Preparing Boys for Life.
Fords in Four: Anthony Youngblood '98
Jessica Welsh

In Fords in Four, we ask an alumnus four questions; he shares insights and stories. In this blog post, Anthony Youngblood '98 shares his belief in his country and offers tips to inspire service in others.

What inspired you to serve your country?

The inspiration for public service was always in me. My fascination with the military in particular started in a WWII class with Dr. Brownlow. I knew then that at some point I would serve my country. Circumstances didn’t lead to me joining the military right after college, though. I took a typical career path: after graduating from Howard University, I worked in corporate America in the financial services industry. I continued to feel the pull of public service, and went to graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania to study public policy. I began working for U.S. Senator Arlen Specter in 2009; he lost his bid for re-election, but during one of our discussions he gave me some career advice that I took to heart. He recommended the Navy because he saw leadership qualities in me and felt that the military was a great place to harness those skills while helping make the world a better place.

This kind of work requires a keen attention to detail, a calm head, and the ability to properly communicate with others. In an environment like that, you have to have succinct and clear communication and be able to work well with a team. It’s necessary to put aside your personal comforts to be able to contribute to the greater good.

What do you do as an information warfare officer?

I do cryptology, also known as signals intelligence – providing indications and warnings of adversary combatants. My job is to keep the ship safe. On one mission, we were in the Persian Gulf and my ship, USS Higgins (DDG 76), had launched Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles into Syria. It was my role to monitor the response from Syria, Iran, and Russia using signals intelligence. This kind of work requires a keen attention to detail, a calm head, and the ability to properly communicate with others. In an environment like that, you have to have succinct and clear communication and be able to work well with a team. It’s necessary to put aside your personal comforts to be able to contribute to the greater good.

What should Haverford’s young men understand about the concept of service?

You have to look beyond yourself. You have to want to be a part of something that is bigger than you. We all stand on the shoulders of great men and women who have made sacrifices to allow us to enjoy civil liberties, including attending a school like Haverford. But then there comes a time when it’s your turn to make sacrifices so that those who come after you can enjoy the same freedoms and opportunities. The decisions you make today will impact the future. The belief in a higher purpose is something I learned at Haverford. I encourage Haverford students to soak up everything the School has to offer. It’s a unique and special place that truly prepares boys for the real world. Every day, I apply lessons I learned at Haverford. Without a doubt, the School has contributed in large part to the career that I’ve had so far – and it will continue to do so going forward.

We all stand on the shoulders of great men and women who have made sacrifices to allow us to enjoy civil liberties, including attending a school like Haverford. But then there comes a time when it’s your turn to make sacrifices so that those who come after you can enjoy the same freedoms and opportunities.

What is a favorite Haverford memory?

At the top of the list is all of the pageantry that goes with EA Day. That whole week is an amazing experience. Ingrained in my memory are playing basketball on Friday nights, winning the Inter-Ac Championship in cross-country, and competing on the track team. I learned perseverance – not just through these experiences, but through everything I did at Haverford. No  matter how hard a situation gets, keep putting your best foot forward and you’ll achieve success. When I went to Haverford, I thought the work was extremely hard. But when I got to college, I was grateful for the experience because I was more than prepared to handle the workload. I felt I had an advantage over other students, mostly in terms of being a competent writer. The English department at Haverford set me on the road to success and I’m still seeing the results today, especially when it comes to writing reports that are reviewed by flag officers.

Lt. Anthony Youngblood ’98 joined the U.S. Navy in 2014 and is an information warfare officer. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Howard University and a master’s in public administration from the University of Pennsylvania. At Haverford, Youngblood was on the Inter-Ac and state championship cross-country team, and also ran track and played basketball.

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