Bellevue University Alum Earns Top Army Honor
Sgt. Saral Shrestha named U.S. Army Soldier of the Year
Bellevue University graduate Sgt. Saral Shrestha has been named the U.S. Army's Soldier of the Year, after beating 12 finalists in a competition in Fort Lee, Va., on Oct. 15-18.
Sgt. Shrestha called it an honor to be named Soldier of the Year. "Your life is a competition," he said. "You always have to march forward."
Shrestha, who was born in Nepal before moving to the United States when he was 17, completed his degree in Computer Information through Bellevue University's award-winning online learning program in 2011 while deployed in Afghanistan as a member of the U.S. Special Forces.
Shrestha speaks five languages and joined the U.S. military as a non-citizen through the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) recruitment program. He took his oath of allegiance to become a U.S. citizen on the day he graduated from basic training in 2009. The MAVNI program seeks out non-citizens that speak high-demand languages or have specific skills, such as those in the medical field.
The Soldier of the Year competition tests participants by subjecting them to knowledge tests, written essays, board appearances with top Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs), demonstrations of combat skills, and ethical dilemmas. Competitors were judged on their ability to complete all tasks in compliance with Army regulations. Sgt. Shrestha said that he excels at hand-to-hand combat and physical training (PT) testing.
Shrestha was deployed with the Special Forces in Afghanistan from March 2011 to August 2011 as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. His linguistic skills allowed him to easily communicate with Afghani locals.
Shrestha plans to attend Army Officer Candidate School in 2013. He grew up wanting to be part of the military. "It has always been my passion," he said. "I respect discipline and order. That is how we should conduct our lives."
Shrestha said his mother sent him to the U.S. so he could pursue higher education. He added that he wanted to come to the U.S. because he liked the culture and wanted better opportunities for himself.
Error while processing your submission.
There was an error while trying to process your submission. We are sincerely sorry for the inconvenience.
Please reach out to one of our Admission Counselors and they can answer any questions you have at 1-800-756-7920 (option 1). The Admissions office is open Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (CST) and Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (CST).
Congratulations on taking your first step towards earning your degree!
At Bellevue University, our passion is to help you get started and support you all along the way. In fact, we’ve found that many students have benefited from our complimentary “Smarter Measure” Self-Assessment which will help you prepare for success. Again, this is a free service.
Your User Name: ready
Your Password: ready
Just click here to start. Smarter Measure
Thanks again. We look forward to working with you!