Army Veteran pursues degree to help protect others

By brittany sullivan | 12/21/2016

For Sunil Mittoo, the desire to serve and protect society through the field of criminal justice came years after dedicating his time to military service. On Friday, Dec. 16 at 1 p.m., Mittoo, 36, graduated cum laude with a degree in criminal justice from Florida Atlantic University.

Born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, Mittoo came from humble beginnings. At the age of 20, he moved to the United States in order to reconnect with family. After becoming an American citizen, Mittoo joined the U.S. Army in an effort to protect his new country following the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Deployed to Iraq in the third unit in 2003, he served as a chemical operations specialist earning several military medals, including an Army Accommodation Medal and the Operation Iraq Freedom Medal.

“If there is one thing I have learned from my deployment it’s that war changes you,” said Mittoo. “You will never be the same person again and how you handle your experiences will either make or break you. I have learned humility, it has taught me to be so much more grateful for the little things in life that I use to take for granted.”

After leaving the military with an honorable discharge, Mittoo worked for Dunbar Armored where he moved up the ranks quickly receiving several different promotions. Although he enjoyed his work, he knew he wanted to receive a college education in order to further his career, and developed a love for criminal justice. Mittoo was thrilled to receive his acceptance to FAU in order to begin this new chapter.  

“As a citizen, it is important to know your rights,” said Mittoo. “The criminal justice program at FAU allows you to look at both sides of the law and be an informed citizen.”

Mittoo attributes a large part of his success at the University to his advisor, Versel Reid.

“It was a pleasure working with Mr. Mittoo,” said Reid, coordinator of academic programs at FAU. “Having gotten to know him, I truly respect what he has been through and what he has accomplished here at FAU.

The FAU Veteran’s Affairs Department and FAU’s Student Accessibility Services also helped Mittoo throughout his time at the University.

“I can’t thank FAU’s Veterans Affairs Department enough, they have been so awesome,” said Mittoo. “They constantly kept me informed about everything from University events to potential employment opportunities. The University as a whole has helped me become a better person.”

In his spare time, Mittoo enjoys playing cricket recreationally, fishing and he loves to cook. Following his graduation from FAU, Mittoo is looking forward to a promising future and aspires to work for the federal government.