Robert Bailey

2nd Lieutenant, US Military

Bobby majored in Theatre/English at Warren Wilson and is currently serving in the US Military as a Platoon Leader in a support platoon of an Air Defense Artillery Patriot Missile Battalion. His job is missile defense and he tracks the sky for ballistic missiles and shoots them down before they can threaten allied nations.

After graduating from Warren Wilson, Bobby joined the Army, stipulating in his contract that he wanted to attend Officer Candidacy School. He was shipped to basic training at Ft. Benning, Georgia at the end of the March. From basic he went on to OCS, where, despite a stress fracture to his ankle, he completed training and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant with what is called a "branch specialization" in Air Defense Artillery. He went on to complete branch training at Ft. Sill in Oklahoma and his first duty station is Bravo Battery, 5-7 ADA Battalion in Kaiserslautern Germany, where he will remain throughout his active duty contract.

“I've been put in a position as a leader of a platoon of soldiers, as is common for a 2nd Lieutenant,” explains Bobby. “It is my intention to use everything I learned at Warren Wilson to positively influence my surroundings and to use my position of authority to aid the soldiers in my command.”

Of his experience at Warren Wilson, Bobby recounts:
I knew that I would be a Theatre/English major coming in to Warren Wilson, so my goal was to get on the Theatre Crew. My first crew was Fletcher Arts Crew, which I was on for a semester before transferring over to the theatre, where I remained for the rest of my time at Wilson (except on breaks).

I'm pretty sure I worked every break with the exception of Thanksgiving breaks the whole time I was at Wilson. My break jobs included Dinning, Building Services, Housing, and Chapel. I didn't work a single job at Wilson that I did not enjoy immensely- even scrubbing walls, toilets, and cleaning dry oatmeal out of pots.

Theatre was my passion, however. By the second semester of my sophomore year I had taken control of the theatre as crew-chief; I remained in that position throughout the rest of my time. My boss, Don Baker, was so confident in my skills that he would often leave for large stretches of time during the summer, and I would run everything on my own - several times averting small disasters that would have delayed or cancelled concerts over the summers. Almost all of my service involved theatre, aiding the non-profit NC Stage Company to bring theatre experiences to those who either couldn't afford them or didn't get many opportunities for theatre. I also did extra service work that I did not receive credit for with Full Moon Farms, a wolf dog refuge in Black Mountain, and helped at various churches around the city with landscaping details.

“The Army may sound like a step in a different direction, but the communication skills and the leadership experience I gained at the College translates directly. Although this is not what I want to do for my career, everything I've done at Wilson has aided me in my year of training with the army, and I will use it all as I spend the next 3 years working as a Lieutenant,” Bobby explains. He plans to get his masters while in the army and afterwards go on for his PhD in English.