Andrew Matwijec— Alumni Profile | Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Matwijec

    Andrew Matwijec

    Class of 2010

    Majors: Philosophy and Theology

    As a Franciscan University Graduate, a Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Army, and a worldwide traveler, Andrew Matwijec is living out the goals he set for himself early in life.

    Andrew graduated in 2010 with degrees in theology and philosophy, and a minor in German. He was a member of Franciscan’s inaugural Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) class as well. An accomplished guitarist and vocalist, he also led a Chapel Ministry music team for four years.

    It’s an understatement to say that he was extremely disciplined and focused.

    Matwijec credits the ROTC program for helping to further instill in him the discipline to see a job through to completion. As part of the four year ROTC program, he and his fellow Cadets had to wake up every morning around 4:30 a.m. and travel to Pennsylvania and West Virginia to conduct over an hour of physical training. “Sleep, pray, eat, study, music and train to fight was my daily routine,” Matwijec says.

    As a senior, Andrew’s dedication and ability to multi-task were pushed to the limit. Besides balancing a regular senior class schedule, a double thesis, preparing for graduation, and leading a music ministry team, Matwijec had to simultaneously fulfill the role as a Cadet Company Commander - responsible for over 30 ROTC Cadets, their training and all ROTC operations not only at Franciscan, but at Robert Morris University in Pennsylvania and at West Liberty State University in West Virginia as well. For his efforts, he received the Department of the Army’s second highest award presented to ROTC cadets.

    Upon graduation, Matwijec was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Military Police (MP) Corps. His first assignment was a three-year tour in Alaska, where he was in charge of a 42-Soldier MP Platoon, responsible for providing law enforcement at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. In addition to learning how to fight in -40 degree weather and providing law enforcement in the nation’s Last Frontier, he and his Platoon were tasked with training over 600 Royal Thai and U.S. Soldiers in the jungles of Thailand as well as simultaneously training for a combat mission in Afghanistan. Before deploying to combat, Matwijec was promoted to First Lieutenant. During his combat tour in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Matwijec was responsible for running and advising a U.S. and Afghan tactical operations center, tasked with overseeing combat and police operations for over 500 U.S. Soldiers and nearly 30,000 Afghan police officers operating across six provinces in eastern Afghanistan.

    Upon completion of his tour in Alaska in the spring of 2014, Matwijec volunteered for a tour in South Korea. For over eight months, he served as the Deputy Commander of the U.S. Army’s Correctional Facility in Korea. Andrew was promoted to the rank of Captain in the fall of 2014 and was immediately offered - and assumed - command of a Military Police unit in Seoul. As a Commander, Matwijec works daily with key U.S. and Korean Military and civilian leaders –including the Commanding General of all U.S. and United Nations’ Forces in Korea.

    Matwijec believes that the strong moral values he acquired from his parents, the academic challenges he encountered in the classroom, the training he experienced in ROTC, and the interactions he had in music ministry and outside the classroom helped prepare him for his career.

    Another passion in Matwijec’s life is his love of traveling. In the past seven years alone, he has visited nearly 40 countries. He has climbed the Great Wall of China, tracked lions and elephants in Africa, held pythons in the marshes of Vietnam and Cambodia, traveled over 6,000 miles by train from the Kremlins of western Russia to the remote cities of Siberia, swam in the Dead Sea, spent a weekend in a Norwegian fishing port, set foot in North Korea, and rode horses on the steppes of Mongolia.

    “Ever since I was old enough to sit up and pull the encyclopedia off my parents’ bookshelf in the family room, I’ve been fascinated by world travel. I thank God that He has opened the door for me to experience the places and the cultures that I used to read about when I was a small child.”

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