Honored to serve: Lt. Col. Darrell Fawley bolsters military career with OHIO graduate degrees
Dressed in Cutler green and Cupola white, a proud Bobcat family pinned insignia to the green U.S. Army uniform of Darrell Fawley as he took his oath at the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service on a recent sunny Saturday. Fawley was being promoted to lieutenant colonel. It was his last official act as professor of Military Science at Ohio University.
“I am grateful for Darrell's leadership and contributions to University College and Ohio University,” said Carey Busch, interim dean of OHIO’s University College.
Being a Bobcat runs deep in Fawley’s blood. His wife, father and sister all are proud Bobcats. However, Fawley’s own story at OHIO starts decades earlier.
In 2000, Fawley visited campus looking for a place to earn his degree and start his military career. Doug Orr, who ran the Army ROTC Bobcat Battalion at that time, thought Fawley could get into the esteemed military academy West Point. He did. Twenty years later, Fawley returned to OHIO as commander of the Bobcat Battalion and the only Army ROTC commander within a five-state area to lead with the rank of major.
“One of the hardest things about going to West Point for me was giving up the opportunity to become a Bobcat,” Fawley said. “Fortunately, the Army led me back here and I have been able to enhance my professional development through the educational opportunities OHIO affords.”
As commander of the Bobcat Battalion, Fawley led the Army ROTC program at a critical time.
“Fawley’s experience and leadership provided stability for the Army ROTC program throughout the challenges of the pandemic and his collaborative work with University College colleagues supported the continuous improvement of our academic programs,” Busch said.
While serving as commander, Fawley earned two master’s degrees — one from the College of Arts and Sciences’ history department and an Executive Master of Public Administration (MPA) from the Voinovich School. He is now working on his Ph.D.
“It’s always something special to watch an MPA graduate be recognized for their public service leadership, and the fact that Darrell requested to have his promotion ceremony at the Voinovich School highlights for me the purposeful effort we put into making sure our MPA program is friendly for the military community,” said Jason Jolley, associate dean for Public Strategy and Innovation and director of the MPA program. “We always want our active-duty military, veterans, reservists and National Guard students to know how much their service means to us.”
Shortly after Fawley’s promotion ceremony, he will move his family across country to Fort Irwin, Calif., where he’ll command the 2/11 Squadron Eaglehorse in the 11th Armored Calvary Regiment-Blackhorse.
“I’ve built a career serving the public as a proud member of the United States Army,” Fawley said. “Ohio University gave me so many educational opportunities to enhance my military training through leadership skills and MPA work focused specifically on service to our communities. For me, that means service to my country. I am honored to serve and proud to be an OHIO alumnus.”