2020 Tillman Scholar

Samuel Long

Marine Corps
University of Virginia

“Everyone hoping to contribute to our country deserves a chance to be an American. As a lawyer, I will especially help those interested in military and public service obtain lawful residency.”

Sam was commissioned in the Marine Corps following four years at the U.S. Naval Academy. After two deployments as an infantry officer, he learned his most lethal asset was his Marines, so he volunteered for recruiting duty.

Inspired by Marines with all different backgrounds, Sam was particularly drawn to immigrants who volunteered for service. Though not everyone can join the military, some men and women otherwise exceptionally qualified were being excluded because they did not have a green card. This is a disqualifier unless their parents were lawful residents and petitioned them to have the same status. Sam recognized these challenges, so he trained recruiters on how to help them. After connecting three San Diego based Marine Corps Recruiters with the U.S. Immigration office, he was able to help fourteen applicants become Marines. Today, each has graduated boot camp, military occupational school, and now preparing for second reenlistment.

Sam considers helping these applicants become Marines as one of his greatest achievements, knowing without help, they would have never joined. Now, after eight years of military service, Sam is pursuing his law degree at the University of Virginia and will become a lawyer in Houston, Texas.