Capt. Thomas Stanley is the current president of the NPS Foundation Skydiving Club. He commissioned into the U.S. Army in 2011 as an Infantry officer through the Michigan State University ROTC program, where he also received a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with a minor in Russian language studies. During his career he has served at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Fort Bragg, and Fort Carson. Stanley has held a variety of leadership positions to include platoon leader, executive officer, and detachment commander in addition to battalion and brigade staff positions. He has deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, and Operation Atlantic Resolve. In addition to his many campaign medals and tabs, Stanley also earned the Basic Parachutist Badge, the Military Free-Fall Parachutist Badge, and the Israeli Military Free-Fall Parachutist Badge.
I first started skydiving at a drop zone out in Washington when I was stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. I first heard about the club through a buddy of mine before I even moved out to Monterey. He was in the Cycling club and told me that there was a Skydiving Club, so I signed up for the NPS Foundation and the club that afternoon.
We had the All Veteran’s Group out here a few weeks ago to tandem in with some of the supporters of the NPS Foundation. Getting to jump with those folks was really fun and getting to see them do their demo jump into the clubhouse at Monterey Peninsula Country Club was even more fun.
The Foundation and the Skydiving Club, like all of the clubs, has been a great mechanism and provided a lot of opportunities to meet people who have similar interests. The skydiving community is small and the folks that are in the club now will absolutely run into each other again down the road.
I’m planning to head back to my unit to serve as a company commander once my time here at NPS is complete. NPS is a renowned institution that, in a conversation with former graduate LTC Brian Decker, “NPS has done more to shape how the SOF community thinks than anything, aside from operational experience.” I know that NPS will help me accomplish my goals.