Special to the Star News
There is no doubt that going from working nighttime convoy security in Iraq to spending evenings in a classroom in Elk River is a bit of culture shock.
But for a recent Minnesota School of Business graduate, it was a welcome adjustment — temporarily, at least.
As an Army National Guard soldier, James Koosmann served six years on active duty in places like Iraq, where he spent 371 days on convoy security; Norway, where his winter survival skills were tested; and the United States, where he was part of a search and extraction team.
“My experience overseas made me inquisitive about the world and made me want to continue my education,” Koosmann said.
When Koosmann switched to inactive duty, he used the time to earn an associate degree in criminal justice from Minnesota School of Business in Elk River.
“The (criminal justice)program was relevant to my military experience,” Koosmann said. “Plus, (instructor) Tim Trocke’s perception of criminal justice hooked me in and his wife, Janell, who I had for pretty much the rest of my program, upheld his perception, keeping me intrigued to the end.”
Both Tim and Janell Trocke said they enjoyed having Koosmann in the classroom.
“James has a quiet strength that embodies professionalism and he displays the personal values sought after in criminal justice careers,” Janell Trocke said.
At Koosmann’s graduation ceremony in March, he was awarded graduate of the quarter for his role in the military, commitment to his education and leadership among his classmates.
He explained that graduating was an honor in itself because he is one of only two family members, including his extended family, who have completed college.
Now, Koosmann says he is ready to get back to a more adventurous life as a U.S. marshal so he can track down people who have skipped bail or fugitives trying to flee the country.
If that opportunity doesn’t come his way by fall, Koosmann said he’ll head back to the Minnesota School of Business for his bachelor’s in criminal justice.