A Captain Earns His Stripes

The U. S. Air Force has three core values: Integrity first; service before self; and excellence in all we do. Wilmington University graduate Captain Michael Rajchel demonstrated those values when he completed his doctoral dissertation while stationed in Baghdad, Iraq.

Rajchel made a commitment to himself and his family to obtain his doctoral degree no matter what — including studying while receiving orders to deploy to Iraq, and then living in an active war zone. He was two semesters away from graduating when he was deployed.

Yet on Dec. 3, 2014, Rajchel defended his dissertation via Blackboard Collaborate, an online learning and collaboration platform. He wore his uniform during his defense.

When Rajchel returned to Delaware to walk with his DBA cohort in the 2015 spring commencement ceremonies, his family was there.

“My instructors found no limitations with me being overseas,”  Rajchel  says. “There were  times of  frustration,  but at no point did anyone at Wilmington, my family or any of my co-workers make me feel like I couldn’t do it.”

The captain is putting his DBA to use at an Air Force base in Japan, where he will develop strategic initiatives. WU