The United States Army Drill Team’s first female commander, Captain Lauran (Young) Glover ’11, reunited with family members from Columbus, Ohio and those whom she considers her University of Findlay family during a Nov. 10 Veterans Day ceremony in which she reflected on her time as a student and military service member.
The University, Glover said, “helped me to see that differences could be welcomed and learned from.” She took those lessons seriously enough to embark on a non-traditional career path after graduation that led to the breaking of military gender barriers and an extension of her job pursuits.
The public event was UF’s first Veterans Day ceremony held in the new Center for Student life, where the Veterans Honor Wall served as the center of attraction. The wall, which now lists 640 names of military members who have attended and graduated from the University, was a gift from the Class of 1966.
“We know that this will be an evergreen wall” on which names will continue to be added, said Marcia Latta, Ed.D., vice president of University Advancement. She characterized the installation as an excellent representation of institutional history at the University.
“This wall is a reminder that I am not alone,” said Glover, who pointed out in her speech that less than 1 percent of the U.S. population serves in the military. “I hope that when people see this wall, that they are proud, whether they are in the military or not.”
Now stationed in Arlington, Virginia, Glover is also pursuing a doctorate in psychology at the American School of Professional Psychologists. She intends to specialize in counseling for military members suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Glover received a bachelor’s degree in psychology at UF, and within the military has “provided unbiased council,” most notably to soldiers serving at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
“While at Guantanamo, my eyes were opened to being in a strategic and sensitive environment,” she said. “I learned about what motivated them to serve and what their dreams were,” and how to bring those with different ideologies and opinions “together for a common mission.”
She has also served in what is known as the Navy’s Old Guard, which provides ceremonial support for the President and Arlington National Cemetery, and educates the public about American history and the contemporary military climate.
She admitted that being the first woman to lead the Army’s Drill Team, known for its precise, “breathtaking routines,” was a challenge. “I used my resourcefulness, drive and approach to people to be successful in that role,” she explained.
Entering the military after college was also a tough choice, Glover noted. Even though her mother is a U.S. Air Force veteran, she said she had reservations about whether she knew enough or was mature enough to serve. Her dream of counseling military members provided her with momentum to enlist, and her continued service is a testament to her belief that the military, as well as civilian life, also benefits from “free thinking and creative minds.”
University President Katherine Fell, Ph.D., said the Veterans Honor Wall exemplifies the dedication that UF has to serving military members and their families.
“We strive to ensure our support for our student veterans, and make sure we are serving their specific needs,” Fell said. “By having this wonderful wall of veterans, it makes clear our commitment to them” and the University’s gratitude for their service.
Fell also presented a signed “letter of support for the Guard and Reserve” that shows the University recognizes these volunteer forces’ essential role in preserving national security. UF has now joined other employers throughout the nation in pledging to assist and hire service members, veterans and their family members.
Also participating in the Veterans Day ceremony was Jerry Clark ’66, and the Hancock Veterans Memorial Squad, which provided ceremonial color guard services.
At 9 a.m., all 640 names on the Veterans Honor Wall were recited.
Additional images of the UF Veterans Day ceremony can be found here.