Acquiring the Work Ethic Needed to Plan, Communicate, and Lead

Equipped with a strong work ethic, critical thinking, and communication skills developed at Beloit College, Captain Trevor Kenahan’16 trains midshipmen to become future Marine Corps officers.

“Do your homework. Make your bed. Paying attention to detail will help the bigger things in life fall into place.” This self-discipline helped equip Trevor Kenahan’16 for life as an active duty Marine Corps officer.

A combat engineer, Trevor provides support to the Marine Corps infantry focused on mobility, counter-mobility, survivability, and reconnaissance. Training at the Marines Corps Officer Candidates School in Quantico, VA helped lead to his current position (or billet, in military parlance), as did successive roles during his first tour of duty.

First he served as a route clearance platoon commander, then supported an infantry battalion, and finally, as a company executive officer, developed training plans and supervised weapons and equipment maintenance.

Trevor Kenahan'16 in Marine Corps camouflage Trevor Kenahan’16 in Marine Corps camouflageNow, on his second tour of duty, Captain Kenahan is a Marine officer instructor and assistant professor of naval science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL. He’s also studying for a master’s degree in leadership.

Trevor’s Marine Corps training and duty assignments have clearly helped him advance in his career. But he also credits his education at Beloit College, where he earned a degree in political science.

“The amazing professors at Beloit were instrumental in equipping me to become a successful Marine Corps officer.”

Political scientist Jill Budny had a large influence on his personal and professional development. “Her genuine care and dedication were critical to getting me to where I am today. She sacrificed a lot of personal time to help me succeed.” Other political scientists also contributed. “Both my advisor, Pablo Toral, and Ron Nikora challenged me intellectually. They also encouraged me to consider different perspectives and taught me to offer constructive criticism tactfully.”

The influence of Beloit’s political science department is evident in Trevor’s work in the Marine Corps.

“Planning missions involves critical analysis. You also have to communicate the plans clearly and confidently to the Marines who will carry out the missions. Beloit’s rigorous approach to teaching political science prepared me. I learned how to think critically, analyse information, and communicate both orally and in writing.”

But to be successful at Beloit College and as a Marine Corps Officer, Trevor also needed a strong work ethic. Athletics helped him develop one.

“There is no shortcut or substitute for living in the library and studying hard. But at Trevor Kenahan'16 playing lacrosse Trevor Kenahan’16 playing lacrosse Beloit, I also benefited from playing lacrosse and serving as a team captain all four years. Balancing academics and athletics was no easy feat, but it helped me develop the work ethic I rely on today.”

It helped that Beloit’s lacrosse coaches were great to play for. He still follows the lacrosse team, and looks forward to its coming spring season.

What motivated Trevor to join the Marine Corps? His experience on the lacrosse team led him to want to pursue a challenging career with a leadership role.

“I became a Marine Corps Officer because I wanted to give back to a nation that has afforded me great opportunities, including getting an education at Beloit College. I also wanted the immense challenge and responsibility of leading our nation’s Marines. While the Marine Corps is not easy, it is undoubtedly the greatest privilege, opportunity, and purpose that I have had in my life.”

“Don’t let the opportunity to get a Beloit College education go to waste. There will be a lot of work, but as long as you do it, you’ll do okay. It will also help if you show respect to your peers, professors, and coaches by arriving early and working hard. They are all going to help you along the way.”

By: Elizabeth Brewer
January 08, 2022

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