Wounded Warrior Scholarship Selection Committee, CSM Martin Pate, III (ret.)
In 2008, Colorado Technical University (CTU) created the Wounded Warrior Scholarship in partnership with the Yellow Ribbon Fund, Inc. to give back to those whose lives have been altered due to injury while serving in the United States Armed Forces. The scholarship covers tuition and fees costs, including books and a new laptop computer.
For many, an injury impacts not only the service member or veteran, but the family as well. CTU’s Wounded Warrior Scholarship is eligible for spouses of injured active duty or veterans, as well as eligible dependent children and caregivers.
The Scholarship Selection Committee
To apply for the scholarship, an online application is filled out, which includes a section for the prospective recipient to share their story. Through careful evaluation, the Wounded Warrior Selection Committee reviews all applications and makes the tough choice of narrowing down the many applicants to 50 recipients.
CTU’s Wounded Warrior Scholarship Selection Committee members each have a passion for service members, and some are veterans themselves..
Why Selection Committee Members Get Involved
It’s with this in mind that we spoke to Martin Pate, III, Command Sergeant Major (Retired), about his role as a Wounded Warrior Scholarship Selection Committee member. Martin has been on the committee since the inception of the scholarship in 2008.
What is your military background?
Martin Pate: “I served honorably in the US Army for more than 31 years. I started out as a young combat medic in Vietnam and ended my career as the Command Sergeant Major of the Northern Regional Medical Command and the Acting CSM for US Army Medical Command.
I’ve developed a strong love and passion for the business of soldiering, taking care of our military family, and protecting freedom for America and people all over the world.”
How did you first hear about CTU and the Wounded Warrior Scholarship Program?
Martin Pate: “The Commanding General of the Northern Regional Medical Command recommended me to the CTU Military Chairman at the time. After a discussion with both of them, I thought that what CTU was trying to establish was magnificent, and something that was different and unprecedented. CTU was so willing to give back to those who protect the freedom of this country. I knew from the moment that I spoke with them that this would be something that I would enjoy doing.”
Why is education important to you?
Martin Pate: “One of my mottos is that you can educate yourself through most situations in life. I've told this to soldiers in many talks that I have given over the years, and I tell this to my children, grandchildren, and friends: Education makes the world a better place.”
What advice do you have for future recipients?
Martin Pate: “To take complete advantage of the opportunity that they have been given, and to feel thankful for the blessing that they have been so fortunate to receive. Take the knowledge that they gain from the education received at CTU and use it to make themselves and all those around them better.”
Any advice on filling out the application?
Martin Pate: “To think deeply and carefully about the answers that you submit to the questions asked. Do not be afraid to ask for help from a friend or family member in finalizing the application before submission. The Selection Committee is seeking the best candidates and we won’t know your story unless you share it with us in your application.”
What are you looking for in candidates for the scholarship?
Martin Pate: “We are seeking a combination of things—not only candidates who can communicate successfully, but who have also served well and are seeking this scholarship to help them grow in life and build a solid foundation for their family’s future.”
Where does your passion for helping veterans/soldiers originate from?
Martin Pate: “I am the oldest boy of 10 children. I have always held a leadership role in my family and in life. My grandmother and mother were very passionate and caring people. They instilled this in their children.
I was a young combat medic in Vietnam within six months of joining, but I have never looked back with any regrets. I learned to love the business of soldiering. Helping other soldiers and their families became a passion of mine because of what they do—the giving and the sacrifices they make every day. There is no better group to help than the men and women in uniform and their families.”
CTU is grateful that people like Martin have given so generously of their time to the Wounded Warrior Scholarship Program. Learn more about the Wounded Warrior Scholarship. Applications for the 2018 scholarship year will open on April 1st and are due July 31, 2017.