2011 Tillman Scholar
Growing up landlocked in Fort Worth, Texas, combined with a longstanding interest in the military and perhaps most importantly, family tradition, led Paul to follow in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps by accepting a commission in the US Navy following graduation from Duke University’s Navy ROTC program.
Paul earned his Surface Warfare Officer pin and nuclear engineering qualifications onboard the guided missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay and the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D Eisenhower, respectively, during deployments to the Arabian Gulf, Arabian Sea, and the Horn of Africa. He later moved to Washington, DC for a staff assignment at the Navy International Programs Office, where he assisted partner nations with their procurement strategies and served as an admiral’s aide.
Paul’s upbringing in Texas, deployments to the Middle East, service in the nuclear Navy, and work experience in international defense procurement ignited a passion to further understand the business and geopolitical implications of the energy industry. Following graduate school he joined Cameron International Corporation and later Jones Industrial Holdings in Houston, helping both companies to grow through strategic acquisitions in the oil & gas services industry.
Paul continues to be passionate about helping veterans make the transition into the civilian world (particularly the energy industry), and serves on the advisory board and as a mentor for local nonprofit NextOp Vets. He spends his time in Houston with his wife Kate, herself a former Pentagon staffer for the Army and DoD, and chasing around their three young sons.
Paul remains particularly moved by Pat Tillman’s story as Pat’s path was similar to that embarked upon by Paul’s grandfather, George McAfee, who played for the NFL’s Chicago Bears before volunteering for naval service in 1942. Paul will forever be inspired by the spirit of sacrifice embodied by those two athletes. It is truly an honor for him to be part of the distinguished and service oriented organization that bears Pat Tillman’s name and carries on his legacy.