My name is Master Sergeant Robert McGugin. I was born and raised in Sacramento, California and attended Center Elementary, Center Junior High, and Center High School. After graduating from Center High School in 1995, I briefly attended Sierra Community College before joining the United States Army in 1997. My wife (Angela McGugin) and I grew up together and have been married for seventeen years. Together we have two beautiful children—Hailee and Tyler; Hailee is sixteen, attends Rossview High School, and is an aspiring educator; Tyler is nine, attends Carmel Elementary, and like most children his age, has not quite narrowed down what he wants be when he grows up.
I enlisted in the United States Army in 1997 as a 19D Cavalry Scout and attended One Station Unit Training (OSUT) at Fort Knox, Kentucky. After graduating basic training in May of 1997, I was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC), 4/64 Armor Battalion at Fort Stewart, Georgia. In 1998 to 1999 I deployed in support of Operation DESERT THUNDER/ DESERT FOX (ODT/ODF) as part of Task Force 4/64s Armor Battalion. Upon returning from ODT/ ODF, I re-enlisted for four years and conducted a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) to Fort Carson, Colorado, where I was assigned to Charlie Troop, 1/3 Armor Cavalry Regiment (ACR).
In 1999 I attended the Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS). After successfully completing SFAS, I PCD’ed to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where I attended the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC) as an aspiring Special Forces Weapon Sergeant. I completed the SFQC in 2002 and was immediately assigned to Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) (SFG (A)), Operational Detachment-Alpha 543 (ODA 543). I spent seven years on ODA 543 where I served as the Junior Weapons Sergeant, the Senior Weapons Sergeant, and deployed in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF) I, II, III, IV, and V.
In 2008 I PCS’ed to the United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School (USAJFKSWCS) where I served as a Chief Instructor at the David K. Thuma Advanced Non-commissioned Officer Course (ANCOC)—currently known as the Senior Leaders Course (SLC). In 2010 I was re-assigned to the Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) committee where I served as the Non-commissioned Officer-in-Charge (NCOIC) of Resistance Academics.
In 2011 I PCS’ed back to 5th SFG (A) and was assigned to Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th SFG (A)—ODA 5234 (Military Free Fall Detachment) where I served as a Team Sergeant for three years—the pinnacle of my military career. During my tenure as Team Sergeant I deployed in support of Operation ENDURING FREEEDOM XIV (OEF) and culminated my Team Sergeant time with Operation INHERENT RESOLVE I (OIR). At the conclusion of my Team Sergeant tenure, I was assigned as the 2/5 SFG (A) S3 Operations Sergeant. And, in 2016 I was assigned to HHC, 5 SFG (A) where I currently serve as the S3 Training NCOIC.
I graduated from American Military University (AMU) in 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in American History. I am currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Education through Trevecca Nazarene University (TNU) in Nashville, TN, with the intent of teaching middle school or high school Social Studies while also coaching basketball. Part of my educational requirements through TNU includes student teaching, which directly aligns with my 2018 US Army retirement.
As many of you well know, pursing a Master Degree in Education is an expensive endeavor. I am humbled and honored that I have been chosen as the Bennie Adkins Scholarship recipient. I intend to honor the Bennie Adkins Foundation Scholarship by using the funds to help offset the costs associated with US Department of Education Standardized Tests. These five standardized tests—known as the PRAXIS Exams—encompass three areas: Core, Individual Content, and Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT). The PRAXIS Core consists of: Reading, Writing, and Mathematics; my individual content is History; and, the final exam is the PLT. Each tests costs nearly $100 and will significantly help me financially. The remainder of the Bennie Adkins Scholarship will be used to supplement the offset cost of books and teaching materials.