It’s ‘double time’ for these two UW-Green Bay student-athletes and enlisted military members

Juggling academics, sports and life is hard enough. Now imagine also being in the military at the same time.

Not many are able to endure this intense level of dedication, mental and physical fortitude, belief and talent to endure. But two University of Wisconsin-Green Bay students possess these qualities and embrace the challenge every day as student-athletes who are also in the military.

Sophomore Taylor Reichow is a goalkeeper for the Green Bay women’s soccer team. She’s also an Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) Cadet and National Guard enlistee. Freshman Salvador Sierra is a member of the men’s cross-country team and the Marine Reserves.

Being in the Army was on Reichow’s radar in high school, and during her first semester at UW-Green Bay, she decided to lead a more purposeful life. Despite being on the women’s soccer team and a full-time student, she said she needed more. “Soccer will only last until college is over,” she said. While she saw the Army as a potential career opportunity after college, she felt it could still benefit her during college. She met with a recruiter and joined the Army on Nov. 19, 2018.

Sierra had a bit of personal experience with what life as a Marine would entail. His brother, a six-year Marine veteran, told him about his experiences and the benefits of joining the Marine Reserves. During his final month at Green Bay Preble High School, Salvador made the commitment and enrolled.

Both say it’s been a challenge.

Reichow completed the 10-week basic training this past summer, leaving her four days of “freedom” before preseason soccer training. “I knew that I could accomplish anything if I could get through basic training,” she said.

In contrast to Reichow’s recent interest in the Army, her passion for soccer began over a decade ago, at the age of five. “I’ve been an athlete my whole life,” she said. At Oshkosh West, she was a defender and forward until her sophomore year, when she switched to goalkeeper. Shortly after, she began to be recruited by multiple schools, including UW-Green Bay. Ultimately, she chose UW-Green Bay, which was also a school she was looking into because of the Information and Computer Science program. Taylor described it as a “dream” to be able to further her educational career while also playing soccer.

Sierra began his cross-country career during his freshman year at Preble. “I never ran in my life, but I stuck through it for a couple practices and saw I was good.” After a few years of hard work, Sierra was able to compete at state. While Sierra chose UW-Green Bay initially because it made it easier for him to go to school, be a Marine and work, it wasn’t until later that he decided to run cross-country for the University.

Reichow and Sierra both identified time management as their biggest challenge. The most chaotic time for Taylor is during the soccer season, as she must balance soccer, the Army, being a student and life. Salvador juggles cross-country, academics, the Marines, work, life and additional online classes for the Marines. As for what keeps him motivated each day, Sierra says, “It’s my ambition that keeps me going to be able and achieve all this.” Reichow added, “The Army will always help with soccer.”

Both student-athletes have learned that training for sports helps with the military, and vice versa. Sierra explained how training in the Marines has helped him gain strength for running, and running cross-country has helped him obtain perfect scores in the three-mile and 880- meter runs during physical tests for the Marines. Similarly, Taylor has found that the core and leg strength training with the Army has helped her as a goalkeeper to stop the shots that come her way. In addition, soccer drills, such as diving and catching 80-mph soccer balls, have helped her to better execute tasks given by the Army.

As for conflicts, both Taylor and Salvador say they have received tremendous support from the Green Bay athletics. “Coach Kline is very flexible and appreciative of my commitments in and outside of sports,” Sierra said.

When asked about what advice she would give to individuals in a similar position as her, Reichow offered, “If your heart is set, it is totally doable. You can be a student-athlete and in the Army at the same time. You just have to make it work. Don’t listen to anyone else…”

When posed the same question, Sierra stated, “I would simply say you can do it. Nothing is impossible. In the end, it’s just a matter of how hungry you are for success.”

While they have the majority of their collegiate career ahead of them, both are already considering a few options after graduation. Once Reichow graduates, she will become a 2nd Lieutenant in the National Guard. She could enlist as active duty, making this her full-time job, or she could pursue a full-time “civilian” job with her degree while still being in the Army. As for Sierra, his plans after graduation are to become a financial planner, but is open to any other opportunities that arise with his degree.

Needless to say, they certainly have bright futures ahead of them.

Story by UW-Green Bay Marketing and University Communication student assistant, Joshua Konecke

Photo by UW-Green Bay student Julia Kostopoulos, via Green Bay Athletics

ROTC drill and training to take place today (Nov. 1)

On Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018 from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., UW-Green Bay Military Science will be conducting movement drills in the wooded area between the South Circle and Main Entrances off of Nicolet Drive and the disc golf course area. Participants will park in Wood Hall lot and you should expect to see participants in military uniform, camouflage and civilian clothing. No simulated weapons will be used in this training exercise. The movement drills will have students moving in line and wedge formations. Any students, staff or faculty that have concerns should contact the ROTC faculty members that will be present at the training or the Assistant Prof. of Military Science at Jeremy.bourque@snc.edu or Military Science instructor SFC Nathan Preder at predern@uwgb.edu.

Save the date: 2017 Chancellor’s Veteran Reception

Chancellor's Veteran Reception

Chancellor Gary L. Miller requests the pleasure of your company at a reception honoring UW-Green Bay men and women who are serving or have served in the armed forces, and to especially honor those returning to school after active duty. Those planning to attend are asked to register online by Nov. 1. The event is Tuesday, November 7, 2017 at 4 p.m. in the Phoenix Room, University Union.

