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Black History Month Spotlight: Colonel Joseph Campbell

Joseph Campbell

Colonel Joseph Campbell (Texas Wesleyan, ’92) is not only an avid member of Lambda Chi Alpha, but also boasts an impressive military career. From Bosnia to Kosovo and Iraq, he served as a cavalryman and tanker with top secret clearance on the frontlines of war, fighting for American freedoms.

In addition to his knowledge of highly classified information, his dedication to military service earned him the ability to lead over 2,500 personnel and manage military equipment worth over $45 million.

From a very early age, Campbell was convinced college was not in the cards for him. But as he watched his high school classmates around him prepare for that next step, and with urging from his family, Campbell began to realize the opportunity he had before him.

Campbell with Brothers following his Army Retirement in 2012.

After first attending a local junior college, Campbell transferred to Texas Wesleyan University where he found the two organizations that would have the most impact on his life: The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) and Lambda Chi Alpha.

Campbell knew that he had found something incredible and challenging with his affiliation with Lambda Chi. Soon, he found that his fellow Brothers became a large factor in his motivation to finish his education.

During his senior year, Campbell had the chance to test his leadership abilities as High Alpha, a role that set him up for managing difficult situations in the future.

Campbell kept those lessons close to his heart as he graduated and moved into his military career. Following his service and graduate school, Campbell moved into retirement and knew it was time to get back into volunteering.

In between volunteering for the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Campbell tried his hand in the restaurant business. But when his wife was diagnosed with brain cancer, he immediately sold the restaurant to take care of her.

In between appointments and treatments, Campbell returned once again in a greater capacity to volunteering, his own personal way to cope and give back.

The American Legion recruited Campbell to volunteer with their various youth programs, and he had taken on a significant role with Boys State, a government and leadership program for high school students to teach them the inner workings of a state government. Most recently, Campbell was selected to be one of four Legionaries to lead one of the four Boys Nation sections. Currently, he serves as the District Commander for the American Legion.

When his wife passed, Campbell focused all of his attention on giving back. Today, he serves as the post commander in Grapevine, Texas for the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). VFW is the largest and oldest war veterans service organization and is dedicated to veterans’ services, legislative advocacy and military and community service programs. Campbell recently accepted a nomination to serve as commander for the VFW in his local district in two years. 

In addition to his work with the VFW, Campbell helps several other local organizations with exciting initiatives, including work helping young men and women earn full Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) scholarships and appointments into the five U.S. service academies — the Military Academy in West Point, New York; the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland; the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado; the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, and the Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York.

Well after his retirement, Campbell remains dedicated to public service. The life lessons and ties to his military service and fraternal brotherhood continue to lead him on a path of timeless leadership and service.

“When you have leverage over people, that’s easy,” said Campbell. “When you don’t have leverage over people, now that is true leadership.

“I credit much of my leadership success to my experience in Lambda Chi.”

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