/seasons/2012/contrib/20121016qg6a1a

Caleb Wistock Trades Pacific University Defense For National Defense

More news about: Pacific

By Blake Timm, Sports Information Director

While many of his friends were pulling themselves out of bed just before their 9 a.m. Monday class, Caleb Wistock rose every day of the spring semester at 4 a.m.
 
Before he could shake the blurriness from his eyes, he was out the door.  Whether running, lifting weights or doing sit-ups and push-ups, Wistock and his teammates went through day after day of grueling physical training.  Every day.  Before breakfast.
 
The rest of the day was spent in combinations of classroom training and field experience.  As a sophomore, Wistock was receiving job training unlike the kind that any of his Pacific classmates will ever have the chance to receive.  He learned the customs and courtesies, received professional qualifications for his future career and even had the chance to throw a grenade or two.
 
Doing more before 8 a.m. than his classmates did in a whole day?  You bet.
 
If you haven't figured it out by now, Wistock's sophomore spring semester was not on the Pacific University campus, but was a study abroad experience like none other.  The site was Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., were Wistock went through the rigors of Basic Training for the United States Army.
 
A member of a family with a long line of veterans, Wistock made the unusual decision to take last spring semester off and enlist in the Army.  He spent the spring in Basic Training before spending the summer at Fort Lee, Va., for additional occupational training.
 
The idea of leaving school for a term to join the Army seemed unusual to many of Wistock's professors and friends, but it was all part of a well thought out plan.
 
"Some thought it was a dumb decision.  They looked at me as if I was giving up on school and going into the Army," Wistock said.  "They didn't understand that I was intending on coming back the whole time.  I have a lot of family who have gone into the military and figured it was my time."
 
A CAREER DECISION
The idea of being a military man was not unusual in the Wistock family home of Stayton, a community of nearly 8,000 located east of Salem.  Both Caleb's father and uncle had served in the Marine Corps and his grandfather served in the Air Force.  Caleb remembers spending much of his childhood playing Marines, and knew early on that he would be in the military at some point in his life.
 
After coming to Pacific to play football, Caleb and his father discussed what would set him up for the best possible career.  Many military-bound college graduates move right into officer training with the chance to move up the ranks quickly.  But such officers often lack the field experience, making it tougher for to gain the respect of the men they're charged to lead.
 
"My dad was an enlisted guy and he told me, 'If you want to do this, you want to an officer after going through college.'  But a lot of the non-commissioned officers I talked to said the best officers are the ones who have come through the enlisted ranks," Wistock said.  "So to be the best leader, I figured that I should start at the bottom.  That way I am giving orders and leading men in a place where I have come from, because I was that guy."
 
In essence, Wistock will have the best of both worlds.  He will serve in the Army Reserve for the duration of his college career, attending drills with his unit one weekend a month and for two weeks over the summer.  During that time, Wistock will also be able to move up in rank, pay and benefits.  After graduation, projected for December 2014, Wistock will be eligible for officer's training while having done his time in the enlisted ranks.
 
HE'S IN THE ARMY NOW

Caleb Wistock Military Feature 2012
Wistock made the decision to temporarily leave Pacific in the late fall.  He enlisted in the Army on Dec. 12 and shipped out to Fort Leonard Wood on Feb. 28.  What followed was one of the most intense 10-week training regimens around. 

 
After a period of "reception," where recruits are prepared for basic training, Wistock's Army experience began with a shock and awe experience that he will never forget.  On the first day, Wistock and 75 other recruits were loaded onto a windowless truck.  They were subjected to a wild 20-minute ride with hard corners, sudden stops and plenty of bumps.
 
"No one said anything.  Everyone was pretty scared," Wistock said.
 
Once the ride stop, two soldiers threw the trucks doors open.  One blew a whistle, while the other issued profanity-laden orders for the recruits to quickly get out.  Wistock waited patiently at the back while the rest of the company pushed threw each other.
 
The systematic mental and physical training began right away.  "We got out and there were 45 drill sergeants lined up yelling, every one of them from the company," Wistock said as he described the rite known in the Army as a "shark attack."  "You have to sprint past them with your 75-pound duffle bag.  You're weaving, they're yelling at you and then you finish and they tell you to fall in.  Of course, no one knows what that means."
 
