Hello! My name is Aaron Kelley, and as you will learn… I am a man of many hats. To start, here is my backstory:
I was raised just outside of the small town of Renovo in north-central Pennsylvania. I currently live in Philadelphia, but try to visit my hometown as often as I can. Pennsylvania has amazing things to offer in both its rural and urban settings, and I am very happy to be able to frequently enjoy both environments.
I graduated as my class Valedictorian from Bucktail Area High School in 2014. I then earned a B.A. in Political Science from the College of Arts & Science at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn).
As a junior in college, I applied to “submatriculate” into a graduate school at Penn. My application was accepted and I began working towards a Master of Public Administration (MPA) at Penn’s Fels Institute of Government in my senior year. I double-counted several credits towards my undergraduate and professional degrees.
I graduated with my B.A. in 2018 and stayed at Penn for one additional year to complete the second year of my MPA. I completed my graduate school education in May of 2019.
Meanwhile, I enlisted in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard as an 09S Officer Candidate in December 2017. Between my junior and senior years of college, I completed Basic Combat Training at Fort Benning, GA.
Since returning from BCT, I have been enrolled in the PA Traditional Officer Candidate School program. Between the summers of 2018 and 2019, I drilled as a “Phase 0” Candidate.
In 2019, I spent two weeks at Camp Nett at Niantic, CT to complete “Phase 1” of Officer Candidate School. These grueling two weeks taught me basic officer and soldiering skills and had a strong focus on physical endurance and land navigation.
After passing Phase 1, I returned to Pennsylvania. Since then, I have been attending drills at Fort Indiantown Gap, PA one weekend each month in “Phase 2” of Officer Candidate School. I am currently halfway through this phase of the OCS program.
In July, assuming I pass all the physical, academic, and leadership evaluation requirements of Phase 2, I will attend a two-week-long “Phase 3” training period at Fort Indiantown Gap. This is the final grueling test for all Officer Candidates.
If I successfully complete the requirements of Phase 3, I will commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army/PA Army National Guard early in August. I will then be required to attend a full-time leadership & job training course called BOLC (Basic Officer Leadership Course).
BOLC could be anywhere from 4 months to over a year in length, and could be anywhere in the United States. My BOLC length and location will depend on my job/unit assignment. I will receive this assignment sometime in March or April.
On the civilian side, I currently work as the Government Affairs Coordinator for the Penn-Del-Jersey Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association. In other words, I am an in-house lobbyist for a trade association that represents union worker-employing electrical contracting businesses in PA, DE, and NJ.
I feel very fortunate to be able to put my Political Science and Public Administration degrees to practical use. Many young adults with similar degrees are unable to immediately find jobs directly related to these courses of study; I understand that I must not take my opportunity for granted.
In addition to all of the above, I am a devout Episcopalian. Indeed, I am currently exploring God’s call for my life and may one day return to a seminary with the goal of becoming an ordained priest. I will likely have a large section of this website devoted to my faith, as it is one of the most important things about me.
Politically, I am a very conservative Democrat. This means that I lean left, but just ever so slightly… and maybe not on some of the major social issues that you lean left on.
Truth be told, I feel that my political leanings fit neither of the nation’s two major political parties very well. I also have the creeping feeling that, in a few years, I might end up being a very strange, liberal kind of Republican. Time will tell. Regardless, I’ll spend plenty of time on this site talking about my personal political views.
So that is a summary of some of the most important things about me. Hopefully I haven’t scared you away just yet!
At your leisure, please feel free to browse this site and get to know me even more. Additionally, please feel free to reach out so I can get to know YOU! I’m always interested in meeting new folks and hearing your opinions.