Having grown up near the U.S. Naval Academy and with relatives who served in the Army, Kathryn Craine ’21 has known for several years that she planned to eventually join the military. During her first year at Hamilton, she joined the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program, and now with four years of training complete, she plans on serving as a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) officer for the Army.
Craine’s primary responsibility will be to “defend the U.S. against any CBRN weapons that other countries may be planning to use, including weapons of mass destruction. After completing officer training in Missouri, which will include learning about hazardous gases and protection from them, she will relocate to her assigned platoon. There, she will manage chemical equipment and train soldiers on how to use their equipment, navigate gas chambers, and recover from gas exposure.
“I’m really excited about it,” Craine said. “I love chemistry, and so I thought this was a really interesting opportunity for me to be able to learn about different hazardous gases and then to also do that in a military setting.”
Hometown: Woodbine, Md.
High school: Glenelg High School
Craine ultimately wants to work as a military psychiatrist and hopes to complete an online master’s program in clinical biology while serving as an officer. “You’re taught to have a tough mind, a tough heart, but a lot of soldiers go through things that most of them don’t talk about,” she said. “At the end of the day mental health is just as important as physical health, and you need both of those things to serve the country effectively and get all your missions completed.” As she continues through her career, she aspires to regularly combat stigmas around mental health, particularly for those serving or who have served in the military.
On campus, Craine’s commitment to helping others translates to participation in a variety of extracurriculars. In addition to competing on the field hockey team and contributing to other service-oriented organizations, she works as a high school SAT tutor, COOP senior fellow, and crisis text line operator. Her interest in supporting others relates to her future as a CBRN officer, a job she said makes her “really excited to get to know people.”
Though she is eager to begin training, Craine anticipates missing the Hamilton community and advises other students to take advantage of the time that they have here. “Enjoy the time that you have. ... I think Hamilton is a great opportunity for you to learn about yourself.”