Jesse Haney ’15
It should come as no surprise that Jesse Haney ’15 chose to major in chemistry at Washington College. After all, he spent five years in the Army—15 months of that in Iraq—learning the nuances of all things explosive.
Coming from a military family, Haney joined the Army in 2006 thinking he wanted to be a military police officer, but he ended up specializing in EOD, explosive ordnance disposal. After training for nearly two years, in 2008 he was deployed to southern Iraq with the 2nd platoon, 760th EOD Company.
“We were the guys with bomb suits and robots. There were bombs and munitions that were left from previous wars, as well as this war, and we were dismantling them.”
Shortly after returning from Iraq, where he’d become team leader of his unit, he was assigned as an instructor at the U.S. Army’s Redstone Arsenal in Hunstville, Ala. After his active duty fieldwork, this was a little tamer than he liked, and when he came up for promotion again (he was by now a sergeant) he decided instead to finish his service.
By then his parents had moved to Centreville, Md., and Haney had two years remaining to finish his college degree. Matriculating at Washington College using his Post 9/11 GI Bill, he immediately headed for the chemistry department.
His transition back into the life of higher education wasn’t too difficult, he says, although he has had to relearn time management and good study habits. He says the College’s Quantitative Skills Center was a huge asset to help him review material he’d studied years ago. At the center in Miller Library, students serve as volunteer tutors, offering free help to fellow students in specific subjects. “I was doing derivative calculus and I’d completely forgotten most of the equations you probably should know when you enter calculus, so they kind of caught me up to speed with the rest of the class,” Haney says.
One-on-one help from the financial aid and registrar’s office—even to the extent of waiving late fees when they knew he was waiting on benefits from the federal government—as well as excellent accessibility to his teachers also have made the transition back to school fairly seamless, he says. “I like to interact with people face to face, which is great here, because you can always walk up to somebody and they have five or ten minutes to help you.”
Haney’s goal is to get his degree and then try out for the FBI, specifically its Hostage Rescue Team.