By Molly Grace Watkins
University of Mobile
“I see the military as my missions field,” says Michael Wenzel, a senior at the University of Mobile and recipient of the prestigious national ROTC George C. Marshall Award.
A kinesiology major in the School of Health and Sports Science with a minor in military science, Wenzel will be commissioned upon graduation in May with the rank of second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Wenzel begins his 10-year commitment in the aviation branch, where he will train to fly Army helicopters.
The George C. Marshall Award, first given in 1978, goes to the top cadet of the 273 ROTC programs across the nation. According to his professor of military science, Lt. Col. Jared Sunsdahl, Wenzel received this award “not only because of how he excels as a scholar, athlete and leader, but also because he has extreme dedication, which goes a long way for a cadet.”
Wenzel is also a Distinguished Military Graduate, an honor given to the Top 10% of the 5,000 senior cadets across the nation.
The George C. Marshall Award is an incredible honor for any cadet to receive.
“This award culminates all of the aspects of what the cadet has done throughout his four years. During that time, they train you and test you in the attributes and competencies of what an officer should look like in the army,” Wenzel said.
‘A different plan’
As a freshman in college, Wenzel came to the University of Mobile focused solely on playing soccer, remaining close to home and being involved in ROTC. However, the Lord had a very different plan.
Looking back, Wenzel said that even though he was not saved when he arrived on campus, “the Lord was definitely working in my life in so many ways through all of the opportunities that were given to me.”
Through the church community around UM and friends who were invested in his spiritual walk with the Lord, Wenzel came to faith in Jesus during the first semester of his freshman year.
He has grown spiritually because of the environment on campus and the influence of faculty and staff who have poured into him over the course of his time at UM.
“The faculty and my friends were openly spreading the gospel with me, and my curiosity and interests shifted into wanting to understand more about this life-changing decision,” he said.
Throughout his four years at UM and especially during his first semester, Wenzel learned more about who God is and the life transformation that happens when one accepts Christ.
Wenzel attributed all that he has learned and the ways that he has grown spiritually to the circumstances and people he has met during his time as a student at the University of Mobile.
“All of the opportunities that the gospel has been presented, it’s always been a motivation and a blessing to be part of it and to witness it all. It would feel different if I didn’t have this community as a Christian,” he said.
In the coming years, Wenzel is looking forward to being a light and a leader to everyone he encounters, in the Army aviation branch and beyond.
“I see the military as my mission field,” he said. “I want to make the most of that in every way that I can.”
Share with others: