At MSUM, we value the dedication, responsibility and leadership veterans bring to our university, both as students and as employees. We proudly honor all veterans who have served our country and recognize a few of our Dragons veterans for their commitment to serve and to protect.

Jane Pettinger, Assistant Professor, Paseka School of Business

Jane Pettinger served for almost 8 years in the North Dakota National Air Guard as a Command in Control Specialist in the Operations Dispatch Center. She says she was proud to work with the military defending the U.S., specifically her home state, North Dakota. Jane incorporates the military’s leadership principles in the leadership sections of her classes to this day.

“I don’t regret for a moment that I did it. Financially, it was fantastic for me, but also the work itself gave me real strong intrinsic reward that made me feel good about what I was doing, and that matters,” Jane said.

Jane also stresses the importance of caring for our veterans, saying, “We all need to recognize the ongoing housing and medical needs of our veterans is absolutely imperative for us to support as individuals, but also as a society.”


Tom Schmidt, Power Plant Chief Engineer, Physical Plant

Tom Schmidt served as a Machinist Mate (2nd class) in the U.S. Navy for 6 years. He served in Spain, Italy, Kenya, Guam, Australia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and multiple bases in the U.S. He says his best experience was the new constructing and commissioning of the USS Bremerton (SSN 698) submarine; which he worked on for 3 years during his service.

“Responsibility, dedication, independence, and structure. It can take a lot of people that are just stumbling, making their way through life and it gives the direction and purpose. You got paid, to serve our country and you got to see a lot of different places, cultures, people—just interesting people you meet no matter where you are,” Tom said.


Andrea Bertram ’19 (Early Childhood Education)

Andrea Bertram served 6 years as a 42 Alpha (42A) in the Minnesota National Guard at Camp Ripley in Little Falls, Minn. She credits her service for pushing her out of her comfort zone into different leadership roles, changing her civilian life, and giving her the strength to be confident. Andrea believes experiencing things in service first-hand gives her a stronger connection to her students and their families, and provides a unique perspective for her role as a kindergarten teacher in Carson, Colo. — a big military community.

“It shaped me in the good and bad experiences to be confident in who I am and what I’ve done, and you can truly do anything you set your mind to. You are capable of accomplishing anything,” Andrea said.

Thank you to all veterans at MSUM, in our community and across the U.S. and U.S. bases for their service!