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Summer 2018 Wofford Today
Lt. Col. McCullouch

Wofford in the military: Lt. Col. Bret McCullouch ’94

Well served by Wofford

With over 23 years of service to his country, Army Lt. Col. Murry Brent McCullouch ’94 attributes his success to Wofford.

A native Mississippian, McCullouch chose Wofford because he was offered an Army ROTC scholarship. “That scholarship offer led me to take a tour, and I fell in love with the campus,” says McCullouch.

While at Wofford McCullouch also fell in love with Susan Ryscavage ’92. Today they are married with three children and live in the Magnolia State, where McCullouch is full-time active duty with the Mississippi Army National Guard. 

Commissioned through the Army ROTC program, McCullouch went on his first assignment to Italy and served in an airborne unit for three years. Upon his return he stayed involved with the military through the Army National Guard while he worked for Young Life Christian ministry. During that time his unit was mobilized, and he went on assignment to Afghanistan as a military intelligence officer. 

Upon his return home, McCullouch became the state’s first full-time military intelligence officer and has served in a variety of positions since, including service to the state during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, deployment to Iraq in 2009 and multiple overseas operations.

“I have been well served by my Wofford liberal arts education,” says McCullouch. “It exposed me to a variety of fields of study and gave me the tools to understand the environment in which I now operate. I put my education to the test during one of my first intelligence assignments. I had a short amount of time to write a brief for my commander about Liberia — its political climate, economic variables, religious constraints. At Wofford I took a wide spectrum of classes that taught me to research and write — government, philosophy, history, English. It was a great training ground.”

McCullouch also appreciates a geology class he took from Dr. Terry Ferguson ’75. “His class was hard, and I was just stumped with a big problem with a lot of pieces and parts,” says McCullough. “He really helped me understand that I had to look at each of the parts but connect them to form a system … that you have to think through the pieces of a problem and connect the dots to figure out the sum of the parts. It’s a skill I continue to use every day.”

McCullouch now is looking forward to applying his Wofford education to a new role in strategic planning with the Mississippi Army National Guard. “We live in an ever-changing environment and face evolving threats, like cyber security. In this position I will have the opportunity to work with local colleges, universities and government agencies to look at complex problems and figure out how to move forward. I want to help Mississippi continue to improve and get better, and I’m excited to be part of the team crafting solutions to problems that face our state.” 

By Annie Schott Mitchell