Carol Stream, Illinois
Though separated by 6 years and 600 miles, Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Jim Hoyman, professor of military science, and LTC John Hoyman ’92, M.A. ’06 remain close thanks to shared experiences and a fundamental goal: “Jim and I have a common vision of mentoring and discipling a generation of military leaders who honor Jesus Christ,” says John.
Growing up in a military family, the Hoyman brothers moved six times, and both remember running around West Point as children. The oldest of three, John says moving so frequently was difficult, but adds, “It also helped me to be outgoing and to make the most of every opportunity.”
John went to Wheaton, where he joined student government, won the Parmalee Award as a football player in 1992, and, of course, participated in ROTC. After graduating, John worked at White Sulphur Springs, a camp and conference center of Officers’ Christian Fellowship (OCF) that equips officers to minister effectively in military society and offers restoration to military families returning from deployment. He moved back to Wheaton in 2003, and while serving as assistant professor of military science, earned a master’s degree in Christian Formation and Ministry.
When his unit was called, John deployed to Afghanistan and Kuwait from 2012 to 2013. While in Kuwait, he served with a chaplain who spoke candidly with the soldiers about his struggles with sexual sin. The chaplain’s honesty had a huge impact, and many of the men became believers or came to John for counsel. John led a “new believers” Bible study group, and ended up baptizing some of the men.
“God did a movement in Kuwait that none of us were expecting,” he says.
John returned to the U.S. in July 2013, and is now director of programs and operations at White Sulphur Springs. Brother Jim took a different path, enrolling as an engineering student at West Point in 1994. He was commissioned into the Army from West Point, and immediately entered active duty. Just four months after getting married, Jim deployed to Iraq for a year as part of the first invasion in 2003. “No one knew what was going to happen, or that we would be gone for so long,” says Jim, noting that it made for a unique first year of marriage.
During his second deployment to Iraq, Jim served as Company Commander of 150 soldiers, and encountered threats such as enemy ambushes and roadside bombs.
“That kind of experience strips everything in life away until you start to see what’s really important,” says Jim. “I was hungry for God in Iraq. I prayed all the time because I had a burden for those soldiers.”
After returning to the U.S., Jim visited John at Wheaton, where John was serving as assistant professor of military science. Jim was struck by the motivated Wheaton cadets. A few years after John left Wheaton, Jim joined Wheaton’s Rolling Thunder Battalion as professor of military science in July 2013. He says John remains a great recruiter for Wheaton’s program.
“Wheaton is a unique place to make a positive impact on the next generation of officers,” says Jim. “Here we boldly help cadets wrestle with how they will both serve their country and live for Christ."