The field of geoscience has a long history of military veterans in its ranks, including U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Harry Hess, the father of plate tectonics; Army Lt. Col. Michel T. Halbouty, former AAPG president; and former Marine George Asquith, world famous petrophysicist.
Asquith served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1956-59 and said during those years he “learned many things – but the two most important were discipline and the importance of the individual contributing to the group.”
After his stint in the Marines, Asquith studied geology at Texas Tech University and then went on to the University of Wisconsin where he received his master’s in 1963 and doctorate in 1966, both in geology. Since then Asquith has enjoyed many successes in industry and academia, including receiving the AAPG Distinguished Lecturer award and becoming AAPG’s best-selling author.
“My three years in the Marine Corps were without a doubt very important to me throughout my career,” Asquith said.
Today, a new generation of veterans is entering the work force, which is a great opportunity and resource for a petroleum industry continually looking for educated, disciplined and motivated workers to fill the positions of retiring baby boomers.
One such “new” resource is ExxonMobil geoscientist and AAPG member Earl Wells, who enlisted in the Marine Corps after high school and served as a squad leader in Iraq. After returning to the United States, Wells was selected for Marine Corps officer training and remained on active duty while attending North Carolina State University, majoring in geology.
In 2008, Wells was commissioned as a Marine Corps second lieutenant through the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program (MECEP). He then served as a Naval ROTC instructor at N.C. State while pursuing his master’s in geology.
Earl was honorably discharged from the Marines and joined ExxonMobil in 2012. His successful journey from enlisted Marine to petroleum geoscientist is “entirely due to the character, strong work ethic and discipline instilled in me by the Marine Corps,” Wells said.
Upon entering industry, Wells set out to give back to other veterans by helping initiate the AAPG Military Veterans Scholarship Program with former AAPG treasurer Clint Moore, the son of a World War II veteran and pioneering geophysical engineer. By empowering veterans to overcome the financial obstacles of attending school and supporting a life, Wells and Moore hope to establish a “pipeline” of talented young veterans that will become the great petroleum geoscientists of tomorrow.
The mission of the Foundation’s Military Veterans Scholarship Program is to provide financial aid to veterans seeking geoscience degrees that focus on the exploration and development of oil and gas.
The program primarily provides scholarships for veterans seeking bachelor degrees, although graduate level students are eligible for consideration.
Like Wells, Asquith, Halbouty and Harry Hess, countless other veterans already have excelled in and greatly influenced the oil and gas industry.
Contributing to the Military Veterans Scholarship Program will benefit the industry by investing in disciplined, hard-working and motivated geoscientists of the future. By joining forces with former members of the armed forces, our entire profession wins.
Donations currently are being accepted via the AAPG Foundation website. When donating, designate your Foundation donation to the Military Veterans Scholarship Program.