José graduated with Honors from the University of Dayton in 2006 with a B.A. in Political Science and History. He then earned a J.D. from Dayton’s School of Law in 2009, where he was a member of Moot Court and competed at the 2008 George Washington University School of Law National Security Law Moot Court Competition. He later became a licensed attorney before the courts of Puerto Rico and the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico.
José enlisted as an Army officer candidate in 2015. Unable to commission, he leveraged his attorney’s license to gain a JAG Corps paralegal slot with the help of a caring NCO. He went on to graduate from the Paralegal School as the Distinguished Honor Graduate and to serve at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, where he was a Distinguished Honor Graduate of NCO Academy Hawaii, the 25th Infantry Division’s 2016 and 2017 Paralegal Soldier of the Year, and the division’s 2018 nominee for the Sergeant Eric L. Coggins Award.
While serving as a Paralegal NCO, José earned an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Oklahoma. The Pacific Forum, a Honolulu-based international affairs think tank, selected him as a member of its 2017 Young Leaders cohort.
Following active duty, José returned to Puerto Rico and has since served as a Community Programs Specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, financing infrastructure for rural communities. On his spare time, he has led non-profit organizations that advocate statehood and equal rights for the U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico.
A believer in the power of higher education, José looks to pay it forward and to help service members and veterans achieve their academic goals.