The summer following his college graduation, Brendan Coble, FOX ’16, didn’t start a new job or take time off to travel. Instead, he began boot camp with the U.S. Air Force, marking the beginning of his military career. He excelled in the challenging environment, and earned the prestigious Basic Military Training Honor Graduate Award, a distinction shared by less than 2% of the Air Force.
An officer and a gentleman
Since then, Coble has steadily climbed the ranks at the Biddle Air National Guard Base in Horsham, Pennsylvania. He’s now second in command of the 111th Comptroller Flight, serving with more than 900 airmen and advising on a $17 million annual budget in support of various missions around the world.
“It’s right in line with my academic training from Temple,” he says. “The classes and professional development courses I took set me up very well in comparison to my peers.”
Coble initially joined the military in 2015, partially to help resolve some financial issues he was facing, and because he knew that there were future benefits to working with the Air Force. Now that he’s further along in his career, he has a bigger picture perspective.
“It’s being a part of something that’s greater than myself and giving back to the community and to the country,” he said.
At Fox, Coble dove into a variety of classes. Quantitative courses, like statistics and business calculus, inspired an affinity for working with numbers, and legal studies courses helped him understand the complexity of business and finance.
He also found himself in need of lots of advice and support at Temple. Throughout his 5 1/2-year journey, he worked three part-time jobs, and struggled to keep himself afloat as a full-time student. He even had to take a semester off to work full time and save up money.
“I don’t come from the wealthiest family, so I had to be self-reliant,” he said. “I went to Temple’s financial aid office on several occasions, and they gave me assistance to help with books and supplies. There were a lot of resources I used to help me survive.”
He credits Kamina Richardson, assistant program director for legal studies at Fox, with helping him navigate the winding path toward earning his diploma.
“If it wasn’t for her, I probably wouldn’t have graduated,” he said. “It became a question of: How hard are you willing to work for your goals?”
Currently, Coble lives in Northwest Philadelphia and is finishing work toward an MBA. He plans to continue advancing through the military, with the goal of becoming a colonel before retiring.
After that, the future is wide open.
“Maybe I’ll find a job in academia, or structural leadership,” he said. “Or, I might get a PhD from Temple, who knows? What drives me is a sense of wanting to constantly improve.”