Richard Laszok is the winner of the McGaughey Family Scholarship for 2018.

His Bio:

I was raised in a military family and grew up around the military.  This upbringing exposed me to many great patriots and instilled a sense of service in my life.  My father was an Army Officer who certainly taught me the values of hard work, integrity, and honor; but it was my community, that taught me to value diversity, selfless service, and duty to our country.  Moving around almost yearly required me to develop the social skills to build a very diverse social network of friends.  These values were key to the foundation for which I have built my life around.  Based on my childhood experiences I was drawn to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy when I started searching for colleges to attend and later service in the Marine Corps.

While attending the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, I studied logistics and intermodal transportation.  Additionally, I was learning how to navigate and load cargo on various commercial ships.  During the sea-year training, I had the opportunity to practically apply the classroom lessons while working aboard the vessels.  This was an invaluable learning experience to my education at the Academy.  Upon graduation, I joined the U.S. Marine Corps.

While on active duty I served in the Infantry and Reconnaissance communities as a Platoon Commander, Company Executive Officer, and Company Commander.  I also had the opportunity to serve as a Team Leader responsible for advising and training Afghans soldiers at the Regional Military Training Center in Helmand Province.  This was a gratifying experience because I was able to utilize creative problem solving and created opportunities to teach others.  After the deployment, I decided to pursue other personal and professional goals.  I am currently enrolled at the Institute of World Politics studying National Security and Statecraft.  In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, touring museums, and socializing with friends.

You can read his Press Release here. You can read his National Security Essay here. You can read his LC-VANS Essay here.