MSU Alumni Office
Oct. 23, 2020
MSU alumnus Jeremy Blaney '10 felt the call of service at a young age.
Growing up in Holland, MI, and inspired by his Air Force veteran parents, Jeremy enlisted in the United States Air Force as a logistician after high school. He deployed all around the world to support various operations. Through his experience, he developed a desire to learn more about international relations. “Through it all,” said Jeremy, “I became fascinated with international affairs – how people approach situations of cultural unfamiliarity, technological advancement disrupting conventional approaches to international development, and so on.”
To expand on what he learned in the U.S. Air Force, he applied for and was granted the Scholarship for Outstanding Airman to ROTC, allowing him to attend MSU and earn degrees in international relations and comparative cultures and policy from James Madison College.
On Veterans Day, we honor those who have served in the United States armed forces. I think about 'service' as inclusively as possible, honoring veterans for their sacrifices as well as the many who support them every step of the way. The Spartan network and their services have been there for me throughout my in-service and post-service journey. And it’s not just me – through veteran scholarships, on-campus resources, care packages to deployed troops and even sending student veterans to the inaugural Carrier Classic on Veterans Day in 2011, MSU supports veterans in an inspiring way.
At MSU, Jeremy served as a cadet in the MSU Air Force ROTC program, Detachment 380. Taking advantage of all the program had to offer, Jeremy held various student leadership positions and volunteered with the Arnold Air Society. “Some of my fondest memories of MSU are from Det. 380," he said. "It was an important part of my journey, and I’ll treasure those experiences forever.”
After graduating from MSU Jeremy returned to the Air Force as an intelligence officer. In total, he served 12 years in the Air Force, completing assignments with NATO’s Allied Air Command and coalition forces in Afghanistan and earning the rank of captain. Upon leaving the military, Jeremy faced a new set of challenges — most notably, where to go next. “For the first time in a long time, the choice was entirely mine," he recalled, "and that was both exhilarating and frightening. What was I passionate about? What career paths would allow me to act on those passions?”
Jeremy credits the mentorship and support he received from fellow veterans who helped him successfully navigate his transition to civilian life. Now, he works to pay it forward for others facing similar situations. “The journey for each veteran is different," he said, "but between your time, talent and treasure there are many ways to support veterans every step of the way." In addition to supporting scholarships and programs at MSU that serve student veterans, Jeremy also suggests investing your time by joining MSU Connect and pairing up with a student veteran looking for help with career development.
Today, Jeremy is a senior manager for customer success at Tableau Software and lives with his wife in the Washington, D.C., area. He stays engaged with MSU in numerous ways, including holding leadership positions with various MSU alumni clubs, the James Madison College Alumni Association Board of Directors and the MSU Alumni Advisory Board. In addition, Jeremy and his wife recently established an endowment at Michigan State University, the Blaney Scholarship for Technological and International Affairs.
MSU relies on donations to offer services to student veterans. Together, as a united MSU community, we have an opportunity to support the Spartans heroes who have served us. From scholarship funds to on-campus and off-campus resources, your donations support life-changing opportunities for veterans studying at MSU and living in our communities.
In honor of Veterans Day this year, we encourage you to share your #SpartansWhoServe story with us, or submit a story on behalf of a Spartan veteran. We believe every Spartan story can inspire and help others.