2007 Young Alumni Award Recipient: Justin M. Horgan

The Person
Justin M. Horgan is currently stationed and living at Peterson Air Force Base in Denver with the United States Northern Command after spending two tours of duty in Iraq. His current job involves working with various national, state and local agencies during a national disaster to restore local, regional and national communications systems.

Prior to his deployment to Iraq, Justin enrolled in Gonzaga University on an Army ROTC scholarship and graduated in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management Information Systems.  He grew up in Mountain Home, Idaho, a city of approximately 11,000 people located in the southwest portion of the state. Raised by his parents and grandparents who taught him to treat others as he would wish to be treated, Justin continues to incorporate this adage into his daily life.

“This attitude definitely pushed me toward military service and laid the foundation for who I have become today,” he said. “Overall, the way I was raised taught me to always care for others before myself and to be humble in the process. The values I learned during my youth were cemented during my time at Gonzaga and put into practice as an Army officer.”

Justin and his wife Kristan, also a Gonzaga alum and in the accelerated nursing program at Regis University, have been married for four years and enjoy all of the outdoor activities Denver offers, from cycling and running to attending baseball games and concerts.

The Purpose
Justin credits Gonzaga for giving him a well-rounded education that has enabled him to think critically about a whole host of scenarios. One of his most memorable Gonzaga professors is Dr. Chou-Hong Chen in the School of Business. “I have never met a man as dedicated to his academic discipline as Dr. Chen,” he said. “He always gave great effort to ensure that those of us in the Management Information Systems program understood what he was teaching.”

The years Justin spent in Gonzaga’s ROTC program also helped him discover leadership qualities he never realized he had. “The cadre at Gonzaga is honestly second to none,” he said. “Having a core of officers, non-commissioned officers and civilians who dedicate themselves to the growth of ROTC cadets is priceless.”

After graduating from Gonzaga, Justin’s first assignment was with the Fourth Infantry Division at Food Hood, Texas. His first deployment to Iraq was 11 months long, in 2003-04. He was the leader of a communications platoon which supported the Fourth Infantry Division. His second deployment was also 11 months long, in 2005-06. He worked as the project purchasing officer in the Green Zone in Baghdad for the reconstruction effort in his brigade. He was responsible for managing the brigade’s project finances and timelines.

The Passion
While Justin’s immediate professional aspiration is to complete his current assignment in Denver, he is also taking time to decide if the active duty Army will become his career. “If I do leave active duty, I plan on staying in the Denver area and joining the Colorado National Guard.”

He also plans to attend graduate school in the next several years, and he and Kristen look forward to starting a family of their own.

During his time at Gonzaga, Justin was part of the Knights and ROTC organizations and participated in numerous projects, including managing the annual blood drive on campus and running the Halloween Food Drive.

“It’s an honor to accept this award on behalf of all of the people who have gone through the Gonzaga ROTC program,” he said. “The Bulldog Battalion has not only affected the lives of those cadets who have walked the halls of Gonzaga, but has truly affected those around the world.”