The scene is truly organized chaos, designed to teach the recruits that they are no longer in control.  Drill sergeants scream out orders, intentionally causing confusion and wearing the recruits down.  "We kept having to do push-ups or hold the duffle bags over our heads and do squats," Wistock said.  "It was only a 70-pound bag, but fatigue eventually gets to everyone."
 
The physical load Wistock endured throughout Basic Training is directly tied to building mental toughness.  The company rose at 4 a.m. to go through physical training, spent much of the day in training and took turns at night pulling guard duty.
 
In the end, only the strongest survive, and Wistock was among them.  He and his company graduated from Basic Training in May.  "I had never been to a military ceremony like that," Wistock said.  "People were in step together and everything looked very clean, like no other graduation I had seen before."
 
While many frown on drawing parallels between the sport of football and visions of war, Wistock is convinced that his involvement in the sport, both at Pacific and at Stayton High School, prepared him with the tools he needed to survive Basic Training.
 
The training from the 2011 season kept him in the physical shape he needed to make it through, but as Basic went on, the intangibles taught by the sport became obvious.  "There were a lot of people who didn't know how to work as a team.  They were out there on their own, doing it for themselves," Wistock said.  "But in the military you can't on your own.  We have to rely on other people to get through our tasks.
 
"In football there is a lot of camaraderie.  We're all together to achieve a goal.  It's the same way in the military.  I like that."
 
FROM BARRACKS TO CAMPUS
While he has yet to break into the starting lineup, Wistock has continued to play a key role as a back-up defensive lineman.  Wistock played in eight of nine games in 2011.  To date in 2012, he has made appearances in three of the Boxers' four games.
 
And between the practices, games and classes, the junior is keeping his military commitment.  He spent the Boxers' September bye week participating in a weekend drill at Joint Base Lewis McChord, near Tacoma.  He will miss another drill this weekend for the Pacific Lutheran game, which he will make up in November.
 
His role in the Reserves allows Wistock the flexibility to keep both his school and military commitments.  "They are pretty flexible if you have something you can't miss," he said.
 
Wistock is currently attached to the Oregon Army National Guard's 970th TC Detachment, based out in Eugene.  The unit is scheduled to deploy for a tour in Afghanistan in January, but Wistock will remain in school.  His current plan is to transfer to the 2nd Battalion, 218th Field Artillery unit, based in Forest Grove.
 
While the decision to return to school was a given, the decision to return to Pacific was not.  Wistock considered transferring from Pacific after Basic Training, but there would not have been a chance to continue playing football.  On top of that, it would have been hard to leave the friends and teammates who continued to support his military involvement.
 
"I came here for football, but what has gotten me to stay and why I wanted to come back was because of the relationships," Wistock said.  "I thought about going to Oregon State and doing the ROTC thing, but it's the relationships and the level of education that Pacific provides that is important to me."

