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From Academic Opportunities to "Special Ops"

CBN.comTo say that Army Captain Ryan Trumbo is on a fast track is an understatement. The 32-year-old Regent University graduate is an Army captain whose career as a psychologist for the military has given him more opportunities than he ever dreamed possible. The most recent? His appointment — an Army first in “special ops” — as command psychologist for the Fifth Special Forces Group headquartered at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. “These are the best of the best,” says Trumbo of the men and women in his group. “They are selected for their fitness on every level — physically, intellectually, socially.”

Ironically, says Trumbo, while the sensitive nature of their work makes the job high-stress, members regularly test very low for stress thanks to their ability to maintain calmness and grace under pressure.

That makes the command psychologist’s job that much more challenging. “For a sergeant in Special Forces, for instance, it’s all about the people under him. It’s not about him. He has a hard time seeking help for himself.” The key is building trust by just being there on every level. “In the military you wear a lot of hats,” says Trumbo, who has deployed with the group and expects to do the same again in the near future. “You’re a medical professional, an officer, and a soldier. There’s no other field like it.”

Trumbo says Regent provided the perfect preparation for a career like his. “The military is a values-led organization built on biblical principles, like honor and integrity,” he says. “What better place to learn than Regent where the same is true?” Trumbo is still in touch with many of his professors.

“The quality of the faculty is so high,” he says. “The networking, the opportunities they make possible — they won’t hand it to you, but it’s there if you’re motivated.” During his time at Regent, for example, Trumbo served as a teaching assistant and helped with a professor’s research in private practice. Experiences like these made a big difference when it came time for his doctoral internship at the prestigious Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. “I was probably better prepared clinically than many of the other interns,” he says. “I had more experience in testing, for instance, and had seen and treated a wider range of issues.” This significant educational journey well prepared him for his intensive fast track today.

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