William Prom

Branch: U.S. Marine Corps

Years Served: 2009 – 2014

Rank: Captain

Military Occupation: Artillery Officer, 0802

Hometown: Franklin, WI

Twitter Handle: @wjprom

Tell us a little about you outside of the military:

  • Since leaving the Marine Corps, I started writing on military history as a hobby.  It eventually developed into a career with a variety of contract and freelance work.  Most of my work can be found in Naval History Magazine and the Center for International Maritime Security
  • In 2022, I was selected as the U.S. Naval Institute’s Naval History Author of the Year. 
  • I continue to write and publish articles, but at a considerably slower rate since taking on the Development Director role at NextOp in 2022.  It is a nonprofit veteran service organization that provides free, comprehensive employment assistance and direct placement services designed specifically for enlisted transitioning service members and veterans.
  • Also in 2022, my wife and I moved back to Wisconsin after 18 years of living all over the country.  We wanted our three children to grow up closer to their remaining grandparents and extended family.

Why are you joining the IAVA Cavalry? 

  • I have been searching for professional development opportunities and meaningful ways to contribute to the veteran community for the last few years and I believe the IAVA Cavalry can help with both. 
  • I have found working for a nonprofit veteran service organization to be incredibly fulfilling, but in my role as Development Director, I have limited involvement in providing our services.  I am excited about the prospect of being more hands-on with supporting policy development and advocacy.  

How did your military experience shape you to be the person you are today?

  • I owe a lot to my military experience—I received an outstanding education, made lifelong friendships, traveled the world, challenged myself, had the privilege to lead amazing young Marines, and much more. 
  • All of this expanded my worldview far beyond what I would have experienced had I stayed in the same sheltered community I grew up in. 
  • I was in high school on September 11, 2001, and during the start of the Iraq War in 2003.  Our community was very vocal in their support of both wars, but rather silent when it came to acting on them. 
  • Only 2% of my high school class joined the military.  My mother was even confronted by another parent who was confused about why I would join the military, “I thought Bill got good grades.”  This was my first experience witnessing the disconnect between supporting a war but not the warrior.  They wanted military action when that’s what their partisan politics demanded, but when it came to military service, that was for the ‘urban’ communities.
  • Thankfully, I found a new community within the Marine Corps.  I got to work with Marines from around the country and every socioeconomic background imaginable.  Additionally, my role required me to work with the other branches of the U.S. military as well as the militaries of partner nations.  These all reinforced an appreciation for the value of collaboration and cooperation. Working together, whether it’s a small team in the Marine Corps or a multi-national and joint exercise, we can be greater than the sum of our parts. 
  • Working for a nonprofit veteran service organization has given me a new perspective on my military service.  I gained so much from the Marine Corps and had so many advantages when I left, but I still struggled with the transition.  I know that many more face far greater challenges than I had to deal with, and I now consider it my continued duty to do what I can to help.  I am proud of my service in the Marine Corps, but I now believe that my short time in the veteran services space has been far more impactful.  

Which one of IAVA’s policy priorities do you believe is the most pressing? Why?

  • I believe that the IAVA policy priority to see more from America’s Democracy is the most pressing.  All the policies are urgent, but none of them are achievable without first ensuring the security of the democratic processes outlined in the Constitution.  Veterans are a diverse cohort from across the country that all swore to defend the Constitution, which makes veteran organizations like IAVA uniquely suited to support this policy.

Which one of IAVA’s policy priorities do you have the strongest personal connection to? Why? 

  • I consider myself aligned with all six of IAVA’s policy priorities, but ensuring the perpetuation of America’s democracy is what I have the strongest personal connection to.  I am the only veteran in both mine and my wife’s extended family going back two generations.  Large segments of both families have fully bought into the MAGA movement.  Despite being the only veteran in the families, I have been accused of being un-American, a deadbeat, a race traitor, disloyal, etc. because I did not applaud the January 6, 2021 insurrectionists as patriots.
  • There is a growing comfortability with authoritarianism in our country that terrifies me.  I think one of the simplest solutions to overcome it is greater education and advocacy, which I believe the IAVA Cavalry can help provide.


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