Army general and Ohio State alum discusses university role in preparing Army of tomorrow

Visit tied to Buckeyes versus Army game highlights the demand for students with an Ohio State education

By: Chris Booker

Published on September 19, 2017

Lt. Gen. John Murray is no stranger to conflict. He recently led the 3rd Infantry Division in Afghanistan. But Murray struggled to choose sides when the Buckeyes faced off against Army.

A graduate of The Ohio State University, and now deputy chief of staff for the office that manages resources for the Army, Murray was back to see the game Saturday and was asked about the score.

“I’m hoping for a tie,” he said.

Murray was commissioned as an infantry officer after graduation from Ohio State in 1982 and has served in the Army ever since. The lieutenant general is the university’s highest-ranking alumnus.

Murray spoke to Army ROTC cadets and joined a panel at the Buckeye Advocates fall event before attending the football game.

He said his time at Ohio State prepared him for life in the Army. The lessons he learned on campus have carried over into his military career.

“Anything worth having is worth working for. Nothing good comes easy in life,” Murray said. “If you set your goals fairly high and continue to strive for them, it’s amazing what you can accomplish.”

He noted the competition for graduates from Ohio State is fierce. Murray said the Army is competing with companies like Google and Cisco to find the leaders of tomorrow.

“This is not the Army you see in the movies. It’s not the Army you see on nightly news. It’s so much more,” he said. “The army is lawyers, it’s doctors, it’s spatial engineers, it’s mechanical engineers. The Army is leading a lot of research efforts now in autonomous air and ground vehicles, in artificial intelligence.”

Universities like Ohio State are critical to the future of the U.S. military, he said.

“It’s that strong science, technology, engineering and math, and medical background that we seek,” he said. “But it’s also young men and women of character. That have solid ethical standards, that know what it means to be part of a small team, that know what it means to put your team above yourself and to make those sacrifices to enable the team.”

He sees that character reflected in students he met while on campus.

“The kids that come into the Army today, the young men and the young women are just amazing young people and I’m sure the students here at Ohio State are exactly the same way,” Murray said. “It’s all a matter of figuring out what you want to do in life and never saying no and continuing to work until you achieve it.”

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