McKinnon Carlson is a busy sophomore from Moorhead, Minnesota, majoring in business administration. He's also a Senior Airman with the 119th Logistics Readiness Squadron, part of the 119th Wing of the North Dakota Air National Guard.
NDSU students can be incredible multi-taskers. McKinnon Carlson is one such student.
On the one hand, Carlson is a busy sophomore from Moorhead, Minnesota, majoring in business administration. On the other, he is a Senior Airman with the 119th Logistics Readiness Squadron, part of the 119th Wing of the North Dakota Air National Guard. He recently hit the four-year mark in his service to the nation.
“I joined the Guard for two reasons: to help me get a college education and to be a part of something that is bigger than myself,” Carlson said, noting he fully appreciates the Guard’s duty to be ready to respond. “We train every month and over Annual Training to prepare ourselves for any mission we may be tasked to do.”
One of those missions was the 59th Presidential Inauguration, where Carlson assisted with the movement of passengers and cargo.
“Some of my duties included bringing soldiers and airmen from the Cargo Deployment Function to the Personnel Deployment Function along with their cargo, and then to the D.C. Armory for more in-processing,” Carlson said. “During this mission, I really got to see the full extent of what the Guard can do and how fast we can make it happen.”
Carlson’s NDSU experience and his time in the military have prepared him well for a successful future.
“My education at NDSU has allowed me to be a better critical thinker, and also helped me in my career development,” he said. “My NDSU experience has opened my eyes to the endless amount of people and opportunities the world has to offer, and how I can use those to my advantage to propel myself to where I want to be in life.”
Student veterans like Carlson are an important segment of NDSU’s campus life, and there are places to turn to for assistance. The Veterans Educational Training office offers many services, as does the Veteran Alliance Organization, known as VALOR.
“NDSU is fortunate to have a robust student cohort of National Guard members and veterans. VALOR seeks to maintain an informed and supportive environment for these students to ensure that these dedicated men and women achieve their educational goals,” said Carol Cwiak, VALOR faculty liaison and associate professor of emergency management. “We know from experience that these students bring many strengths and experiences with them that not only enrich their own educational journey, but also add to the overall diversity of thought within the campus community.”
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