Alumni Spotlight

Major Fretwell from Culver-Stockton College on Vimeo.

Major Timothy Fretwell ’05 was honored as the Outstanding Young Alumnus during the 2014 Homecoming Weekend. Fretwell was a Pillars for Excellence Scholarship recipient and graduated from C-SC with his degree in finance. He was also involved with the Student Government Association and is a member of Alpha Tau Omega.
Currently, Fretwell is a Foreign Area Officer for the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand. He is also the youngest commissioned officer in modern U.S. military history.
“Two weeks out of college, I went to Officer Candidate School in Virginia. I was 19 years old and still wet behind the ears. I got a commission and instantly had a target on my back,” said Fretwell. “I realized I was going to have to work smarter and harder than everyone. I also realized I was going to be in charge of people. It was scary stuff.”
Even with his initial apprehensions, Fretwell was anxious to get out in the field. After finishing his officer training, he accepted his first assignment. An Army unit in Iraq had taken too many casualties, and Fretwell was to take 50 marines to guard the roads between Fallujah and Ramadi. Within two weeks, Fretwell was in Iraq.
“Luckily it was a good deployment. No casualties. Just minor injuries,” said Fretwell. “We reduced the placement of IEDs by about 40 percent and built schools for the local people. We also did water treatment and provided medical aid. It was an amazing experience and something I am glad I was a part of.”
After that deployment, Fretwell went back to Iraq on a second deployment and to Afghanistan for a third. During this time, he was promoted to Captain.
While in Afghanistan, Fretwell received a phone call telling him to report to the Naval Post Graduate School. He had scored well on a recent proficiency test and was recommended to get an accelerated master’s degree in securities study of Southeast Asia. He also had one year to become fluent in Thai. Shortly after completing the program, he was stationed in Bangkok as an expert on Southeast Asia for the United States Marine Corp. At the time of the interview, he was preparing for a move to Japan, with the hopes of one day becoming a major.
Even with his incredible career success, Fretwell remains humble. He also credits Culver-Stockton College for giving him the skills to position himself for success.
 “Three things I learned from C-SC are you need a solid base of knowledge, you need to recognize opportunity and take advantage of it and then you need to work harder than everyone else,” said Fretwell. “It is truly humbling to be recognized by an institution I hold in such high regard. I am honored to be this year’s Outstanding Young Alumnus.”