Sep. 23: All times Eastern
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at Framingham State 50, Massachusetts Maritime 7
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Muhlenberg 56, at Juniata 40
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at Dean 25, Becker 10
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Salisbury 27, at TCNJ 7
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MIT 38, at Catholic 21
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Merchant Marine 56, at Maine Maritime 31
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at Hobart 34, Endicott 17
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at Morrisville State 44, Nichols 22
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at Delaware Valley 27, Stevenson 7
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at Albright 9, Widener 7
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Christopher Newport 16, at Montclair State 8
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at Westminster (Pa.) 41, Bethany 14
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Middlebury 41, at Bowdoin 14
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Williams 24, at Colby 7
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Amherst 36, at Hamilton 6
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Ursinus 35, at Moravian 17
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Trinity (Conn.) 51, at Bates 0
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at LaGrange 38, Brevard 28
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Geneva 33, at Thiel 24
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at Plymouth State 37, Mass-Dartmouth 7
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Kean 28, at Southern Virginia 14
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Frostburg State 24, at Rowan 10
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Union 17, at Curry 14
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at Carnegie Mellon 37, Thomas More 17
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Lycoming 44, at King's 41
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at Western New England 21, Husson 14
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Johns Hopkins 41, at Dickinson 10
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at DePauw 51, Wooster 24
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at Ohio Wesleyan 37, Allegheny 21
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at Misericordia 43, Wilkes 14
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at Alfred 45, Rochester 7
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Wesley 66, at William Paterson 0
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at N.C. Wesleyan 35, Maryville (Tenn.) 25
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Huntingdon 31, at Ferrum 28
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at McDaniel 27, Gettysburg 20
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at Buffalo State 33, RPI 21
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Franklin and Marshall 27, at Susquehanna 24
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at Denison 45, Oberlin 17
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at Northwestern (Minn.) 10, Westminster (Mo.) 7
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at Eureka 44, Crown 20
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at Lebanon Valley 24, FDU-Florham 14
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at Heidelberg 47, John Carroll 21
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at Ohio Northern 35, Otterbein 7
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at Mount Union 55, Baldwin Wallace 7
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at Rose-Hulman 37, Defiance 14
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at Marietta 49, Muskingum 25
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Franklin 59, at Bluffton 30
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at Hanover 64, Anderson 21
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Mount St. Joseph 31, at Manchester 14
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Worcester State 34, at Westfield State 10
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Coast Guard 13, at Norwich 9
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at Fitchburg State 31, Bridgewater State 29
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Wittenberg 48, at Kenyon 11
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at Wabash 25, Hiram 21
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North Central (Ill.) 51, at Millikin 21
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at Millsaps 17, Sewanee 13
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at Rhodes 35, Birmingham-Southern 9
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at Hendrix 36, Austin 24
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at Martin Luther 34, Greenville 20
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at Trinity (Texas) 41, Chapman 35
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at Loras 73, Buena Vista 34
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at Wartburg 30, Washington U. 20
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at Gustavus Adolphus 51, Hamline 7
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Augsburg 48, at Carleton 28
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at Bethel 64, St. Olaf 7
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at Luther 21, Dubuque 17
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at Central 52, Nebraska Wesleyan 27
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Simpson 38, at Coe 33
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Wheaton (Ill.) 40, at Elmhurst 15
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St. Norbert 66, at Grinnell 13
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at Knox 13, Ripon 6
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at MacMurray 32, Iowa Wesleyan 14
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Hardin-Simmons 63, at Howard Payne 3
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Southwestern 37, at Louisiana College 34
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Monmouth 26, at Macalester 0
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at St. Thomas 20, St. John's 17
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
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at Springfield 42, WPI 10
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at Cornell 55, Beloit 36
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at Brockport 28, Utica 14
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at Hartwick 24, St. John Fisher 21
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at UW-La Crosse 41, Carroll 6
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at St. Scholastica 37, Minnesota-Morris 3
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at George Fox 44, UW-Eau Claire 0
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at Western Connecticut 37, Salve Regina 23
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at UW-Stevens Point 41, Adrian 28
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at Wesleyan 24, Tufts 17
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at Averett 35, Methodist 6
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at Berry 28, Centre 14
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at Case Western Reserve 56, Waynesburg 21
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at Grove City 24, St. Vincent 14
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at Illinois Wesleyan 18, North Park 0
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Texas Lutheran 7
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at UW-Platteville 56, Lakeland 22
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Carthage 55, at Augustana 14
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Chicago 28, at Illinois College 7
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at Sul Ross State 35, McMurry 7
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at Wilmington 37, Capital 30
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Lake Forest 42, at Lawrence 26
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at East Texas Baptist 79, Belhaven 40
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Arizona Christian 56, at Whittier 38
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Sep. 28: All times Eastern
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Shenandoah at Randolph-Macon
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at Delaware Valley 27, Stevenson 7
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Wesley 66, at William Paterson 0
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at Alfred 45, Rochester 7
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Johns Hopkins 41, at Dickinson 10
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Frostburg State 24, at Rowan 10
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at Heidelberg 47, John Carroll 21
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at Mount Union 55, Baldwin Wallace 7
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Wittenberg 48, at Kenyon 11
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at Wabash 25, Hiram 21
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Hardin-Simmons 63, at Howard Payne 3
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North Central (Ill.) 51, at Millikin 21
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Wheaton (Ill.) 40, at Elmhurst 15
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at St. Thomas 20, St. John's 17
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
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at Brockport 28, Utica 14
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at Case Western Reserve 56, Waynesburg 21
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at Illinois Wesleyan 18, North Park 0
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at UW-Platteville 56, Lakeland 22
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Texas Lutheran 7
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