In honor of Veteran’s Day weekend, the JagWire interviewed three faculty members who served the Armed Forces. Here is part one of a three-part series.
John Alcox, Marines
Physical education teacher John Alcox served the Armed Forces for six years, from 1990 to 1996. Stationed in Augusta, GA, he was a diesel mechanic before serving as an office administrator.
Alcox’s grandfather served in World War II as one of the first Black marines. His grandfather did basic training at Montford Point—the camp for Black marines during WWII—located in Jacksonville.
“I wanted to follow in [my grandfather’s] footsteps,” said Alcox in an email interview.
Alcox knew he wanted to teach before he enlisted, hoping to shape future generations into productive citizens. But, transitioning to civilian life after leaving the Marines, he remembers difficulties.
“Without a doubt the toughest thing was the transition from the Marine Corps way of thinking back to the civilian way of thinking,” said Alcox. “The Marine Corps way of thinking tended to be more black and white. Civilian thinking tends to have a few more gray areas.”