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RSE Provides Catalyst For Alum’s Stellar Military Career

“RSE gave me an appreciation of work hard, play hard, so we would work hard together as a group to get through our education, and then we'd play hard, too,” says Lieutenant General L. Scott Rice ’80. He joined the Rensselaer Society of Engineers because of his interest in joining a group with similar and like-minded individuals, and he walked away with skills that would catapult him through an exceptional career.

“I developed social skills, and leadership skills, as well as, you know, education and time management skills. All three of those skills came out of my experience at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. It's still adding value and depth to my activities,” Lieutenant General Rice comments, and gives a brief synopsis of his fascinating career. “I went into the military for 10 years on active duty, and flew fighters. That's all in the ’80s, and in the early’90s I went part-time military, and full-time as an engineer for a couple [of] years. And, then after that in ’92, I went full-time airlines, and part-time military. And, in the military side, I worked my way up through leadership and rank, until I went back full-time military in 2012, until today.”

Now, he works as the director of the Air National Guard, at the Pentagon. His leadership affects more than 105,000 Guard members and civilians based in the United States.

Throughout his career, though, he’s still found he values the importance of connecting with his Brothers, and maintaining those connections. He continues to keep in touch with Dave Hall ’80 and Bob Reilley ‘80, and the three correspond by not only phone, letters and email, but also make sure they gather socially a few times a year. Lieutenant General Rice and his peers even have a bit of a tradition.

“We try to go back and watch a hockey game each year,” he says.

When asked what advice he would give to younger alums and those who have recently graduated, Lieutenant General Rice says, “... I would reinforce some things I've done because they've been successful. … Leadership comes in … a lot of forms, and, you know, it's all about the give and take, and trying to evolve yourself as a person, as a part of your community and as a part of your friendship with other people.”

Lieutenant General Rice also has advice for the Junior Members still in school, and what it is they should take full advantage of: “That balance – that time management balance of making sure that you work hard, and – not or, but and – play hard.”

To his fellow alums, Lieutenant General Rice says, “Keep up the good work. Keep up the good connections.”