The saying “You can do anything” is typically overlooked by most when deciding on what you want to do in life. But becoming the first female drill commander of the United States Army Drill Team and the first woman to lead any drill team in the armed forces, has UF graduate Lauran (Young) Glover ’11 truly believing this saying to be true.
The extraneous work, extensive hours and extreme difficulties she has faced in life make it all worth it to Glover. “To me, it’s the perfect ‘thank you’ to the people who pushed me, supported me and believed in me when I didn’t see what they saw,” said Glover.
After graduating from The University of Findlay with a degree in psychology, Young wanted to pursue a career in counseling psychology working with military personnel and their families. But she took her dream a step farther and wanted to live the experiences first.
“During my time at UF I realized I wanted to serve the military population through mental health,” said Glover. “I felt joining the Army would help me understand some of the hardships the population faces and some of the experiences they have.”
In her eyes, she needed the capability to connect with her clients on different backgrounds and beliefs. “I thought that having some common experiences would help break barriers in communication. Instead of individuals thinking I wouldn’t understand because I’ve never been through what they have, they would know I put myself through the same training and experiences,” said Glover.
During her time as a student, Glover gained this passion for working with other solutions and breaking down barriers.
“UF’s Psychology Program provided me with a family that pushed me to better myself, to learn and to grow,” said Glover. “The program fueled my desire to help others and gave me tools to do so that I continue to use to this day.”
And this desire is what pushed her to overcome a 50-year tradition in the US Army Drill Team. Forming in 1953, the USADT had drill commanders that were typically male and infantry captains. “I had to prove that I, a female Military Police Platoon Leader ranking as a First Lieutenant, deserved a chance and could lead the platoon just as those Drill Commanders before me,” said Glover.
This challenge is what makes everyday important and special to Glover, to see that change and success are capable, no matter the circumstances. “I want for there to be no question of if a woman can lead the US Army Drill Team, and that any one considered should be considered on the basis of their work performance, not their gender,” said Glover.