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Flyers for Life

John Buerschen ’15

John Buerschen ’15 believes that to lead is to serve others, and serving others requires a process of lifelong learning to accomplish missions and solve problems.

“Leading others in the military has been the most rewarding, yet humbling, opportunity that I’ve ever experienced,” said Buerschen, a pilot in the U.S. Army. “It’s an enormous responsibility that challenges what you stand for and pushes you to better yourself to serve those who either choose or are chosen to follow you.”

Buerschen acknowledges that leading can be complex, full of dilemmas and problem sets. But he also knows that these issues are solvable when you make the effort to build teams and develop those around you.

“Leading is not a stagnant process,” he said. “It requires lifelong learning and to forever be a student, constantly making an effort to saturate yourself with knowledge, incubate and process, and illuminate with ideas and solutions.”

Over the past several years, Buerschen has served in different leadership positions in various unforgiving environments around the world. In that time, he’s experienced his share of success, but he’s also seen failure. However, through his faith in God and his inspiration to serve, he keeps the faith, leads by example and continues to achieve whatever mission he’s been called to accomplish.

“It’s humbling to receive this recognition,” said Buerschen. “However, many before me have made the choice to answer the call to serve and this nomination is an honor not only for me, but for other University of Dayton graduates who selflessly serve others whether that’s through vocation, military service, or leading others throughout their careers or callings.”

As an alumnus of UD’s Rescue Squad, he does his best to stay engaged and remain a part of the organization, and he counts his sister, Emily Buerschen ’12, as the Flyer who had the biggest impact on him during his time at UD. She was a senior when he arrived on campus, and she provided valuable guidance and mentorship.

Buerschen’s favorite memory from UD was in the fall of his senior year during the ROTC “branch night.”

“This was the night when fellow cadets and I found out what our jobs would be upon commissioning as officers after graduation. A well-deserved, memorable celebration was enjoyed!”

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