Rear Admiral Ryan Scholl, deputy director of Plans and Policy for United States Strategic Command in Omaha, Nebraska, spent his day here on campus on Tuesday, Feb. 19 to talk to students that are studying intelligence and national security, and political science and the National Security Club.
An important part of his appearance was to promote STRATCOM’s academic alliance with Coastal Carolina University.
“The core aspects of that program are really to promote strategic thinking in terms of the faculty as well as the student body, and then for us at Strategic Command is to get a better understanding of a strategic thinking at a different viewpoint, so we work together as the University, both its faculty and students, as well as inside US Strategic Command, so we can get a better understanding of the security landscape and application of a strategic thought process that will allow us to create a more peaceful security environment,” Scholl said.
Scholl was excited to be on campus and believed that students would benefit from the events.
“Hopefully, they’ll get a better appreciation from military thinking, and, then an aspect of both the security environment and strategic environment from a US Strategic Command Flag officer perspective. And, then, certainly to answer any questions they might have in the process overall, and then, specifically, if they’re interested in national security studies and a career path that might lead to involvement in strategic thinking at a national level and opportunities that exist in the path of that process,” Scholl said.
He also has some advice for students going into intelligence and political science fields.
“I’m an engineer by trade, very technical, but one of the things that we talk about [is] understanding different viewpoints, so one of professor Ferrero’s thought process and activities is looking at the whole approach from a cultural-religious aspect and how that would apply in driving a strategic thinking at a national level,” said Scholl. “So, I would say advice would be to think broadly, think deeply about decisions, and specifically when you’re looking at decisions of either our country or of others that you look not just at how that decision was based, but then how that decision has second and third order affects across different avenues as we execute national policy.”
Scholl spoke with assistant professor of intelligence and national security Christopher Ferrero’s Weapons of Mass Destruction course.
“The visit was terrific,” said Ferrero. “Admiral Scholl was clearly impressed by Coastal Carolina and intrigued by our focus on experiential learning. We are going to continue discussions about how we can increase our students’ experiential learning opportunities via STRATCOM’s Academic Alliance.”
Ferrero looks forward to taking a few students on a trip in March for another great learning experience.
“I’m taking three students to Omaha next month. I hope I can continue to do this every spring. We will also work on bringing representatives of STRATCOM back to campus in the future for workshops and exercises,” said Ferrero.
Ferrero is optimistic about the future of this partnership.
“The distance between Conway and Omaha could present a challenge to really large-scale cooperation, but I am optimistic that we will be able to get some real-world exposure for several of our students out of this partnership,” said Ferrero.