UT Football Player. Business Owner. Doctorate Student. Guard Soldier.

“Through it all, I never lost that desire to serve”

For someone who competed as a two-time college athlete, founded a company, studies as a doctorate student, and worked as the chief operating officer of a counseling firm, joining the military seemed to be on the bottom of their to-do list. However, for Spc. Corey Alexander, who joined the Tennessee Army National Guard a year ago, military service always stayed at the top of his list.

Spc. Corey Alexander, on and off the field

“Bottom line, I wanted to serve my country,” Alexander shared. “No matter what I’m doing or what I’m busy with, I have always wanted to serve.”

Hailing from an athletic family, Alexander received a full-ride scholarship to play football and run track at the University of Tennessee. His father played professional football for the Arizona Cardinals, Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants, and Carolina Panthers. Currently, his brother plays football at Butler University. Alexander even dabbled in rugby, playing on a semi-pro team for three years after college.

Alexander has always been one to jump to help someone, to encourage others and to inspire people. After graduating college, he knew of his innate desire to serve and help others which led him to start his business, College Bound Athletics (CBA). The company provides recruiting and consulting services to help high school athletes get in to college through scholarship aid.

“I took my passion for athletics and my desire to help others and started this company,” Alexander stated. “Since its start, CBA has secured more than $89 million in scholarship aid for students, we have 140 athletes playing in college right now and six athletes playing in the NFL.”

To help his family, Alexander took over as Chief Operating Officer at Ross Behavioral Group, an outpatient mental health firm where his mother worked as a doctor and counselor. He obtained his MBA in leadership to learn how to run a business, and recently earned acceptance into the doctoral program for educational leadership at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Spc. Alexander motivating young athletes

But where does the guard fit into all of this?

“I never lost that desire to serve my country and be in the military,” Alexander reflected. “I couldn’t do ROTC in college due to sports, but that fire to serve still burned inside of me. I enlisted in October of 2018 and am currently in the officer candidate program in the guard.”

When comparing Basic Combat Training (BCT) to the rigorous demands of college athletics, Alexander saw many similarities. “BCT took me back to college sports: a very regimented, scheduled lifestyle which presented different challenges every day, physical and mental.”

Returning to his businesses, Alexander looks excitedly towards the future. “With CBA, I’m excited to share the guard’s opportunities with the athletes. The guard’s tuition assistance programs and educational benefits can be huge assets to someone wanting to attend college, especially these athletes.”

Spc. Alexander with Drill Sergeant Bryant of the Tennessee Army National Guard

Reflecting on his first year of experiences in the guard, Alexander feels humbled and proud to be a part of the guard family.

“Everyone in the guard is tremendously helpful when it comes to making things work and helping someone out,” Alexander affirmed. “Guard Soldiers are willing to do their part and build each other up, whether that’s reaching out with education help or employment networking. This makes the guard the greatest team and family in the world because your brothers and sisters will do whatever it takes for each other. It’s a great feeling knowing that people will take care of you.”

As for his future in the guard, Alexander is ready to be off the bench and jump into the game. “As an athlete, I’ve been on the sidelines before. With the guard, I can’t wait to become an officer, follow great leaders, lead my Soldiers and learn from those around me. I’m ready to get in the game and give back.”

Story by Staff Writer U.S. Army Sgt. Leann Roggensack

Tennessee Army National Guard

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