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Babson Sophomore Heads to Korea as an ROTC Soldier

“The Infantry is the main land combat force and core fighting strength of the Army. It’s equally important during peacetime and in combat. The role of an Infantry Officer is to be a leader in operations specific to the Infantry and to lead others in all areas of land combat.”  (from the U.S. Army Infantry website)

Samuel Murad is a sophomore at Babson; from Ridgefield, CT.  He graduated from Valley Forge Military HS and joined the Charles River Battalion ROTC program at Boston University when he was admitted to Babson.

He has left campus for the summer, and will deploy to Yong San Army Garrison in Seoul, Korea, on June 16 where he will be stationed for a month and a half. This deployment is optional; he applied for it and was selected.

During the academic year, Sam leaves Babson at 4 a.m. every Mon, Wed & Fri and heads to the B.U. campus for an hour of physical training (he also goes there on Thurs from 1-6 p.m.).  It takes him an hour to travel each way, and when he returns, he goes to classes!

He has followed this routine for two years and will continue it until 2013 when he graduates from Babson (with concentrations in finance and economics).  He will serve 6-8 years in the Army and hopes to becoming an officer in the Army Infantry.

While in Korea training and meeting with Korean ROTC soldiers, he will also be responsible for teaching English to middle school students in Bundang as part of his duty.

Before departure, he plans to take a Rosetta Stone tutorial in the Korean language, but is counting on the fact that all students in Korea are taught English.

I asked Sam how his Babson education – and in particular, entrepreneurship of all kinds – can be applied to his military aspirations. He told me the story of his dad, an Iraqi émigré who studied chemical engineering in college. Just before graduating he learned that the job he expected was no longer available and he ended up in the stationary business. Over the years, he developed his knowledge of the business, turned the company around, and now owns it!  It’s a great example of entrepreneurial thinking and Sam knows it’s in his DNA. The skills he’ll need as an officer are many of the same for successful entrepreneurs:  leadership, team building, well-planned risk-taking, etc.

Sam says entrepreneurial thinking is 50% innovation and 50% consciousness of opportunity. He says it will help him this summer and in whatever he does after graduation! Entrepreneurial thinking leads to good choices. In fact, innovative action has begun – he has already created a network of Korean ROTC soldiers that he will develop and grow while he is there.

What Sam hopes to bring back to America and to Babson is a perspective on the Korean culture that you can’t get in books. He believes that his success as an officer and as a person with some influence over others will be enhanced by understanding different cultural backgrounds and beliefs.

Although Sam aspires to be an infantryman, he hopes never to use a weapon to kill. He believes there will always be a need for military, but we are all best ‘armed’ when we understand cultural/national differences and use compassion to alleviate the hate that drives lethal confrontation.