Explaining first principles to high schoolers

Jason Bentley ‘15 felt a deep calling to military service since childhood.  Though he received a congressional nomination and was found physically and academically qualified, a medical exam kept him out of West Point.  He redirected his efforts, went to college and subsequently became an accountant, but the calling never went away.  After a couple of years in corporate America, he went through Officer Candidate School and became a Navy Supply Corps Officer.  It was as if a weight had been lifted from his chest.

Jason spent three years as the sole logistics officer on a Los Angeles class fast attack submarine before becoming a John Jay Institute Saratoga Fellow in 2015. The experience helped him to understand more fully his duties in his daily service.  Among other responsibilities, Jason believes each Christian servicemember has a duty to serve the spiritual needs of their fellow servicemembers, supporting them, inquiring about their lives, and sharing their own faith when appropriate.

He is currently stationed at the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office in Arlington, VA, where in the midst of his many duties he has the exciting opportunity to take part in regular panel discussions with high school students from across the nation. Along with 3-4 other panelists from various branches of the military, Jason spends an hour with each group of roughly 200 students, fielding an incredibly wide variety of probing questions from young minds. He frequently manages to share larger moral and philosophical ideas in this setting, including the importance of sacrificial service and the principles of just war. Over the past couple of years he has been on a dozen panels in front of over 2,000 students. He is grateful for this tremendous opportunity for outreach and looks forward to continued participation on similar panels in the future.