Westmont Magazine Growing Up into a Life of Service
Molly’s day begins differently than most college students. From 6:30-7:30 a.m., she participates in intense physical training with ROTC at UC Santa Barbara before heading back to Westmont for her 8 a.m. class. On Thursday, she spends all day completing practical military leadership exercises. Molly sees this consistent commitment as an integral step in pursuing her dream of military service.
From a young age, Molly Miller ’20 knew she wanted to join the military. Her father serves in the Navy as a foreign affairs officer specializing in military diplomacy, so Molly lived overseas for most of her life. Diplomacy fascinated Molly. “I knew I wanted to do what he’s doing,” she says. Through each of their deployments, the military cared for her family, and she remembers the strong community they experienced at every base. “The military is like one big family. They took care of me and gave me so many fantastic opportunities.” She wants to give back to this community.
Molly graduated this May with a degree in political science and an emphasis in international affairs. She chose Westmont because she desired a versatile liberal arts education. Molly recognizes that effective diplomacy involves much more than knowledge. “It’s about being personal and well-rounded,” she says. “Westmont has exposed me to new perspectives and taught me how to think outside the box and my own experience.”
Westmont also gave Molly a sense of stability and community after living most of her life abroad. “It’s easy to get lost in the crowd at a big school,” she says. “It has been amazing to have such a grounding in the community at Westmont while being exposed to other perspectives at a big school through my involvement with ROTC.”
Molly has become progressively more involved with UCSB’s ROTC unit and has enjoyed meeting people in the greater Santa Barbara community. Last summer, she spent 31 days at an ROTC leadership camp where she completed intense physical and leadership challenges and earned her Air Assault Wings. She appreciated building relationships with a diverse group of young leaders. This year, she was appointed ROTC battalion commander, a testament to her hard work and commitment.
In May, she accepted a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. She graduates just as her father retires from his military service. Although still interested in pursuing military diplomacy, she’ll begin her career in the quartermaster branch of the Army, which manages logistics and provides supplies, often in the midst of crises. Molly, who enjoys planning and coordinating logistics, happily begins this new challenge. “Service is about so much more than just getting something done,” she says. “I’m so excited to join this big family to give back to the military community.”