MECEP student spent five years in Corps before returning to Harvard
By Cpl. James Green
| | July 20, 2007
MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO --
From Harvard to the Marine Corps and back, one student at the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program preparatory school is on her way to becoming an officer in the Corps.
Sgt. Talya C. Havice left Harvard University, Mass., after completing her first year with aspirations of becoming a United States Marine.
She realized that after 13 years of grade school, and a year of college, she really did not know what she wanted out of school.
“I found that I was there for the degree and not the experience,” said Havice, a native of Warren, Ohio.
Havice said her first image of the Marine Corps came shortly after the events occurring on and after Sept. 11. She enlisted with the intent of gaining a broader perspective of what she described as an “extremely professional group of elite warriors.”
Havice left Harvard with a five-year academic leave of absence allowing her to return to the University within that time without re-applying.
After her completion of recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., Havice attended the Defense Language institute in Monterrey, Calif., where she became fluent in the Chinese language.
Her tour in the Marine Corps eventually led her to Iraq where reality of her choices became evident.
“While I was in Iraq, I realized that everyone I went to Harvard with was graduating at the same time I was overseas,” said Havice. “Still, I have no regrets from the decision I made. I know things I have done would have never happened at Harvard or my small town in Ohio.”
Even though most of her peers were now moving on to jobs with six-figure salaries, Havice is confident in her choice. While serving in Iraq, she met a second lieutenant in her command who showed her exactly how much difference one officer could make. The lieutenant, along with a personal commitment she made to herself, led her to apply for the MECEP program.
“Sgt. Havice is a very intelligent and hard-working individual,” said Maj. Aaron P. Shelley, executive officer, MECEP preparatory school. “I have no doubt that she, along with everyone else in the program, have bright futures ahead of them.”
Shelley, a native of Fairfax, Va., said that in his three years at the school, this is the first time a student will continue pursuing an education at Harvard.
“Havice performs very well in the classroom environment and even helps tutor the other Marines who need assistance,” said Shelley.
Havice is scheduled to graduate from MECEP on Aug. 1. From there she will serve the Corps from the schoolhouse by gaining the knowledge she needs to receive her commission.
“I hope to stay in the intelligence field,” said Havice. “But as a junior officer, it is more about leading Marines then it is about from where you lead them.”