Always putting others before himself and giving everything he has to his duties is just a normal way of life for Christendom senior Michael McMahon. He is an active student on campus, known for his athleticism as a Crusader on the rugby field and basketball court, and for leading his peers as senior class vice president. His commitments to his studies and to his peers, honed over his four years at Christendom, are skills that would serve him well in any vocation. After having the call to serve his country on his heart and mind for many years, McMahon plans on serving as an officer in the U.S. Army following graduation, and bringing his servant-leader outlook to the Armed Forces.
“The military offers the perfect opportunity for continued education and personal growth,” says McMahon. “The discipline instilled in me by Christendom College, both academically in the classroom and physically in sports, has been a great help to me both in discerning the call to serve our country and to prepare me to answer that call. Furthermore, the strong sense of spirituality, and love of our faith which is encouraged at Christendom will afford me the strength I need to endure and overcome the obstacles encountered along the way.”
While Christendom does not have ROTC on campus, McMahon found that such training was not necessary to give him a leg up in getting into the Army. Instead, his edge came from a different place: his liberal arts education. When taking the military entrance exam, the ASVAB, McMahon far exceeded his peers. In the four critical areas — arithmetic reasoning, word knowledge, paragraph comprehension and mathematics knowledge — McMahon scored high enough to qualify for every single job that the Army offers — all 170 of them. According to McMahon’s recruiting sergeant, the Christendom education makes applicants almost over-qualified for the military, because they have so many options to choose from — a fact that bodes well for all Christendom graduates interested in careers in the military.
“I prepared for the ASVAB for only a few days. There was an application that I found very helpful in quizzing me on the different areas covered in the test. As far as the comprehension and word knowledge, if you are coming from a Christendom background you are already prepared to take the test. It was quite easy really, and I was shocked at how easily I was able to breeze through the test,” says McMahon.
Following graduation, McMahon will marry Anna Forst ‘17, and then follow his dream of serving his country in the Armed Forces. If all goes well with his application, McMahon will be accepted into Officer Candidate School and then depart for basic training, where he will receive nine weeks of intensive training. After that, McMahon will depart for Officer Candidate School in Fort Benning, Georgia, where he will receive another twelve weeks of intense tactical and leadership training. Once commissioned as a Second Lieutenant (same rank as a graduate of West Point), he will begin a 27-month long doctorate program for physical therapy at Baylor University in Texas — his ideal career for which the Army will foot the bill.
McMahon will join the many other Christendom grads who have forgone ROTC and the military academies to gain the philosophical habit of mind that Christendom’s Catholic liberal arts education gives them, enabling them to expand their minds in such a way that they are able to succeed in any field – including the Armed Forces. College founder Dr. Warren H. Carroll famously said, “one man can make a difference.” McMahon, through his actions, is set to put that quote into action, for God and country, and embody what it means to be Army Strong.