In honor of Veterans Day, the Simpson College Veterans Club welcomed Colonel Charles Lampe ‘96 to campus. During his visit, Col. Lampe spoke to students, staff and faculty members. He gave a brief synopsis of his career, discussed his time at Simpson, and answered questions from those in attendance.
Col. Lampe came to Simpson in 1992 with his twin brother, Captain Ben Lampe ‘96. They followed in the footsteps of their sister, Anita Lampe Hartman ‘95, who at the time played basketball and, unbeknownst to them, would soon earn several honors, including Second Team All-Conference, First Team All-Conference, and Honorable Mention All-American.
The summer after his first year, alongside his brother, Lampe’s desire to serve his country (and fund his education) encouraged him to join the military. When he enlisted, Lampe planned to serve his four years and then get out, just as his father and grandfather did before him, but instead, he found his home in the Iowa National Guard.
After serving five years in the Iowa State Patrol, Col. Lampe began full-time employment with the Iowa Army National Guard. Since then, he has spent 20 years in the National Guard, holding various leadership positions, including company commander, support operations officer, and Battalion executive officer. His other titles include Blackhawk Helicopter Pilot, Maintenance Test Pilot, and Commander for the Army Aviation Support Faculty.
Lampe credits several aspects of his success to the skills he learned at Simpson. “With every challenge, there exists an opportunity. I attribute this [mindset] to the culture and climate that Simpson provided,” said Lampe. “I found something that I was passionate about in business here at Simpson. That changed my outlook on life and allowed me to be open to the National Guard and other opportunities,” he continued.
Lampe also mentioned one of his most influential courses at Simpson, his ethics class with Professor John Pauley, who still teaches at Simpson today. “I loved it, and I still use it. As a commander of people and leader of troops and soldiers, it is something I talk to most of my soldiers about. Character, competence, professionalism, and what does that mean? Ethics comes into that,” described Lampe.
Lampe says taking the initiative has gotten him to where he is today, a skill that was instilled in him by his peers and professors at Simpson.