What boy doesn’t dream of working for the FBI or joining the Army at least once during his childhood? For many, this aspiration is fleeting, but for others, it is a lasting desire that turns into reality.
Since the beginning of high school, Nate Perdue has wanted to become a forensic accountant for the FBI. The training he received from Maranatha’s Army ROTC program has shaped him into a determined leader and officer, enabling him to make great strides toward reaching his goal.
From Plan to Action
Like any high school graduate, Nate had to make the life-altering decisions of where to attend college and what to study.
“It seemed the most logical route to take to reach my goals was to gain some military experience while studying accounting,” he says.
Because of his admiration for the business faculty as well as the ROTC program, Nate decided that Maranatha Baptist University would best aid him in turning his dream into a reality.
A Challenging Commitment
The ROTC program involves much more than just shooting rifles and handling weapons. Its purpose is to train men and women to become leaders and officers in the United States military.
Entering the ROTC program proved challenging for Nate. But the physical exertion wasn’t his biggest difficulty—rather, he struggled with time management. All college students, including Nate, have to manage the demands of their coursework and other responsibilities. But unlike him, most students don’t have ROTC commitments as well.
“At first it seemed overwhelming,” he admits, “but now I have so much more time to do things due in a large part to the principles ROTC drilled into me.” The main principle, he explains, is simply learning to wake up at an early hour.
ROTC also taught him punctuality—a lesson necessary in any walk of life. As they say in the Army, “If you’re not early, you’re late!”
Brothers for Life
The lessons Nate learned have forever shaped his life, but he states that his favorite aspect of Maranatha’s ROTC program was his camaraderie with fellow cadets. Though the program includes people with a variety of majors and interests, their shared commitment to serving their country united them. They not only learned to lead one another, but also became lifelong friends.
Nate says, “The younger cadets look up to the older ones, and it gives you a great opportunity to teach and mentor them in classes and during PT.”
A fellow ROTC graduate, Jeffrey Rupp, relays a time when Nate took advantage of that opportunity. “Our MBU platoon was doing Land Navigation for the first time that semester, and being a freshman, I had no idea what I was doing,” says Jeffrey.
Fortunately, he was partnered with Nate, who patiently walked the inexperienced cadet through the land navigation process. “I was very impressed with his kindness and willingness to pass on the knowledge he had gained.”
After five years of hard work and determination, this past May Nate graduated with an Accounting degree and completed the ROTC program. He had planned to have his commissioning ceremony take place just a few months later in Texas, but the effects of Hurricane Harvey altered his plans. But he found that this seemingly bad situation turned out better than he expected.
On September 25, when Nate was in Wisconsin to take a PT test and sign Army paperwork, he had the opportunity to have his commissioning ceremony performed on Maranatha’s campus. Surrounded by his fellow cadets, he proudly stood in Module W where Captain Jon DeGreeff swore him in as a 2nd Lieutenant.
Nate commissioned Texas National Guard and will be branching as Military Police. Right now, he is working in Dallas as an accountant for Pinnacle.
His future plans include going to Ft. Leonard Wood in Missouri for the Basic Officer Leader Course (BOLC). After that, he hopes to use his accounting degree in the world of business.
As Nate looks back on his preparation for his current and future positions, he says, “Most of all, the ROTC training I received at Maranatha taught me how to be a leader, in both the workplace and among my peers.”
Captain DeGreeff is optimistic about Nate’s future leadership opportunities. “Nate is a people person,” he says. “His attitude and personality are infectious. He will make a difference in every service member he meets.”
Maranatha can truly be proud. Its Army ROTC program has trained Nate Perdue to become a strong military leader—one who will make a difference in his country to the glory of his God.