Matt Hipple '09
SFS Senior Matt Hipple decided to join Navy ROTC his junior year of high school, before even choosing a college. “I know it sounds like a cliché, but after 9/11 I knew that we were entering a new period of increased global instability, and I wanted to be a part of the US military’s efforts to counteract that.”
I know it sounds like a cliche, but after 9/11 I knew that we were entering a new period of increased global instability, and I wanted to be a part of the US military's efforts to counteract that.
“I always loved writing, and I knew I wanted a liberal arts education,” Matt reflects, “but I had my doubts about writing as a career. I came to realize that what I liked to write about was politics, conflict, and international relations, and that’s what I wanted to study.” Matt is pursuing a major in International Politics with a concentration in security studies, where he has become fascinated by what is known as MOOTW—military operations other than war—and the grey zone between combat operations and negotiations.
This passion has greatly influenced Matt’s post-graduation plans. He is currently serving as the Platoon Commander of his Navy ROTC unit. When he receives his commission, Matt will join the surface warfare community, which he selected for its flexibility as well as the leadership and travel opportunities it provides. “I’m looking forward to working on ships because I’ll get to interact with people in all the services on different kinds of missions.” Eventually, Matt plans to pursue a graduate degree in security studies and work at AFRICOM, the recently opened U.S. military command headquarters for Africa in Djibouti, which he views as fascinating for its integration of the operations of State and DoD into one chain of command.
“I feel very strongly that I owe my military service to this country—the country that allowed my parents opportunities so much greater than those of their parents, and me greater opportunities than my parents could have ever imagined for themselves at my age.”