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Caleb Brown: Not for Self, But for Country

Alumni Caleb Brown
Caleb Brown ’19

When F/A-18 Navy pilot Caleb Brown (Management; Finance; Accounting ’19) felt led to attend Pensacola Christian College, it seemed like the natural choice. Having been homeschooled with Abeka’s homeschooling curriculum, he knew that the Christian liberal arts college offered the same quality education taught from a biblical worldview. “Simply put, it’s where God led me,” he said.

Finding Strength

When Caleb first started college, he was studying management with a finance minor. Over time, he realized how having finance as a second full degree would open other opportunities for him. In his junior year, a faculty member discussed how accounting was another valuable side of the finance world, so Caleb decided to add accounting as a third degree in his senior year. “My thought process through it all was that if God gives me the talents and opportunities to honor Him in that way, then I’d be a fool to not pursue that,” Caleb explained. “With the help and guidance from the great professors in the department, I was able to pursue those opportunities and set myself up for professional success.”

Each of Caleb’s classes stretched him. “PCC pushed me to work and study incredibly hard,” he said. “The expectations of professors were high. Bringing that mentality and work ethic into my life of work now is important.”

“If God gives me the talents and opportunities to honor Him in that way, then I’d be a fool to not pursue that.”

The challenges Caleb had in college prepared him for the rigor of daily responsibilities he took on after graduation. Each day’s class assignments, expectations, and goals proved valuable, and he enjoyed the process. “It is an exciting way to live when you are constantly pushed and stretched,” he said. “I look at others that I fly with that come from top institutions like the Naval Academy, Yale, MIT, and Harvard. But, as a PCC graduate, I can say that I am just as equipped educationally to take on this job as any other person that I work with.”

“PCC’s focus on growing my faith has helped me tremendously,” Caleb continued. “Developing my beliefs in God has always been important. But it isn’t until you are confronted or questioned about your beliefs that you realize just how important that foundation is.”

During his time as a student, he found that PCC staff and faculty were ready to offer help and guidance beyond academics. “Mr. [Jon] Tutton was my go-to guy at PCC when I needed encouragement and discernment. He was always quick to meet with me for coffee or a meal and challenge me in my faith,” he shared. “Time and time again, he was ready with God’s Word to point me to Christ in how I could honor Him. He and I still keep in touch to this day over the phone, and he continues to disciple me in where I am at in life.”

Caleb Brown with his dad

Now, as a pilot, he’s continued to push forward, bettering his skills in his day-to-day responsibilities and supporting his colleagues well. “My job involves confidence both in oneself and fellow pilots and WSOs (weapons system officers),” he explained. “By learning in college that good work comes from hard work, I have been able to show up prepared for my job and honor Christ in what He has called me to do.”

Exercising Service

Six months after graduating from PCC, Caleb Brown, a lieutenant junior grade, joined the U.S. Navy and is currently stationed at Virginia Beach, Virginia. In June 2023, Caleb earned his Naval Aviation Wings, having completed his Navy flight school jet training in Mississippi top of the class, and was honored as the graduate with the highest passing score in the class. “Being able to serve God while serving my country is an honor,” he said. “Knowing that what I do has a purpose is encouraging and challenging.”

Caleb’s current focus is to complete his F/A-18 training with the VFA 106 Gladiators. “A typical day for me at work involves a lot of studying, briefing, and debriefing flights,” he explained. “Each flight requires a lot of preparation time so that when we do actually head out to the jet to fly, we are ready to execute the mission. Flying is a smaller portion, time-wise, of the job than one might think. Typically, we fly every day, which can be anywhere from 1 to 2 hours. The rest of the day is spent learning and preparing for our next events.”

“Looking back, I can see God’s hand and work all throughout my life.”

Caleb Brown with fighter jet

“There is nothing quite like the feeling of flying with 3 other F/A-18s in close formation,” Caleb continued. “It is exhilarating and exciting! Being able to watch sunrises, sunsets, meteor showers, and other natural phenomena from a tactical jet is unlike anything else in this world, and it is a blessing seeing them from that point of view.” After several more months of training, “we learn air-to-surface weapons employment, air-to-air combat, and carrier landings. I’m also striving toward growing in serving others at church and those that God has placed in my life.”

While Caleb Brown is looking forward to the next chapter in his life, he’s thankful for how God directed him before his PCC journey and beyond. “Looking back, I can see God’s hand and work all throughout my life,” he said. “He has been gracious enough to give me opportunities and responsibilities that many only dream of having, and I am so thankful for that. He blessed me with a wonderful Christian family, a good education, a God-honoring church to be involved in, and a job that I love. I have seen Him personally work in where He has me stationed, the people He has put in my life, and ways [He’s given me] that I can serve.”

Read more about how God is directing and working through PCC faculty and alumni.