University of Charleston

University of Charleston

In honor of Veteran’s Day, let’s catch up with an alumnus who served as a Navy SEAL for twenty-six years.

Jason Torey has a passion for leadership that has blossomed through his military and civilian careers. “My family has served in the military dating back to the Revolutionary War. I always knew I would join the military, and I felt it was in my heart to be a warrior.  Even though it was never pushed on us by our family, I have a cousin and brother who also served. It was just something I wanted to do.”

On December 23, 1991, Jason enlisted in the delayed entry program and left for boot camp August 10, 1992. He arrived at The Phil H. Bucklew Center for Naval Special Warfare February, 1993 and classed up with Basic Underwater Demolition/ SEAL Training class 190. “I went straight through and graduated on November 5, 1993. I was only going to stay four years, but then I found Naval Special Warfare and loved it. It is not a perfect organization, but it is awesome.”

“I am who I am today because of great parents, a great family, and my family in the SEAL teams.  The experience with my SEALS team taught me to seek excellence as a habit, truly understand the meaning of selflessness, and recognize why I will always stand into the wind against those who seek to deprive us of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It made me realize that I could and need to do better.”

Part of the “need to do better” for Jason was to be a better student than what he had been growing up.  “I wanted to go climb the mountain that is college. I saw it as an opportunity to grow as a person and leader.  I also wanted to be able to encourage my kids to get a degree in addition to whatever other training they desire. A degree would also provide more options in the job market.”

Jason graduated in 2010 from Southern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in workforce education and development.

When asked why he wanted to further his education beyond a bachelor’s degree, Jason said, “The master’s and doctorate degrees were selfish, that was just because I wanted to do it and prove to myself that I could.”  Jason continued his education and earned a master’s in strategic leadership from University of Charleston in 2016, a master’s in Business Administration from Washington State University in 2017, and a doctorate of executive leadership from UC in 2020.

Jason retired from the Navy as a Command Master Chief in 2018 and has implemented his leadership education into his career. He is currently the COO of Sylabs, Inc. and part-time faculty member at Colorado State University Global. “I teach strategic leadership, organizational leadership, and business ethics, so I bring all of my education and experience to those situations.”

“I always understood that development of individuals in your organization to positively drive and optimize your organization was required. I use my education daily to influence my team to be successful, which is the only way I am successful.”

Thank you, Jason, for your service to our country and for setting a wonderful leadership example in your workplace and the classroom. We also want to mention that Jason taught at the University of Charleston as an adjunct professor from 2017-2020. Jason and his wife have been married for eighteen years, have three children, and reside in Port Angeles, Washington.