WATCH: Sen. Kelly Speaks at Embry-Riddle, Encourages Careers in Public Service

This week, Arizona Senator Mark Kelly spoke with students at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) in Prescott. Kelly, a former combat pilot and 25-year Navy veteran, discussed his military career and encouraged students to pursue military and public service.  

Click here to download video and photos of Sen. Kelly’s remarks.  

Sen. Kelly addresses student at ERAU

Sen. Kelly and ROTC students

See key excerpts from Sen. Kelly’s remarks below:  

On why he chose to serve in the military:  

My grandfathers both served in WWII. My dad’s dad served in the Pacific on a Navy ship and my other grandfather served in the Merchant Marines in the Atlantic. My dad was a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne in the United States Army. Public service was something that was in my family…. My parents were both police officers. I have an uncle who was a firefighter and another who was a police officer. So public service was a given, and I couldn’t figure out a better way to serve my country than doing it in our Armed Forces. 

On encouraging ERAU students to pursue public service:  

All of you have an opportunity here, at your age, to serve your country in a lot of different ways, and I encourage you to do it. It doesn’t have to be in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Space Force. There are other ways to serve, and you all have tremendous opportunity out there. 

On asking ERAU students to encourage others to serve

I know a lot of you will go into the military, and I thank you for that. But if all of you can do me one favor: find somebody else—just one person. Maybe someone from back home who was thinking about doing something like ROTC [Reserve Officer Training Corps] but decided not to. See if you can convince that person to join the military because it will make a big difference.  

On the importance of persistence:  

How good you are at the beginning of anything you try is not a good indicator of how good you can become.