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BW’s Mauer Leads Through His Service to His Country

BW’s Mauer Leads Through His Service to His Country

Written by Ian Forster '18

BEREA, Ohio – Some college students-athletes strive to be great in the classroom, others on the field and for some like Baldwin Wallace University senior defensive end Jake Mauer (Brunswick) strive to not only do both but also serve their country at the same time. Mauer is currently a member of the United States Army Rerserve Officer in Training Corps (ROTC) and a soldier in the U.S Army Reserves and stationed at the 256th Combat Support Hospital in Twinsburg, Ohio.

After beginning his college experience at the University of Findlay in 2011-2012, Mauer transferred closer to home and BW.  He enlisted for the U.S. Army in December of 2013 and did not attend BW during the spring semester of his sophomore or junior year.  He instead went to Fort Jackson, South Carolina for 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training and then attended six weeks of Advanced Individual Training at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. After reporting to his Army Reserve Unit, Mauer was awarded a Guaranteed Reserve Forces Duty Scholarship (GRFD).

The GRFD Scholarship is designed for people who have prior military service and would like to commission as Officer into either the Army National Guard or Army Reserve. These scholarships are awarded to the most outstanding applicants. In keeping with high standards of excellence, candidates are selected for scholarships based on an evaluation of their scholastic achievement and extra-curricular accomplishments.

"As a winner of a two-year Reserve Forces Duty Scholarship, I am required to enroll in ROTC classes and complete, plan and lead training events." Mauer said of what it's like to be a part of the reserves. "I am also required to continue my duty as a Soldier in the United States Army Reserve being a Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP) Cadet. Upon graduation, I will accept a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army assigned to Second Psychological Operations Group, U.S. Army Civil Affairs & Psychological Operations Command (Airborne)."

"Jake is extremely hard working," said veteran Head Coach John Snell, who enters his 14th season at the helm with an 82-50 career record with an NCAA Division III Playoff appearance. "He loves his military association, and the leadership that he's gained through that association has helped him in football.

"Jake's ROTC experience also has helped him to appreciate football more," continued Snell. "It has helped him appreciate his experience and he understands better how to work with and lead our freshmen."

Veteran Yellow Jacket Defensive Coordinator Jim Meyer agrees.

"Jake's military training transcends leadership on the field," said Meyer, who enters his 40th season of coaching football at the high school and collegiate levels. "He is a senior leader and a projected starter at defensive end. He'll be very important to us this season.

"He is imprtant not only as a student-athlete but also as a leader of the young men in our football program, whether they are on the defensive line or an underclassmen," continued Meyer. "It has been both fun and a priviledge to watch Jake grow as a person, as a student and as a football player."

Being a college student, a student-athlete and leader on the football team and a part of the U.S. Army, Mauer has learned valuable time management skills.

"I am extremely blessed to have the opportunity to play the game I love and continue my education at Baldwin Wallace University," said Mauer, who enters his final sesaon of football with 56 career tackles, including four tackles for loss, two quarterbacks sack and a caused fumble. "In addition to being a student athlete, I am dually enrolled as a U.S. Army ROTC Cadet at John Carroll University (BW does not have its own ROTC program). That means I commute multiple times throughout the week to JCU to complete military science class and leadership lab as well as lead physical training for the Cadets here at BW."

A typical day in season for Mauer is about as hectic as you'd imagine. It starts at 4 a.m. so he can leave by 4:45 a.m. to go to JCU for his military science/leadership lab classes where they will go through real life simulations. After completing his ROTC classes, he returns to BW to finish his regular classes. Then it's off to practice until about 6:00 p.m.

In addition, Mauer usually has night classes and somehow finds time to study after all this before going to sleep.

"I wouldn't change anything because I knows one day it will all be worth it," said Mauer, who originally transferred to BW after starting his collegiate career at the University of Findlay. "I found a home at BW. It is where I can go to school, still be a part of the ROTC program and part of a football family."

Mauer isn't the only one in his immediate family that is enlisted in the U.S. Army. His father, Sergeant Major James Mauer, has been in the U.S. Army for 25 years and is currently stationed in Fort Bragg North Carolina with the U.S. Army Civil Affairs & Psychological Operations Command (Airborne).  

Mauer and his family has lived all across the country in places such as Colorado, North Carolina, Alaska, Hawaii, Ohio and Virginia.

"The Army has been a part of my life since the minute I was born and will be a part of my life forever." Mauer said. "Whenever I need a little extra motivation, I know I can always count on my dad to help. I also feel very lucky and blessed to have a great support system from my family and friends."

Being a senior, Mauer has the honor and responsibility to help lead his team while also acting as a mentor to the younger guys on the team.

"I understand that being a senior there is a bigger emphasis placed upon my actions and words on and off the field," said Mauer.  "Being in the Army Reserves and ROTC program has helped me become a better leader on the field.  It helped me tremendously and it gives me a set of values to live by. It also made me mentally and physically tough. I feel more prepared than ever, because one day I'll have to take on a leadership role among fellow soldiers. It also helped me realize how lucky and blessed I am to be able to play the game I love and to never take advantage of this freedom."

While also going through basic training Mauer was taught the warriors ethos, a set of values that anyone who enlists in the Army lives by. The values are; loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage.

"A lot of the ethos can and does apply to on the football," continued Mauer. "The one thing I would definitely pass on to others is to never quit, whether it's in the classroom or on the field."

Mauer and his Yellow Jackets teammates begin the 2015 season on Saturday, September 12 when they travel to Bluffton, Ohio to play Bluffton University at 1:30 p.m. After playing its Ohio Athletic Conference schedule at Ohio Northern University on Saturday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m., BW opens its home schedule on Saturday, Sept. 26 versus OAC and Cleveland cross-town rival John Carroll University on Family and Community Day on Tressel Field at The George Finnie Stadium at 2 p.m.