In July, Michelle Kovachich began her duties as a readjustment counselor with the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Her new job brought the Calumet native, a Michigan Tech alumna and US Army veteran, home after more than a decade that took her from Alaska to the Middle East and back again.
Kovachich says she loves to travel and when she graduated from high school she entertained opportunities to pursue her education far away from home. She chose Michigan Tech not necessarily because it was close to home, but because it had exactly what she wanted: a military education.
“I wanted a school with a strong ROTC program and a good relationship with the military. That’s exactly what Tech had and why I chose to go there.”
Her choice turned out to be a good one. Following graduation in 2005 with a degree in social sciences and completion of the ROTC program, Kovachich was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army.
She credits Tech’s ROTC program for preparing her for life in the service. “It wasn’t a surprise,” she says of her transition from college student in Houghton to the 4th Brigade, 25th Infantry Division of the 725th Support Battalion at Fort Richardson, Alaska, near Anchorage.
“Tech’s ROTC program provided the best training and structure. When I went into the military I had an idea of what to expect because of Tech’s ROTC. It wasn’t a surprise because they fed you the information you needed.”
During her five-year service, she experienced the Artic cold of Alaska and war in the Middle East. In 2006 she was deployed to Iraq for 15 months as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2009 she served 13 months as part of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
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