Uncovering Earth's Secrets - A Military Veteran Prepares for a New Career

The Yellow Ribbon Series focuses on the stories of returning military veterans who are pursuing degrees in the geosciences as a transition into the workforce with civilian technical careers. Each veteran featured in the series is a previous recipient of the AAPG Foundation’s Military Veteran Scholarship Award

What does a highly decorated United States Army Sergeant do when he returns home after serving his country in the military? One we spoke to goes to elementary school – and shares informative talks about geology with children.

“Researching and studying geology is fascinating due to the numerous fields and unknowns within those fields,” says Matthew Brice. “There are so many questions left to answer, and the rate at which technology is advancing to aid in the search for those answers makes being involved in research very exciting.”

Brice knows that gathering accurate and relevant information and providing analysis are pivotal to the success of geological discoveries, just as they are to military missions. His specialized training as a tactical field reconnaissance team leader in the United States Army Military Intelligence core contributed to successful missions in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Achieving the rank of E5-sergeant, Brice earned the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, two Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, the Meritorious Unit Commendation, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, a Non-Commissioned Officer Ribbon, a Professional Development Ribbon, an Overseas Service Ribbon and the NATO Medal.

Now Brice, thanks in part to his support from the AAPG Foundation, applies his razor-sharp observational and analytical skills to his pursuit of a degree in geology at the University of Texas at San Antonio. There he aspires to his career “working with new geospatial technologies to monitor oil and gas infrastructure.”

In addition to the demands of attending classes and studying, he also serves as vice president of the Student Geological Society and enjoys volunteering at schools where he can share his passion of “understanding the Earth and its processes.”

For Brice, newly developed technology is the key to new geological discoveries. He sees opportunities to assist “petroleum companies to develop cutting edge cost efficient ways to monitor and maintain infrastructure using remote sensing technology.”

AAPG Foundation’s Deana and Paul Strunk Military Veterans Scholarship Program (MVSP) has played a vital role in Brice’s success in obtaining his educational goals.

“My advice to any veterans who are debating on applying for this scholarship is to do it,” he says. “As veterans we have earned our benefits, however, those benefits do not cover all school expenses; therefore, we have to take advantage of all the opportunities provided to us in order to achieve our goals.”

Scholarships range from US $2,000 to $4,000 and may be used for costs of attendance and other educational expenses.

Applications are now open. and all materials must be submitted to AAPG Foundation no later than 11:59 p.m., (PDT) May 1, 2018. Scholarships are provided for the following academic year. Review Requirements and Guidelines or get more details at AAPG Foundation's Military Veterans Scholarship Program website. You may also email AAPG Foundation Programs Coordinator with any questions or comments, or call (918) 560-9462, Toll Free at 1 (855) 302-2743.