MIL 101 'The Tip of the Spear': Perspectives on the Special Forces
Department:Center for International Security Studies
Audience:Restricted to Princeton University
Join us as we host members from the U.S. Navy, Army, and Marine Corps Special Forces. Our panel members will give a brief overview of how Special Operations Forces operate within the construct of the Armed Services and will answer questions from the audience. These individuals represent the most elite units of the United States military which everyday are involved in the active execution of American national security policy overseas. Enjoy both food and fellowship as we take advantage of their insight across a variety of topics.
Shaun Cason is an undergraduate student and former Marine Raider. He enlisted in 2002 into the infantry as a Machine Gunner and deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. After additional deployments with the infantry, he served in Marine Reconnaissance, deploying to Iraq, before becoming a founding member of Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, MARSOC. As a Marine Raider, he served as an Element Leader, Operations Chief, MARSOC UW & SR Instructor, and ultimately as a Team Chief. His deployments in support of SOCOM include the Middle East, Northern Africa, Central Asia, and Europe.
Major Nick Lopez is a MPP candidate and an active duty Army Special Forces officer. He commissioned in 2008 from the United States Military Academy as an infantry officer and deployed to Afghanistan in 2009. In 2012, Nick assessed for Army Special Forces and graduated from the Qualification course in 2014. While in Special Forces, Nick served in the Crisis Response Force (CRF) as an Assault Force Commander, Reconnaissance Troop Commander, and Executive Officer. While in the CRF, he managed numerous operations, deployments, and training in North America, South America, and the Middle East.
Kyle Atwell is an active duty U.S. Army Officer and a Ph.D. student in Security Studies at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School. His Army experience includes operational assignments in North and West Africa, Afghanistan, South Korea, and Germany. Prior to joining the Army, Kyle served as an intern at NATO Headquarters in Brussels and worked for a California state legislator. Kyle received B.A. degrees in Economics and International Relations from the University of California at Davis in 2006.
LCDR Matt Mills is a MPP candidate and an active duty U.S. Navy SEAL officer. In 2008, he was commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy from Naval ROTC at Florida State University. Matt served aboard the USS McClusky (FFG-41) from 2008-2010 where he deployed twice to Central/South America. In 2011, Matt completed Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training in Coronado, CA. Since 2011, Matt has served at multiple East Coast based SEAL Teams in various leadership positions. He has completed deployments to Afghanistan, Africa and Europe.
About CISS MIL 101:
The Military 101 Lunch-timer series raises awareness and understanding of what services the military and its respective branches provide for our country’s national security and provides a background in basic “military literacy” for students who would like to learn more about the military, but may not have the background to feel comfortable with military terminology, operations, and culture.