Brothers Find Each Other in Navy Officer Candidate School
by Justin Sines
Duquesne University, ‘11
Two men find themselves in the dental office during their time at Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island.
They begin discussing college and fraternity life and realize that they are both brothers of Phi Kappa Theta. Christian Reed (San Diego State University, ‘17), and Taylor Dreher (RPI, ‘17), were both candidates for Naval Officers at the time, and, now, they are currently roommates in Pensacola, Florida, in their first phases of flight training.
Reed reminisces, “One day I sat next to Taylor in the dental office and we started learning about each other’s lives back home. Fraternity life came up and I told him I was in Phi Kappa Theta. Without skipping a beat, Taylor extended his hand to me and gave me the grip.”
Brother Dreher recalls his time at OCS as “not being a fun place and the first couple weeks there are especially stressful,” but knows that he made the right decision to continue the tradition of his family. Both his brother, Nathan Dreher, and grandfather, Lieutenant Richard Cappelletti, were his biggest motivators to join the Navy, but says that his father and uncles also served in the military. Dreher states that OCS is “a lot to handle,” but “meeting another Phi Kap […] instantly eliminated that feeling of being alone in a strange place.”
Brother Reed said, “Having a fellow brother in the same program […] has made my adjustment from civilian to military life much easier,” although he has wanted to serve in the military since his eighth grade field trip to Washington D.C. He remembers his intense appreciation for our men and women in military uniform as he toured the Pentagon and as he paid his respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Both Dreher and Reed said that their transition into their Officer positions was made easier by remembering the motto of Phi Kappa Theta: “Give, Expecting Nothing Thereof.” Dreher articulates that, “Naval Officers are trained to be servant leaders” and that “every choice [they] make must have the best interest of [their] sailors in mind.” Reed also conveyed the importance of servant leadership in both Phi Kappa Theta and the Navy and his commitment to setting a “high standard of honor, courage and commitment,” and “leading by example.”
It was happenstance that two brothers of Phi Kappa Theta from completely different sides of the country ended up in Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island, during February 2018. It was coincidence they met at the dental office. But it wasn’t by chance that their ties of brotherhood stood the test of OCS and helped them both graduate as Officers and will help them grow in their Navy careers.
Main Image: Brother Taylor Dreher (RPI, ‘17) in his naval uniform on the left and Brother Christian Reed (SDSU, ‘17) in his naval uniform on the right with other brothers from SDSU.