In Little Rock, on his 17th birthday, First Lieutenant Thomas Bishop joined the U.S. Army as a combat engineer. In 2005, he joined the ROTC program at the University of Arkansas and after graduating as a distinguished military graduate, he branched engineer in the Army Reserves.
In 2009 after graduating engineer basic leadership course, Thomas returned to the University of Arkansas to pursue a master’s degree in political science. But at the end of his first semester his unit received orders for mobilization to Afghanistan, causing him to postpone his postgraduate education and ready for deployment. To prepare for mobilization he received additional training in combat life saving and route clearance.
As platoon leader in Afghanistan, Thomas led and conducted over 150 missions, including joint operations with Marines, British and Afghan forces in Kandahar and Helmand provinces. His platoon had multiple engagements with enemy forces to include IED clearances, strikes and ground force. For his efforts, Thomas was awarded a Bronze Star and Combat Action Badge, among other honors in Afghanistan.
This fall, Thomas will return to campus in Fayetteville to complete his master’s degree in political science.