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Interview with Philip Choi, September 19, 2019

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:11 - Deciding to Join the Army

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Partial Transcript: Um, if you can go ahead and, um, giver your name...

Segment Synopsis: Philip Young Choi discusses his current rank as Captain in the United States Army, in which he has served active duty and reserve since 2012. He was born in Los Angeles, but grew up in Costa Rica before moving to back to the United States in 1996. He describes his own personal experience of 9/11 when he was in seventh grade and how it helped him arrive at the decision to join the Army.

Keywords: Atlanta, Ga; George Walker Bush; Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport; Los Angeles, CA; September 11 attacks

00:04:56 - Military and Education

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Partial Transcript: Okay, so, uh, so you decided to join the Army...

Segment Synopsis: Choi explains how he went about joining the Army by applying for ROTC Scholarships. He attended Clemson University, majoring in Health Science with a Health Services Administration concentration and a minor in Business and Military Leadership. He notes that he already had a basic foundation of military knowledge from his grandparents. He also discusses how ROTC helped him mature, although it was difficult to balance with his other responsibilities.

Keywords: Korean War; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; University of Texas; Vanderbilt University

00:08:49 - Work After College

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Partial Transcript: So after college, what did it look like for you...

Segment Synopsis: Choi discusses the impacts of the recession towards the end of the recovery period in 2012. Despite high unemployment rates, Choi began working as an account executive for corporate Home Depot and enlisted into the Army Reserve. He had drilled with 518th Sustainment Brigade out of North Carolina for two years before he served active duty as 2nd Lieutenant.

Keywords: Atlanta, Georgia; Raleigh, North Carolina; The Great Recession

00:12:58 - Progressing Through the Army

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Partial Transcript: What, what branch were you in?

Segment Synopsis: Choi served as an army staff shop role in Adjutant Generals Corps (AG), although he always desired to go into Civil Affairs. He discusses the required route through Human Resources to get into Public or Civil Affairs and the meaning of number assignments to Army fields. He also mentions his learning opportunity as a Platoon Leader with a Platoon Sergeant and 1st Sergeant before he went directly into a staff role in Human Resources.

Keywords: Adjutant General's Corp; Field 38; Field 42; Field 46; S1

00:14:56 - First Deployment

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Partial Transcript: You said you, you went forward on a deployment...

Segment Synopsis: Choi deployed as a 1st Lieutenant to Bagram, Afghanistan as a Strength Manager in 2016. Per President Obama's withdrawal of troops, Choi's team's mission was to determine how many they could bring back and still accomplish the mission. He discusses the intensity of the nine month deployment, mentioning the different ways they could spend their time. He shares the difficulty of balancing deployment with a full time career and the difference between Army Reserves and Active Duty.

Keywords: Barack Obama; Commander in Chief; The Home Depot

00:20:59 - Balancing School, Career, and Military

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Partial Transcript: Um, so you're in Afghanistan for nine months...

Segment Synopsis: After returning home from deployment, Choi began working for UPS Corporate. He enrolled at the University of Georgia to obtain his Master of Business Administration from Terry College of Business' Buckhead Campus. His discusses balancing three things at once: his schoolwork, career, and military. He now drills out of Georgia with a small Public Affairs unit at Fort Mcpherson, although he has taken a step back both in the military and his corporate career in order to balance more efficiently.

Keywords: Atlanta, Georgia; Captain; Executive Officer; UGA

00:26:13 - Closing Remarks

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Partial Transcript: So, at this point, I wanted to...

Segment Synopsis: Choi pays his thanks to the University of Georgia and the opportunity to be involved. He shares why he feels the project is important and will make an impact on future generations. Choi also explains the privileges he feels Americans have in comparison to other countries and how, for him, joining the Army was a great way to give back to his country.

Keywords: Atlanta, Ga; GI Bill; The University of Arizona; UGA; University of North Carolina; patriotism