Student Veteran of the Month plans a career in public service
Dale Trigsted believes his service with the U.S. Air Force gave him a solid foundation for a future career in political science.
“In the military, we learn how to be a leader and take on huge responsibilities at a relatively young age,” said
Trigsted, a junior in political science. “I feel this can help me professionally and with my career goals.”
Trigsted, who served four years of active duty in the U.S. Air Force and is a now member of the Air Force Reserves, wants to serve local communities after he graduates in 2016.
“Nothing affects our community more than local governments,” he said. “On major news networks, you will always hear about national events. However, our communities are more shaped by our local representatives, such as mayors and other elected officials.”
An electrical systems craftsman, he’s part of the Grissom Air Reserve Base in Indiana.
Trigsted’s primary job is to ensure power systems are working. He’s responsible for maintaining and repairing electrical distribution systems, such as airfield lighting, overhead and underground high-voltage lines, exterior lighting and low-voltage electrical distribution.
During active duty, Trigsted achieved the rank of staff sergeant (E-5). He was deployed to the United Arab Emirates from 2008 to 2009 and Southwest Asia in 2014. Both deployments were in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He was stationed at the Royal Air Force Base in Mildenhall, United Kingdom, and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
Trigsted was awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Air Force Overseas Ribbon and the Armed Forces Reserve Medal.
“I have worked with people from different backgrounds and cultures during my time in the service and I am constantly learning something new from them, even to this day,” Trigsted said. “In the military, you travel around the world and learn about different cultures. It is always important to be culture sensitive.”
He joined UIC in the spring of 2013. Trigsted was treasurer for the Student Veterans Association and an assembly member with Undergraduate Student Government.
“I chose to come to UIC because I wanted to go to a university in my hometown,” he said. “I can also enjoy the city life while I attend college.”
He hopes to pursue a career in the public sector or become part of an advisory group that initiates better government.
“Pursuing a career in the public sector is ideal for me because I can serve my community,” he said. “Services provided by the government should be delivered as promised and efficiently. I feel services provided by the government should be transparent and working in the public sector or an advisory group, I can assure that happens.”