Veterans Voices

Veterans Voices: From paramedic to police to National Guard, Cpt. Cory Cavett does it all

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North Dakota Army National Guard Captain Cory Cavett is living out his childhood dream.

“Since I was a kid, I always wanted to do both: be a police officer and join the military,” Cpt. Cavett said.

But he didn’t enlist immediately.

“I ended up going to NDSU for a year and not really doing well in college and decided I need to change and some discipline,” Cavett said.

So, he joined the National Guard.

Then he gave college another shot at UMary for 3.5 years, before stopping to become a paramedic for Fargo-Moorhead Ambulance.

In 2003, Cavett deployed to Iraq for about 15 months, one of the few experiences he says he’ll go into more depth about when talking to his three kids.

“I’ve always told them a little bit more, just kind of the experience, don’t want to overwhelm them. Things they just don’t understand yet. Or try to explain things even to lay people. What was it like over there? And I’d always I always say, hot,” Cavett said.

When Cavett returned, he went back to FM ambulance, he says with a new attitude, ready to give school another chance.

He’d need a degree to commission as an officer, and the third time was the charm.

Cavett earned his bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Mary and even went on to get his master’s in project management.

“I love being an officer. When I commissioned in 2009. I, it’s been a good fit. I really enjoyed being enlisted,” Cavett said.

In addition to that, Cavett has been a Bismarck police patrol officer since 2014.

But doing both hasn’t always been easy.

“When I became a police officer for Bismarck, we at that time we’re working, you’d work two weeks on days, and then two weeks on nights. So every two weeks you’re switching. You combine that with the National Guard, where you’re giving up an additional weekend. At some stretches, I was given up five weekends a month, in a row. And it got to be quite a challenge,” Cavett said.

Though it’s sometimes been stressful to manage everything, Cavett says he’s had amazing opportunities through the Guard’s state partnership program.

“As far as some of the best things I’ve done recently, in 2019, I was able to go to West Africa to Benin with three other Guard guys, and teach search and seizure tactics to Benin military,” Cavett said.

Another time that stands out was several years ago.

“One of the most memorable ones that really came closest to my heart and meant probably the most is when I got to escort one of our fallen soldiers home. So that was several years ago. But it came around a couple years ago when I actually got to meet the mom of the deceased soldier,” Cavett said.

In the future, Cavett says he wants to continue being involved in domestic operations, like helping with COVID this past year and floods before that.

“I really enjoyed that. So I would really, my goal is to kind of get more involved with that, especially with being a paramedic in the past and being a police officer now and those types of experiences,” Cavett said.

Cavett says the North Dakota National Guard has been an outstanding organization to be a part of.

“And I know other soldiers that come here from other states, they absolutely love it, too. It’s that North Dakota work ethic we have up here, and we take care of each other,” Cavett said.

Because of the pandemic, North Dakota National Guard members will be on state active duty through the end of the year.

They began COVID-19 duty in March of last year.

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