STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - Thousands of Georgia Southern University students know George Frederick simply as Colonel Fred, the former longtime professor of Military Science. Ironically, Frederick’s military career started with a two year term and transition to college.
“Transferred from Central Texas College to what’s now Texas State, vowing to never go back in the military,” Ret. Col. Frederick said.
But an ROTC instructor urged the young husband and father to give it another shot.
"Next thing I knew, I signed a contract. Next thing I knew, I got commissioned,' Ret. Col. Frederick said.
Over the decades, he served in Infantry and other duties - deploying around the world including Iraq and Afghanistan after 9/11. A medical issue in the family brought him to a crossroads.
“A senior leader reached out to me and said I know you still want to serve your country. I know you want to take care of your family. I want you to consider Army ROTC. I was like, ROTC?”
His time in Georgia prompted him to select Georgia Southern. He helped lead the Eagle Battalion to become one of the premiere programs in the nation.
“You’re developing the future of the Army. You’re developing the future leaders of the Army by the examples you set.”
In retirement, he heads of the Military and Veterans Student Center helping people at the same place he was after his first two years.
“You’re older, you’re married, you’re working part time and have children. School’s different for you. And that I can understand.”
He hopes his years of service in the uniform and after have helped shape the Army and the soldiers who’ve studied here.