Student Spotlight: Michael Braman – A Journey of Service, Leadership, and Learning



Michael Braman’s life story is a beacon of resilience, leadership, and a continuous quest for growth. As a retired Army Combat Infantry Veteran and a student in the BS Healthcare Management program at National American University, his narrative is rich with experiences of dedication to service, both on the battlefield and in civilian life.

From Combat to Classroom: A Focus on Positive Impact

Michael encapsulates his life’s essence in a brief narrative that spans decades of military service, emphasizing his leadership roles, commitment to family, and community involvement. He stands as a testament to the impact of dedicated service, highlighting his roles beyond the military as a coach, VFW leader, and a family man deeply rooted in values of duty and community service.

Pivotal Moments: Michael Braman’s Defining Journey

Michael Braman’s journey is defined by key moments reflecting his deep commitment to family, service, and leadership.

Family as the Cornerstone

Michael’s life transformed the day he married Kelley, building a loving foundation that grew to include seven children and the adoption of their son, Noah. This family bond instilled in him values of love and resilience, shaping his core identity.

Duty and Justice in Bosnia

His deployment to Bosnia, securing a mass grave site with the United Nations, was a profound experience. It emphasized the significance of justice and global responsibility, reinforcing his commitment to moral courage.

Resilience Through Combat in Afghanistan

Over 500 combat missions in Afghanistan tested Michael’s fortitude, deeply influencing his leadership philosophy and commitment to service, highlighting the sacrifices made in the line of duty.

Shaping Future Leaders at West Point

At West Point, Michael trained 1,900 cadets, playing a pivotal role in developing future military leaders. His participation in President Obama’s first Presidential Inauguration also marked a significant contribution to national service.

 A Legacy of Service: Following Family Footsteps

Inspired by his family’s legacy of military service, Michael followed in the footsteps of his idols, shaping a career marked by valor, leadership, and a steadfast commitment to his country. Michael humbly and respectfully highlighted the family legacy of service and sacrifice that inspired him.

“My Grandfather was a Prisoner of War in WWII, and my father and two uncles served in the Military. These men were my idols growing up and set a great foundation for me as a child. So, everyone wants to follow in their idol’s footsteps, so this is what led me into the service.”


Leadership Beyond the Battlefield: A Voice for Veterans

“We must ensure our veterans receive justice. It wasn’t their fault they were sent to war. Our politicians sent them to war, and it is our job to ensure that they receive the benefits they deserve.  Especially since they were injured in combat putting their lives on the line to ensure we have the freedoms we have today including the education we can receive in this country.” Michael Braman

Michael’s advocacy for veterans extends to the national stage, notably his recent participation in advocating for veterans’ welfare before the 118th Congress. This engagement underscores his commitment to championing the causes of those who have served. Michael stood with the VFW to highlight key issues, such as the fight against predatory claims practices and the push for the Major Richard Star Act, aiming to ensure veterans receive full benefits. His advocacy efforts reflect a guardian of veterans’ rights, tirelessly working to influence legislation for the betterment of veterans’ welfare.

See the full video here.


The Educational Journey: A New Battlefield

Driven by a desire to further serve his community, Michael’s pursuit of a BS in Healthcare Management at National American University represents a new chapter of service. His academic journey is marked by the support of exceptional instructors and a commitment to leveraging his education for impactful healthcare management.

Michael’s response on why he returned to school at NAU is relatable to many adult learners.

“Returning to school was never on my radar, but my boss saw potential in me to excel as an administrator due to my strong leadership skills and expertise.”

Advice for Aspiring Students

Emphasizing the importance of time management, Michael offers advice to prospective students on balancing commitments while pursuing education, especially online.

Michael provided the following guidance for those returning to school.

“First, if you want to earn a degree online you must have time management skills and learn to make timelines and follow them to make sure you are making time for work, education, family, and personal time. My experience so far with NAU has been amazing. I have had great instructors who are willing to meet and talk and ensure you understand the material they are covering. There is no stupid question, so I ask until I fully understand what’s in front of me.”

Conclusion: A Legacy of Leadership and Learning

Michael Braman’s life story serves as a profound source of inspiration, showcasing the indelible mark of continuous service, leadership, and education. His journey from the military to the classroom, and onto the national stage of veterans’ advocacy, highlights a commitment to making a positive impact in every facet of his life.


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