For Carl Green, Jr. ‘09, just graduating high school was a first in his family on Kodiak Island, Alaska. With his mom caring for four children, Carl admittedly was a bit on the obstinate and wayward side during his junior high and early high school years. He didn’t really know what his options were after graduating. It was a commitment to joining the Alaska Army National Guard that really set him up for success.
After graduating high school, Carl moved on to a junior college in Washington, hoping to wrestle, but soon found himself back on Kodiak Island due to financial barriers. In 2002, he joined the Alaska Army National Guard to help pay for his higher education at the University of Alaska-Anchorage, where he attended for a short period. However, Carl and his best friend talked each other into moving to Ashland to attend the small college there, which had the reputation for a great wrestling program. With that, he made the trek to SOU and was also able to transfer to the local Army National Guard unit, 1/186 Infantry Battalion.
Once there, Carl found that he had a great support structure of faculty and administration. With a career ending injury, his wrestling dreams faded but it really allowed him to concentrate academically by applying himself and working harder. He refocused, adapted and blossomed from there. “With help and guidance from communication instructors Jody Waters, D.L. Richardson and Jon Lange, I was able to channel my energy into areas that I had always been interested in: civil rights, diversity and inclusion,” he said. “Diane Watson of the Financial Aid Office nominated me for the McNair Scholarship program. That was instrumental and I was able to elevate my personal and scholastic growth by focusing on going to graduate school.”
After graduating the spring of 2009 with degrees in psychology and human communication (and certificates in human resources, mediation and conflict resolution and non-profit management), Carl secured a fellowship at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and also re-enlisted to serve in the Oregon Air National Guard at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls. From there, he made his way to the University of Oregon where he earned a master’s degree in public administration in 2011. After graduating from the U of O, he attended several professional military education programs for four months prior to moving to Portland.
In Portland, Carl worked for the Bonneville Power Administration for two years as an operations analyst but made the switch to the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet), the regional public transportation agency, as an operations analyst in the maintenance division. He later was promoted into a position that fit his passion and life’s work, Civil Rights Title VI and Equity Programs Administrator, where he continues to this day. Additionally, Carl is the First Sergeant for the Civil Engineer Squadron of the 142nd Wing of the Oregon Air National Guard. He ensures mission readiness and takes care of airmen in various capacities.
“I’ve come a long way from my rambunctious days as a high school kid working at Subway, Blockbuster and on commercial fishing boats. My experience at SOU with caring and compassionate instructors and leaders, helped me to be successful in my journey. I am a Raider for life,” he said. And recently, just for good measure, he even climbed 12,280 foot Cascade volcano Mt. Adams in Washington!
Learn more: TriMet and 142nd Wing