Degrees in Russian and rhetoric help shape the career of a combat reporter

Writing the first drafts of war
Chad Garland is a war correspondent for the Stars and Stripes. (Image courtesy of Chad Garland.)

For Chad Garland (BA, ’11, Russian language and literature)reporting on the war against ISIS in Iraq requires body armor, bravery, and not a small amount of wits and wisdom—much of which he credits to his days at Illinois as he earned degrees in Russian language and literature and rhetoric.

"I'm a war correspondent mostly covering Iraq and Afghanistan. Right now (editor’s note: Garland wrote this reply in March 2017) I'm covering the battle to retake Mosul from the Islamic State group, which has held Iraq's second largest city since 2014. I often wake up, meet up with my team—a local driver and a translator—and head out to somewhere I think I can get a story. That might mean donning a helmet and body armor to go along with the Iraqi military and tour areas they've retaken (barely, in some cases), visiting an underground ISIS training camp, visiting a camp for families fleeing the violence, or going to an American military base to meet with troops. I interview people, take photos, and record videos. Depending on the story or the news that day, I may spend half the day out collecting information and half the day writing."

"I came to college from a fairly comfortable career because I wasn't satisfied and I wanted to try out new things and find something more rewarding. That was the best thing. I was able to take classes that challenged me and exposed me to new ideas."

Read the full story

Related Topics