Kellogg World Alumni Magazine Spring 2005Kellogg School of Management
In DepthIn BriefDepartmentsClass NotesClub NewsArchivesContactKellogg Homepage
Hackers access Kellogg computer system
Conferences create intellectual capital while testing student leadership
'Passion for technology' leads Krasny to fortune
Prof. Eisfeldt wins prestigious Smith Breeden Award

Kauffman Prize goes to Prof. Stern

Prof. Murmann presents 'Best Paper'
Reunion 2005 has alumni coming back
EMP-58 delivers class gift perfection with 100 percent participation
Investment Banking Club wins top prize in JP Morgan Challenge
Social responsibility a perennial focus at Kellogg
Kellogg School graduates among national elite in competitive finance field
Alumni Newsmakers
Leadership from the front lines
Barmeier Scholarship
Goldman, Sachs & Co. gives students room to learn with financial gift
All in the family
Lights, camera ... succession planning?
Taking leadership at Kellogg to new heights
Students watch Super Bowl ... for the ads
Address Update
Alumni Home
Submit News
Internal Site
Northwestern University
Kellogg Search
Cpt. Dan Rice EMP-45
Cpt. Dan Rice EMP-45 (at right) and U.S. Army veterinarian Cpt. James Pratt meet with a Sunni sheik and muqtar (mayor) in an Iraqi village while helping to assess the local economy.

Leadership from the front lines
Kellogg School Executive MBA alum, Dan Rice, shares his story of helping rebuild Iraq

Who knew rebuilding a war-torn country in the midst of an insurgency after years of neglect and abuse would be this difficult?" said one of my more thoughtful and satirical friends about my current role as commerce officer for the U.S. Army's 42nd Infantry Division (National Guard).  

It's a good question, and one I hadn't really contemplated until being confronted by the challenges after moving from civilian to military life.

In the past 10 years I have been fortunate to live in some of the best cities in the United States.  I now live in Tikrit, Iraq, Saddam Hussein's hometown. This is the first country that I have helped to rebuild, and so the experience is a novel one for me.

My division is responsible for four provinces northwest of Baghdad in the area known as the "Sunni Triangle." There is no complete job description for my role here, although this broad summation suggests the magnitude of the task: to aid in rebuilding the Iraq economy in every way possible.

I am one of 150,000 soldiers here involved in this mission, working beside the 26 million Iraqis. This is the greatest team of which I have been a member. We fight not only an active and formidable insurgency, but also the legacy of Hussein's 30 years of neglect and outright terror.

A year ago, it would have been impossible for me to imagine my current workplace while employed at U.S. Trust in New York City; impossible for me to know that I would be living in Hussein's Tikrit palace or traveling to Baghdad, Kirkuk, Fallujah, Amman (Jordan), Dubai (UAE) and Samarra.

After graduating from West Point and serving in the U.S. Army, I completed my commitment and left the service in 1991. I attended Kellogg from 1998-2000. I was recalled in 2004 to deploy to Iraq as an Army captain. Fortunately, the Army located a role for me that has proven ideally suited to my skills, background and interests.

My job here could not be more challenging, more frustrating, more heartbreaking, or more rewarding.  

My unit left the United States last October and is scheduled to remain here until next February. I rationalize the situation by reminding myself that, on the one hand, mine is a long deployment; on the other hand, it is long enough to make a difference.  

If I live to be 100, I know that my year in Iraq will prove to be one of the most memorable and important of my life. I am not performing the risky roles of the soldiers that fill the screen on the nightly news. The incredibly brave men and women of the U.S. armed services who each day risk their lives to provide security for the Iraq people fill those jobs. It is inspiring for me to see the joy in the faces of people who have voted for the first time in their lives — and who proudly display the ink on their index finger — incidentally flashing the "No. 1" gesture in so doing.  

When one of my West Point classmates returned from a year in Iraq after being recalled, I asked him if he had any regrets. His one regret was that he wished he could have helped more. That is the consistent message I receive from all the soldiers leaving Iraq. I think about that point all the time, because it drives me to do the most that I can to help.

Fortunately for me I attended Kellogg. I know that I, too, will wish I could have done more. But I also know that I could not contribute nearly as much in Iraq had I not have had the privilege of attending Kellogg. Whether it is helping to shape our market research when questioning our customers (the Iraqi people), or debating the merits of subsidies and entitlements, or performing due diligence to help convince a foreign investor to commit resources in the date palm sugar industry, I constantly think of my time at Kellogg and the great faculty and peers who participated with me on that journey.  

I also reflect on the tremendous outpouring of support from the American public for our soldiers fighting this war — whether or not people support the war itself. It means the world to a soldier to hear strangers in America say, "Thank you."

©2002 Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University