Sergeant U.S. Army 160th SOAR
Master’s degree in Public Administration from University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
Jorge was born in Ventura, CA and joined the military in 2003 right out of high school enlisting as a helicopter Crew chief. His first deployment to Iraq was in 2004. He engaged in the 2nd and 3rd Iraq campaigns. He joined the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) in 2005, where he subsequently deployed several times. In May 2006, Jorge was injured during a vehicular training accident resulting in a TBI, collapsed lungs, and fractured bones in the ribs, pelvis, and face. He was in a coma for 1 month, but after a successful surgery Jorge was found fit for duty and deployed to Iraq again at the end of 2006. This deployment aggravated PTS symptoms and Jorge was subsequently medically retired in June 2009.
Upon medical retirement Jorge immediately began his academic career the following August. He relocated to Colorado at the beginning of 2011 where he continued his studies and graduated from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS) with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, with an emphasis in Homeland Security and a minor in Political Science in the fall of 2013. While at UCCS he was the President of the Student Veterans of America chapter. Jorge worked for the Colorado Division of Youth Corrections as a Youth Correctional Officer for 2 years and assumed a leadership role quickly, attaining the title of Field Training Officer. He is currently a Veteran Service Officer for Arapahoe County, where he serves as a legal advocate for Veterans.
Jorge learned about Sentinels of Freedom through his application process to the HERO (Human Exploitative Rescue Operations) program, though accepted to the HERO program he decided to pursue a Master’s in Public Administration instead. Jorge had already exhausted his GI Bill benefits so SOF stepped up in January 2017 and offered to cover the cost of tuition, books, and his parking pass each semester. Jorge will graduate in May 2019 and plans to relocate to the DC area with the ultimate goal to ascend into a leadership position within a public or private agency, where he can use my role to influence policy changes, promoting equality and respect. Jorge is incredibly grateful for the opportunity of becoming a Sentinel.
“My academic journey has definitely been challenging. I’m convinced that without the support of Sentinels of Freedom my intellectual endeavors and achievements would not have been possible. I’m extremely grateful and fortunate.
Resources and funding for school can always create tremendous pressure for many pursing advanced degrees, or in higher education in general. The financial support I am receiving from SOF has alleviated all that pressure, which lets me focus 100% on academics, increasing my chances of success. Not to mention, my case manager Samantha Chapman is extremely responsive and timely with all my requests (from tuition and fees to reimbursement for books and supplies). As I make the transition and seek new professional opportunities, SOF’s team has reviewed my resume and provided solid feedback. The guidance and support I’ve received is invaluable!”
– Jorge Arredondo, November 2018