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New Canaan Residents in Service: First Lt. Peter Campbell

Sixth in a series of profiles of New Canaan residents in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Peter Campbell, age 23, attended where he excelled in both soccer and lacrosse. As a captain of the varsity soccer squad he was selected as First Team All-State and All-FCIAC. As a varsity lacrosse player and captain he was selected as Second Team All-State and All-FCIAC. He was named an Academic All-American and received the Bob's Sports Outstanding Male Athlete Award and named to the JETS (Junior Engineering Technical Society) JV Team. He graduated in 2006.

Campbell attended the United States Military Academy at West Point because he wanted to do something important and meaningful and it suited his highly competitive nature. Although Campbell’s father, Kim, was a graduate of West Point, Campbell says that his parents never pushed him or his four brothers towards the military. But the influence was there.

“Seeing my Dad’s integrity, honor, and reputation, and knowing that he went to West Point, I thought that going there would help me to be that same honorable and respected person," Campbell said.

While at West Point Campbell played varsity soccer for four years and was a member of the Federal Reserve Challenge Team. He spent a semester studying Chinese in Nanjing, China. He was named to the Dean's list every semester and graduated in the top 10 percent of his class with a dual major in economics and Chinese.

“I am extremely glad I went to West Point," Campbell said. "It was what I wanted and needed, to stay busy and be challenged. If I had to go back and do it all over again I would. If I were given a chance to go to any other school, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, etc., I would still choose West Point because of the caliber of people that I met there. And by caliber I mean in terms of people's morals, work ethic, and sense of duty and purpose.”

Following graduation, Campbell completed Infantry Officer Basic School at Fort Benning in Georgia and went on to successfully complete the grueling US Army Ranger Course in April 2011.

Campbell is currently an Infantry Officer in charge of a platoon serving with the Second Stryker Cavalry Regiment in Vilseck, Germany.

Campbell said he is disappointed that his unit is not deploying in the near future since his sole goal was to be a platoon leader in combat. And, while he enjoys the responsibility for 40 men, he says it is certainly “no walk in the park".  He reports that the effects of deployment are evident on many of the young soldiers, such as trouble sleeping, high divorce rates, and alcohol and drug abuse. He often works through the weekend doing extra duty, planning training exercises, or getting members of his platoon out of sticky situations.

"With the responsibility comes the challenge. I would not trade it for an easier job. It is rewarding and it pushes me," he said.

(Editor's Note: Information in this profile was provided by Peter and his mother, Sally Campbell.Tomorrow: Dr. Eric Twerdahl.)

Kathy McShane November 16, 2011 at 09:50 PM
Hi Barkey, What a wonderful series. It is so well done and so heartfelt. The parents of these young men and women must be so proud of them. Thank you for sharing these wonderful stories with us. Kathy Mcshane

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