduating high school, Eli was unsure about which direction to take his life, so he decided to devote his immediate future to the U.S. Navy where he found his niche working as a targeting analyst. After six years of active duty, Eli joined the Navy Reserve to continue serving while pursuing his education full-time. While receiving his bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University in 2017, he was notified that he would be deploying to Kuwait and Iraq that summer. Deferring his acceptance to TAMU’s College of Veterinary Medicine, he gladly accepted the challenge. While deployed, he served as the Civilian Casualties Cell NCOIC for CJTF-OIR, assessing international allegations of civilian casualties and establishing means to better protect civilians from the ravages of war.

Once he returns from his current deployment, Eli will be pursuing a doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at TAMU so he can continue his service with the Army in the Veterinary Corps. During his time abroad, Eli realized that not everyone has the same access to food and healthcare that citizens of the U.S. do. Combining his passions for medicine, animals, and people, he believes his best opportunity to give back to his community – and the world at large – is through teaching in underserved communities. As an Army Veterinarian, he hopes to broaden the scope of his service to peoples of underserved nations by educating indigenous peoples about vaccine schedules, proper nutrition and other animal husbandry techniques to improve their food security and overall health.