Baseball letterman Larry Brown, a 1996 Linfield graduate, is a career military officer with the rank of Major in the U.S. Army. He makes his home in Bryan, Texas, 100 miles northwest of Houston.
What’s your family life like?
I am married to the former Ms. Shannon Rae of Bonners Ferry, Idaho. Shannon served in the Army as an Aviation Officer, flying both the UH-60 Blackhawk and UH-1 Iroquois helicopters. We do not have children yet, but we are using our time in Texas as an opportunity to begin our family. We reside on a small ranch where Shannon trains horses.
What’s your current position?
I am employed as the Assistant Professor of Military Science (Army ROTC) at Texas A&M University. I have full responsibility for the training and instruction of junior cadets destined for eventual commissions as Second Lieutenants in the U.S. Army.
Where has your career taken you?
After graduating from Linfield, I enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1997 and served from 1998 until 2002 as a Platoon and Company Senior Medic, during which time I achieved the rank of Sergeant. I was commissioned through the Officer Candidate School as an Infantry Lieutenant in 2002. My first assignment was that of rifle platoon leader at Fort Hood, Texas. As a platoon leader, I was deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom during 2003 and 2004. I then served as a Rifle Company Executive Officer and Battalion Assistant S3. Most recently, I served as Infantry Division Assistant Operations Officer and commanded two armor regiments following redeployment from combat duties in Iraq.
You completed two tours of duty in Iraq. What was that like?
Working in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom entailed conducting countless counter-insurgency operations, during which time I had the opportunity to interact with Iraqi military, police, political and tribal leaders. My exposure to unfamiliar cultures and new sociological paradigms proved invaluable to me. Those experiences allowed me to put leadership theory into practice on a daily basis. This exposure not only broadened my understanding of human nature and action, but it also inspired my current commitment to advanced study of leadership, leadership theories, and critical self-analyses through the Master of Science in Organizational Leadership at Norwich University. During my two deployments to Iraq, I was awarded the Bronze Star with “V” device (Valor), two Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, and the Order of St Maurice-Centurion.
Did you aspire to a career as an Army officer?
While attending Linfield, I did not have an interest in serving in the military. I was holding out hope that I would eventually be able to hit for average and run faster, and in doing so, gain the attention of a professional baseball scout. Upon realizing that dream was not going to happen, I started to look at options after college. Having been born to career-Army parents, the idea to join the military was not foreign to me, and after careful consideration, became reality.
What are some of your fondest memories of playing baseball at Linfield?
Aside from the camaraderie and competition, I will always remember that my grandparents attended every game during the season. Baseball was a passion that both my grandpa and I shared. Being able to enjoy it with him will always be one of the fondest memories of playing at Linfield….and the time I hit the cycle at Whitworth.