I first learned about PPALM in t late spring of 2011, after meeting Major General Tony Taguba at an event where he presented a scholarship for leadership and courage at the University of Maryland. At that time, I was an Air Force ROTC cadet, but had recently learned that I was not going to be receiving my commission upon graduation. After dis-enrolling from the program I was unsure about my path ahead, but still felt a strong desire to serve the US. After approaching Major General Taguba for advice on next steps, Major General Taguba suggested I join PPALM and seek mentorship from its members.
After joining, I was paired with General Taguba, who provided me with great insight on my journey to gaining my commission to finally serve through the United States Marine Corps. Since graduating from the University of Maryland in 2012, my journey took four years, during which I actively kept in touch with Major General Taguba and volunteered at PPALM events. Attending the general membership meetings allowed me to connect and network with other mentors who offered thoughtful encouragement and insight. Along with providing numerous opportunities to learn about my personal and professional goals, my participation in PPALM has only further reinforced the importance of community in developing leadership skills, professional growth, and increasing diversity in the US military.
Without General Taguba’s guidance and mentorship, I would have not been able to fulfill my desire to serve. Since successfully completing USMC Officer Candidates School in early 2016, I am thrilled to begin a new journey, this time as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps.
Jonathan Ung serves on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps. He is currently a student at The Basic School. After graduation, he will be a student naval aviator at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida.
October 3, 2016 -- U.S. Marine Corps officers pose with PPALM Chairman MG Tony Taguba, U.S. Army, Ret. Third from the right, 2nd Lt. Jonathan Ung, was one year ago a civilian and longtime PPALM member. He dreamed of one day becoming a military officer. After closely working with his PPALM mentor, MG Taguba, for several years, he achieved his dream of earning his commission this year. He currently serves on active duty and is a student at The Basic School at Marine Corps Base Quantico.