Story Veterans

Student Veteran Embodies CSU Success

Dominique Oliver


San Diego Student Veteran Organization President Jonathan Reiland 


​ Before being elected president of the Student Veteran Organization at San Diego State University, Jonathan Reiland enlisted ​in the United States Marine Corps, serving eight years as an infantryman. After two combat deployments to Iraq in 2006 and 2008, he became a combat instructor in the Training and Readiness Unit at the School of Infantry-West, where he trained newly graduated Marines on infantry skills and how to become effective instructors. He concluded his military career by serving three years in the Marine Corps Reserves. Reiland is now on the path to obtaining a quality education at the California State University.


Why did you decide to pursue your education at SDSU?

SDSU has a well-respected engineering program. I like the fact it's more hands-on and gives students a real world perspective of the industry.  My goal is to earn a degree in mechanical engineering.


Tell us about your studies and about the degree you are pursuing.

My college career began at Cal State San Marcos in the applied physics program. After two years, I transferred to SDSU for engineering. I chose engineering because I enjoy building things and the potential job opportunities after graduation.

Has the SDSU and the campus community supported you? If so, what services/departments specifically?

SDSU is definitely a campus for veterans. With resources like the Joan and Art Veterans Center to the Student Veteran House, the campus could not be more accepting to veterans. As the president of the Student Veteran Organization, I've had the opportunity to speak to other leaders at schools across the country. I can say without a doubt that SDSU leads the way in veteran programs and support.

Has anyone shown interest in supporting your pursuit of your degree? If so, who and how have they offered support?

It's a collective effort of everyone on campus that makes SDSU feel so supportive. From the top down, starting with President Hirshman all the way down to the administrative clerks.  

What "words of wisdom" would you share with other veterans considering enrolling at the CSU?

Don't go through it alone. Ask questions. College is a team sport, just like being part of the military. Work with non-military students and be open minded. Find your school's Student Veteran Organization and make connections. College time should be your transition time, so enjoy it!

The CSU honors the commitment and service of thousands of individuals who have proudly served our country. The CSU offers unlimited educational opportunities to help veterans, active-duty service members and their families develop skills that will benefit them and their communities and to meet personal and professional goals.

To learn more on how the CSU supports student veterans, visit: ​​​

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