The Georgia Southern University Army ROTC program recently transitioned to new leadership under Lt. Col. Sean Hollars, who serves as the new Professor of Military Science.
In his role, Hollars is responsible for leading the ROTC program and preparing cadets in the Eagle Battalion for a future in the Army. Read on to learn more about Hollars and his plans for his new role.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself.
A: I’m originally from Baltimore, Maryland. At the young age of 17, I joined the Army, in a way, by going to West Point, the United States Military Academy in New York. That’s really where I started my Army career. I graduated in 2005 and since then I have had a variety of assignments in the Army. My wife Heather and I met in high school. We got married right after I left West Point and she has moved all over the world with me ever since. We have three boys: Hayden, 12, Gavin, 10, and Camden, 8.
Q: Can you tell us about some of your previous assignments in the Army?
A: My first one right after West Point was in Hawaii, so I definitely got some brutal assignments in my history where I had to go to the beach every day. It definitely took its toll on me — I’m kidding.
After that, I kind of bounced around the East Coast of the U.S. I was at Fort Benning, Georgia, for a little while, and after that I went to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida where I was an instructor for the U.S. Army Ranger School. Then I went to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, for a couple of years and then to Washington, D.C., for about a year. Right after that, I received an Olmsted Scholarship from the Army to earn a two-year degree in a foreign language. I studied at the University of Gdańsk in Poland, and my major was political science.
We then moved to Fort Stewart, Georgia, where I served as a major for about four years. Most recently, I got picked up to become the Professor of Military Science here in Statesboro. That’s kind of the road I took to get there.
Q: Tell us about your time at Fort Stewart.
A: I moved to Fort Stewart in 2018. I was there for what we call our key developmental time. As a major, I was first on our division staff, then I got pulled to a brigade and worked there doing operations officer duties. From there I deployed to Poland and to Germany during the pandemic for an operation that we call Operation Atlantic Resolve. Essentially, it’s training with our partners in NATO. Our base still has a large part in that as we deploy soldiers over there, and in February of this year, when things started to tick up with everything going on in Ukraine.
Q: What is your role at Georgia Southern and what exactly will you be doing?
A: As a Professor of Military Science, I’ll lead the ROTC program. I will have an adjunct professor role, and will help facilitate our department and how we intermingle with the other departments in the college and University.
My role is to give direction and guidance to our program with the end goal of commissioning quality lieutenants in the active duty Army, the National Guard and in the Army Reserves. Ideally, we’ll ensure that they’re able to get the best education they can while also getting to learn and develop their leadership skills at the same time. That’s really what the goal of our program is, and my job is to facilitate that and ensure that our students are trained. I’ll also provide guidance and direction to my team, both civilian and active duty non-commissioned officers (NCO) and officers who work for me to ensure we are teaching these cadets the best ways to be successful when they join the Army.
Q: What stands out to you about Georgia Southern’s Army ROTC Program?
A: The program really preceded itself. I knew the previous Professor of Military Science a little bit and I talked to him about the program before I really came into the scene, and it had really had an amazing reputation that I wanted to be a part of.
We’re known for commissioning anywhere between 30 to 50 officers every year, and I saw this as an opportunity for me to be a part of something that had an amazing reputation within the Army of producing some really high quality officers. I wanted to be a part of that.
In addition to that, I was already in the area. I looked forward to this opportunity to not have to move my family for a change.
Q: What excites you most about this opportunity?
A: Giving back to the Army. This was an opportunity for me to train that next generation of leaders, the future lieutenants who could potentially be in charge of my kids if they decide to join the Army one day.
I want the students to learn from my mistakes, and I want to make sure that they have the right mentors who can teach them to lead. That was really important to me to give back to the Army and help train the next generation of leaders who will take us through the next major transition that the Army goes through.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish in your role?
A: My initial goal is to figure out exactly what this program already does really well. Then I’ll figure out where we have room for improvement. Obviously we want to meet our mission for commissioning since we have a certain number of officers that we need to commission every year. My job is to facilitate that as best I can. Aside from that, it’s just us trying to improve our processes, making sure that we’re an efficient organization and keeping up with community outreach in Statesboro and Savannah.
Q: What would you like the University and community to know about the ROTC program?
A: I want to make sure everyone knows that we are a huge part of this University and really want to help in the community any way we can. We want everybody to see and understand some of the qualities that our ROTC cadets possess, especially when we’re bringing them into the program.
We want to appeal to those candidates who might not necessarily know about ROTC but are high-quality and definitely bring a lot to our community. We want to bring in those cadets and give them an opportunity to succeed and demonstrate some of the leadership capabilities that they already have.
Q: When did you officially begin your role?
A: April 11. I wanted to get here before the end of the semester to make sure I got a chance to meet all of these cadets before they all left for the summer semester. That was at least my primary focus — how do I meet them all, introduce myself to them and then tell them who I am? So, I used my first couple of weeks to hopefully accomplish that.
Q: What is your proudest accomplishment in the Army?
A: Most of my accomplishments are not really my accomplishments. They are the accomplishments of a team that came together to accomplish a mission. Maybe my name was on top of it, or I was the commander of them, or I was a leader in that group. But it’s the amazing, diverse set of people and the missions that they’re able to accomplish no matter what they are.
The Army is built in a way where we have missions that we have to accomplish on a daily basis. So, our ability to accomplish any mission has been an achievement in itself. The number one thing that I look at as an achievement is meeting, developing and maintaining relationships with people. The people we serve with in the Army are our greatest assets. And really, how do we nurture those relationships? How do we further that development? That’s the most important thing to us. Getting to serve with these types of people, these soldiers every single day is really one of the proudest things that I have done.
Q: What do you like to do for fun?
A: I spend most of my time doing stuff with my kids. Hobbies-wise, I really like to go running. I love to watch football, both college and professional, and I try to go fishing every time I get a chance.
Q: Are you excited about Georgia Southern’s football season?
A: Oh, absolutely. I’ve never been a part of a college football season before, minus Army, which was definitely a different experience. I’ve heard a lot about it and obviously everybody’s been talking up the program and the football team, so I’m excited to see it from the inside and help from an ROTC perspective.
The football program certainly means a lot to our cadets. From game-day setup, ticket scanning, running out of the tunnel with the flag, and even participating in the colorguard, band, or cheerleading squad, it’s clear to me that our cadets are proud to support the football program in many forms. Overall, I’m really excited to be a part of that this year.
Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/R2 institution founded in 1906, offers approximately 140 different degree programs serving almost 27,000 students through 10 colleges on three campuses in Statesboro, Savannah, Hinesville and online instruction. A leader in higher education in southeast Georgia, the University provides a diverse student population with expert faculty, world-class scholarship and hands-on learning opportunities. Georgia Southern creates lifelong learners who serve as responsible scholars, leaders and stewards in their communities. Visit GeorgiaSouthern.edu.