How Spc. Dalton Callahan of University of Phoenix Leads Military Students by Example

Spc. Dalton Callahan is a mortarman with Newport’s O Troop, 4th Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment. Not only is he a dedicated member of the United States Armed Forces, but he is a recent college graduate and small business owner, too. In a world where so many of us constantly wish for more hours in the day, Spc. Dalton Callahan shows how far some of us can go when we have the drive and passion for something bigger than ourselves.


Spc. Dalton Callahan’s University of Phoenix Story


Callahan had already enrolled full time at University of Phoenix when the Tennessee National Guard’s Recruiting Command asked for volunteers to process new enlistees. Nevertheless, he did not back down from the opportunity to help. Callahan demonstrated his dedication to the Armed Services by relocating to Knoxville from Johnson City to volunteer with the Recruiting Command while working toward completing his Operations Management degree program.        


At the time, Callahan had one year of coursework remaining. He saw the finish line in sight but had a difficult choice to make about the fate of his education. Should he put his University of Phoenix education on hold or multitask completing a degree program while continuing to volunteer with the Armed Services? Far from taking the easy way out, Callahan chose to proceed with his education while recruiting.


University of Phoenix, one of the leading post-secondary education providers for meeting the unique needs of adult learners, recognizes that students return to the classroom with different circumstances than a typical college student. As a result, the University’s students can develop a high level of comfort around managing education, work and family commitments. The reality of the work-life balance adult learners face explains how Callahan put his best foot forward inside and outside of the classroom. Said Callahan, “I felt that my college classes had prepared me to take on several different roles at the same time. I was ready for the challenge.”


Callahan’s Contributions to the National Guard and Beyond


From May to September 2020, Callahan monitored new Tennessee National Guard enlistees for potential COVID-19 symptoms. After completing his recruiting volunteer work, he purchased a four-unit apartment complex in Maryville, Tennessee, where he became a property manager. Refusing to back down from yet another challenge, Callahan continued to volunteer with the Tennessee National Guard in February 2020. His new role pivoted from Recruiting Command to the Tennessee National Guard’s COVID-19 taskforce.


With the pandemic slowly but surely coming under control, Callahan reflected on the past year with pride. While some might look at Callahan’s resume and wonder why he took so much on, he would not change a thing if allowed to do the past year over again. He explained that “though I was both a property manager and a full-time college student, I felt that the COVID-19 mission was too important to not take part in.”


What’s Next for Spc. Dalton Callahan?


Callahan’s extensive commitments during the pandemic might be enough for anyone to feel the need to take a hiatus, but for him, the work is only beginning. He continues to perform administrative tasks with the COVID-19 taskforce and the Meigs County Health Department. Specifically, he assists with checking in people coming to receive a COVID-19 vaccination while also validating their information and informing them about the vaccine’s side effects. After patients have received their vaccine, Callahan monitors the patients for any adverse reactions and helps maintain the traffic flow at the vaccination site.


No matter what the future holds for Callahan, he trusts that his University of Phoenix experience has helped prepare him for the next step. He said, “A degree program in Operations Management focuses on processes and managing production and supply chains.” He is confident that the lessons “learned at University of Phoenix can translate into anything that has a process, even military tasks. These lessons have helped me juggle the multiple tasks that I have. They have helped me to be able to prioritize what I have to do.”


About University of Phoenix


Founded in 1976, University of Phoenix offers over 100 programs aligned with more than 300 professional occupations. Dr. John Sperlingstarted University of Phoenix to provide adults with more options to achieve higher learning. This educator and entrepreneur understood the economy on a deeper level and quickly recognized that it favored those with the advanced training and skills achieved at a university.


As one of the first universities to offer degree and certificate programs online, the University of Phoenix empowers its students, especially adult learners, to earn their education on their chosen terms.







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