RSVP Online

For additional information, contact UW-Green Bay Veteran Services advisor Elaina Koltz ’06 at 920-465-2065 or koltze@uwgb.edu. This is an annual event. See photos from last year’s Chancellor’s Veteran’s Reception.

UW-Green Bay student veteran receives high honor

Gries receives Wortham AwardUW-Green Bay student Army veteran and National Guard service member Nicholas Gries is the seventh recipient of the Thomas E. Wortham IV Achievement Award. The award, named after a Wisconsin Army National Guard Soldier and Chicago Police officer slain off-duty in 2010, recognizes both outstanding military and volunteer achievements. Read the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs story.

Gries is a co-founder of the Wisconsin chapter of 4th HOOAH, Inc., a national non-profit organization dedicated to support for forward-deployed service members, their families and returning veterans. See the Inside UW-Green Bay feature from 2015.

Photo credit: Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs

UW-Green Bay receives UW System recognition for honoring vets and active military

This week UW-Green Bay was one of six UW institutions recognized for earning UW Vets Certification. This comes on the heels of the annual fall Chancellor’s Veteran Appreciation Reception, held Monday, Nov. 7, to honor vets and active military personnel. The University has long been active in recognizing and honoring its veterans:

  • UW-Green Bay was among one of the first campuses in the nation to train faculty and staff on the unique challenges faced by student veterans.
  • With the help of private donations, the At Ease: Veteran & Service Member Student Lounge was created on campus.
  • UW-Green Bay has been named a top “Military Friendly” institution for the 7th consecutive year.
  • UW-Green Bay has dedicated personnel to work with veterans and active military on challenges unique to their experiences.

At Monday’s reception, Lieutenant Jon Logan, served as the main speaker. He serves in the Army Reserve 432d Civil Affairs Battalion in Green Bay, and is the founder of Motivation Innovation, LLC. Sargeant First Class Jesse Veeser (top image) gave a moving presentation on the “POW Table Ceremony.” Veterans services coordinator Elaina Koltz and Chancellor Gary Miller welcomed and honored those in attendance.

“Moments like this allow us to reflect on the country we are so fortunate to live in and the incredible freedoms we have, including the freedom to elect our leaders — all made possible by the work and sacrifices of members of the military and those who have served,” said Miller.

Students in the UW-Green Bay music, led by Director of Choral Activities Prof. Randy Meder, performed the “Star Spangled Banner,” “Armed Forces Salute” and “Mansions of the Lord.” Student James Block played “Taps.”

UW-Green Bay veterans and active service members were also honored at the Green Bay Packers’ “Salute to Service” military appreciation game on Sunday, Nov. 6. at Lambeau Field — and were able to join together to carry the large American flag on the field during the performance of the National Anthem. See the photos of the walk- through and the pre-game ceremony.

Click to advance slideshow or view the album on Flickr.
Chancellor's Veterans Reception 2016

– Photos by Amanda Jo Danihel, Marketing and University Communication Student Intern

UW-Green Bay veterans, active military and family members honored at Lambeau Field

UW-Green Bay was a big contributor to the Green Bay Packers’ “Salute to Service” military appreciation game on Sunday, Nov. 6. The large American flag presented on the field during the performance of the National Anthem was carried by 70 flag holders in full uniform — most all of whom were UW-Green Bay students and alumni who are active service members or veterans of America’s armed forces. UW-Green Bay point of contact was Eric Craver, cravere@uwgb.edu.

Click to advance slideshow or view the album on Flickr.
Veteran Flag Holders at Lambeau Field 2016

– Photos by Dan Moore, Marketing and University Communication and provided by the Green Bay Packers

Campus and community mourn passing of WASP Betty Strohfus

Thanks to a Log reader who passed this along to us on the passing of Betty Strohfus. “In the spring of 2014, the UWGB Theatre Department presented the play ‘Censored on Final Approach’ about the role of the women who flew in WWII and how they were treated.  The play became a forum for discussion on women’s history, on WWII and on women veterans. As part of that initiative, former WASP Betty Strohfus came to campus (she was 94 at the time) and appeared at a talk back as well as on a panel discussion of women in the military. The cast joined her in a tour of the EAA where a plane was dedicated a plane in her honor. She contributed so much to our campus community by bringing history to life and demonstrating the importance of theater in our lives as a source of enlightenment.” Read her story and a tribute.

UW-Green Bay student wins level in Army Reserve soldier competition


UW-Green Bay computer science student and part-time Web Services and Help Desk employee Jordan Stubblefield, a staff sergeant in the Army Reserve, is the winner of the ‘Best Warrior’ title in the 80th Training Command of the Army Reserve. Stubblefield spent Feb. 5-7 at Camp Bullis in Texas competing in a rigorous challenge for the annual title, designed to identify the best competitors from among the 6,800 soldiers within the command. The competition includes physical fitness, weapons handling, marksmanship, drill and ceremony, land navigation and a written test. Stubblefield beat out nine other non-commissioned officers to earn the title during the soldier competition. He moves on to compete in the overall U.S. Army Reserve Command’s 2015 Best Warrior Competition. See more.