I am currently finishing my active service in the military (honorably). I am considering joining a fraternity when I go to college. Do you have any insight or experience as to how fraternities approach military veterans?
Every fraternity that I have come across jumps at the chance when a veteran is interested in joining. You have already dedicated at minimum two years of your life to serving our country and putting others before yourself. Those are qualities that the brothers are looking for during the recruitment period. In fact quite a few fraternities were founded by veterans.
Now that I’ve said that there are issues that may arise if you decide to rush a social fraternity.
The students in leadership positions are more then likely younger then you.
Hopefully this doesn’t become a problem for anyone. In my fraternity we had a nontraditional student join when he was 22 while our membership education chair was 19. After our first pledge meeting the chair talked to the older student and explained that because he is more experienced that he won’t be as hard on him and made sure to know that more will be expected of him then any of the traditional students.
If you go through the rush period and no fraternity calls out to you or you don’t feel welcome don’t worry! They are other options for you if you felt out of place with the social fraternities. Ask the administration if there is a chapter of Delta Omicron Sigma, which is a fraternity only for veterans who have been honorably discharged. It was founded in 2003 specifically to help veteran scholars in college.
Overall I believe that all fraternities should have at least one veteran amongst the brotherhood. They will have been through a lot during their term of service and probably have seen many examples of poor leadership during their time as privates. For a resourceful president the veteran brother could be a key advisor and would be able to help temper the impulsiveness that we as fraternity men are known for.
A military veteran has the ability to be a great addition to any fraternity and they deserve the chance to pledge. These veterans are brave, patriotic, and already know what being a brother and a leader means.
This answer was written by Jack Stonesifer, the president of Alpha Tau Omega at Marshall University and Member of the West Virginia Army National Guard since 2011. He is a new contributor for the thefraternityadvisor.com. If you are interested in writing for thefraternityadvisor.com – let us know (CLICK HERE)!