Through a career in the military and then as a government contractor, Sidney native Brandon Hubley has circumnavigated the globe — visiting 65 countries on all seven continents. But he has always finds his way back home and to Wright State University.
Hubley expects to graduate from Wright State with a Master of Information Systems in August. He also earned an undergraduate degree in foreign policy and intelligence studies from Bellevue University in Omaha, Nebraska.
After graduating from Sidney High School, Hubley served in the U.S. Air Force for four years and was deployed to Baghdad during the early days of the Iraq war. He transferred to the U.S. Army in 2006, successfully passing the selection process for the Ranger Regiment. Serving with the 2nd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Hubley was deployed multiple times to both Iraq and Afghanistan.
After leaving the military in 2009, he worked as a contractor for a government agency, taking on various overseas assignments. The allure of six-figure contracts, rejoining the action and enjoying substantial downtime was particularly enticing for a 26-year-old transitioning out of the military.
After a few years, Hubley transitioned into intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance work. This led to a brief return to Afghanistan until Operation Inherent Resolve was initiated in 2014 to combat the Islamic State.
“I spent a little over four years in Iraq and Syria, contributing to efforts to weaken the terror group and support the Iraqi Army and Syrian Defense Forces in reclaiming lost territory,” he said.
After that mission, he shifted to Eastern Africa to work under the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia.
Realizing that his GI Bill benefits would expire, Hubley decided to look for a suitable graduate program that he could complete in a condensed timeframe.
The Ohio resident enrolled in Wright State’s Master of Information Systems program, which offers a hybrid format of in-person and online classes. This flexibility allows Hubley to travel during his off time while staying on track with assignments.
“Wright State has been awesome for me,” Hubley said. “Unlike my online undergraduate studies conducted while I was in Afghanistan, I’ve had the opportunity to delve into the brick-and-mortar side during my time here, and it has been genuinely rewarding. From the guidance provided by academic advisors to the classroom studies and the interactions with a few individuals, my overall experience at Wright State has been highly positive.”
Hubley’s capstone project focuses on analyzing data breaches in the American health care system.
In addition to his academic prowess, Hubley’s approachability and willingness to engage make him a student you would love to grab a cup of coffee with any time he returns to campus from being overseas, said Amir Zadeh, Ph.D., professor of management information systems.
“Brandon is the epitome of an ideal graduate student — a quick learner, motivated and exceptionally intelligent,” said Zadeh. “I am immensely proud of Brandon’s achievements, and I look forward to witnessing his continued success in the future.”
But it’s not all work and no play for Hubley. This past December, he ventured to Easter Island and trekked through Torres del Paine National Park in Chile and then visited the Nacional Los Glaciares Park in El Calafate, Argentina. He ended his trip in Buenos Aires before returning to the United States for the start of the Spring Semester.
“I highly recommend a trip down to Patagonia and exploring the mountains,” he said. “It’s hard to describe the place and pictures do not do it justice.”
Hubley urges students to explore unconventional career paths through which they may find something exhilarating that takes them out of their comfort zones.
While his professional future may be unclear, Hubley is certain he made the right decision to enroll at Wright State.
“While I remain uncertain about the trajectory of my professional career, opting to further my education at Wright State has undoubtedly been the right decision,” he said. “Although my experiences at Wright State don’t directly align with my current specialized professional role, they have offered me a unique perspective on how the professional world operates.”