Meet 2nd Lt. (Va.) Patrick McCaul! He serves as an operations officer in the operations section of 1st Regiment. He joined the VDF just over five years ago learning about the organization on the official web site, and he recently completed Officer Candidate School to earn his commission.
McCaul says the call to serve came later in life for him and coincided with the birth of his daughter.
“My family has a strong tradition of military service,” he said. “Both of my grandfathers served during World War II, in the Army and Navy respectively. My uncle is a retired Army lieutenant colonel who attended West Point, and my stepfather served in the Navy during Vietnam. I expressed this desire to my wife, and she encouraged me to reach out to my local recruiter.“
McCaul said he learned that due to my age he was no longer eligible to enlist in the active duty military, but the recruiters understood his desire to serve and encouraged him to look for alternate opportunities. That is when he discovered the Virginia Defense Force.
“I researched the organization and reached out to a recruiter who invited me to a monthly drill to ‘try out’ the organization,” he said. “I enlisted that very first drill weekend and have never regretted the decision.”
McCaul says he continues to serve because of the camaraderie, and the sense of purpose in the VDF is outstanding.
“I have had many opportunities to serve the commonwealth during celebration and during disaster,” he said. “I get a tremendous sense of purpose and honor out of this contribution.”
When he isn’t serving in the VDF, McCaul works as an operations supervisor at Navy Federal Credit Union.
“I have learned so much about achieving mission success and leadership in the VDF,” McCaul said. “This has helped me develop into my role in my civilian career.”
To anyone considering joining the VDF, McCaul offers some pretty simple advice: “If you are on the fence about joining our organization, stop hesitating and call us.”