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Tim Morgan in combat fatigue.
Tim Morgan

After a career as an Army Ranger, senior Tim Morgan turned to Carolina to prepare him for his next career in law.

Growing up in a military family near Fort Bragg, Tim Morgan always knew he wanted to be an Army Ranger — an honor shared by only a distinct few.

Enlisting after high school, Morgan was assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment in Savannah, Georgia, where he was a member of the Army’s most elite large-scale fighting force. But after five years of intensive training and deployments, Morgan decided to retire from active duty and transferred to the North Carolina National Guard.

“That specific unit has a really high operational tempo, which basically means you’re doing a lot of stuff all the time,” he said. “We were training a lot and deploying just about every year, so I had just gotten tired and burnt out.”

To prepare for his second career, Morgan enrolled at Carolina to pursue his passion for criminal justice as a political science and journalism student.

“I knew I wanted to live in the Triangle area,” he said. “I knew Carolina was a good school, and they happened to accept me.”

After he graduates this spring, Morgan plans to go to law school. It’s a career choice partially inspired by his experiences as an active-duty Ranger.

“From what we were doing, it was making an active difference in getting the wrong people out of areas where good people were,” he said. “I enjoyed that for the most part, and I figured what better way to continue down that same line than to get well-versed in the law and be part of the American legal system.”

His political science courses in the College of Arts & Sciences helped steer his interest in law.

“Coming into Carolina, I had law in mind, so I took a few political science courses that were notorious for being good pre-law courses,” he said. “I really fell in love with the content. I don’t know if I just had a really good professor or peers or what, but that really jump-started it.”

Outside of the classroom, Morgan stays connected to his Army roots as a member of the Carolina Veteran’s Organization and the North Carolina National Guard. As a part of the National Guard, Morgan is required to serve with the Army for three to six days a month. With these requirements, it can be challenging to balance being both a student and a soldier, but Morgan thrives.

“I’m not going to say the balance is easy by any means, but it’s totally do-able,” he says. “I think it’s really important, not just for non-traditional students, but for everyone to build a rapport with their professors. It’s just a matter of giving your professors as much of a heads up as you can and to have time management. And for everyone, you need an outlet, so find time throughout the day to do something you enjoy.”

Morgan plans to stay in the Triangle area to attend a law school nearby and then hopes to begin working for a district attorney’s office or the FBI. The skills he gained at Carolina will serve him well in his next chapter in life, he said.

“I think if I had to narrow down what I’ve gained at Carolina, it’d have to be knowledgeable of research and all that it entails,” he said. “Having the ability to conduct research and interpret studies has proven invaluable and I think it is a skill that every citizen should have.”

By Yenah Joe, University Communications 

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