Alumnus Andrew Murphree (AB ’09) is a captain in the United Sates Army. Capt. Murphree was recently deployed to Senegal, a west African country, to command and lead 140 troops and work along side his fellow Senegalese troops through the African Readiness Training Program. Emily Middleton ’18, digital communications intern, had the chance to ask Captain Murphree about his life in the United States Army and the African Readiness Training.
When did you graduate from UGA and how long have you served in the Army?
I graduated in 2009 and have served in the Army for more than seven years.
What made you want to complete the ROTC path at UGA?
I wanted to serve our country and protect our way of life. The ROTC program afforded me the opportunity to train to become an Army Officer so that I could put my leadership skills to good use.
What is the purpose of the Africa Readiness Training program and when did the program begin?
African Readiness Training 2016 provided our unit the opportunity to train alongside the Senegalese Army in combat operations to develop interoperability and strengthen our country’s firm partnership with Senegal. It began on July 10 and ended on July 27. This training also allowed us to practice expeditionary deployment operations to the continent of Africa.
What is your daily schedule like as a captain during the Africa Readiness Training Program?
My daily schedule was dependent on the training we did. I would wake up, eat breakfast, and then the Senegalese would drive us out to the training area where I would evaluate my subordinate units on how well they conducted their training exercises. It would usually last all day, and then we would conduct movement back to the training center and prepare for the next day.
What do you hope comes out of the Africa Readiness Training Program?
I hope relations between the United States and Senegal were strengthened, as well as the partnership between our armies. Furthermore, I hope the soldiers in my company learned what a deployment to another country was like so that if they were to deploy to a combat zone they would have what they need to survive.
What is your favorite memory from your time as a student at UGA?
I have a lot of good memories, but I would have to say game day in Athens is by far my fondest. Given my job, I have not attended a Georgia game since 2010. However, I have the memories from four full seasons of Georgia Football. You will seldom find a place so vibrant, just brimming with excitement like inside Sanford Stadium.
If you could give a current student one piece of advice, what would you tell them?
Enjoy your time at school and follow your passions. Develop lasting friendships, get involved on campus, and make memories, because in my case when you’re in austere environments with very little, your memories will be all that you have.