Opportunities and Skills from Trevecca Days Continue to Serve Michel in Successful Military Career

| Alumni

Joshua Michael poses for a photo.

When Joshua Michel decided to attend Trevecca for multimedia journalism, he could not have imagined the future that awaited him.

“I had one sister and two brothers who had gone to Trevecca before me, I had been to several Nazarene events there,” Michel said. “I had originally planned on going to college elsewhere but I ended up at Trevecca because of the familiarity. It felt like a family from the first day.”

He’d planned to use his degree to be a writer. However, those plans changed when he enlisted in ROTC through a partnership Trevecca has with Vanderbilt University. 

“ROTC was like having a full-time job while going to school but it was one of the best things I have ever done. I didn’t have a ton of money and I wanted to set myself up for the future. I didn’t have a concrete plan but I wanted to do something meaningful,” Michel said. “I would be rushing to different classes and it was a long commute. It started super early in the morning and sometimes it was a struggle.”

Even given the difficulties, Michel believed it was worth it. He gained skills in leadership and completed the program with the credentials to become an officer in the U.S. Army. After graduating in 2021 and attending seven months of additional training, he was leading a platoon in Germany. 

“ROTC is not always fun and you need some motivation or grit to actually finish,” Michel said. “But the benefit is that you end up with a better job than you could have ever hoped for right out of college. At 22 years old, I was a leader with a lot of responsibility. The work and the pain were worth it.” 

Since January Michel has been stationed at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in Constanta, Romania, leading one of the only short-range air defense artillery platoons in the Army. This position has allowed him to train closely with NATO and the allies of the United States, overseeing a number of soldiers and the millions of dollars of equipment needed to carry out their mission. He feels the weight of this responsibility and the serious nature of preparing for war. 

“I’m not a warmonger, I don’t want anything to happen but my job is to make sure these guys are ready just in case,” Michel said. “So you have to put them through rigorous training in order to be better. At the end of the day, if you’re not better than the enemy, you’re the one who is going to be wiped off the battlefield.” 

He says his journalism degree has been crucial to his success in the military, allowing him to fulfill many of the job requirements of an officer with ease. 

“If you’re not a good writer, you suffer a lot as an army officer because you have to write all the time. I write a lot of emails and correspondence with peers, superiors and subordinates so having a good solid writing background is paramount,” Michel said. “Because of the writing I did in college, I have noticed I am at a different level and that can really set you apart in the field.” 

Michel is thinking about his future and considering Ranger School and Airborne School with the intent to become an executive officer, overseeing a company or battery. In everything he does, he strives to choose a life that will challenge him and lead to the most growth. 

“My plans are always to keep ascending and choose the toughest thing that is in front of me,” Michel said. “I want to choose the toughest challenge because even if I don’t stay in the Army, that’ll help me no matter what I do. If I decide to continue, choosing the hardest jobs will help me later on in my career.”