CORVALLIS, Ore. – Jeff Ammon, a 2001 graduate of Oregon State University, was killed earlier this week in military service in Afghanistan.
Ammon, of Orem, Utah, was a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. He died May 20 as a result of injuries suffered from an improvised explosive device in the Aband District of Afghanistan, and was serving there as a member of Provincial Reconstruction Team Ghazni, military officials said.
Ammon received a bachelor of science degree in nuclear engineering from OSU, and was highly regarded by both faculty and fellow students.
“Jeff was already in the Navy’s submarine service when they sent him to the university to get an undergraduate degree in nuclear engineering and prepare him for a career as an officer,” said Steven Reese, director of the OSU Radiation Center.
“That’s something they do only for their best and brightest people,” Reese said. “Jeff was just extraordinarily talented, one of the best scholars we’ve ever had. He received a license as a nuclear reactor operator while still an OSU undergraduate student, which is quite unusual.”
Ammon was also very popular with other students “and just a great person,” Reese said. “We will miss him very much.”
Kathryn Higley, a professor of nuclear engineering who served as Ammon’s adviser while he was an OSU student, said that he was part of “an extraordinary class” that graduated that year.
“Our program sees quite a few students with military ties, and as a general rule they are focused, dedicated, and a delight to have in class,” Higley said. “Jeff was no exception. He was always prepared, and always eager to learn. As faculty, we are well aware of what their military service could require of these students, but it's not something you expect to happen.
“We are a small department,” she added, “and this loss is keenly felt. My heart goes out to his family. We are proud of him and his service to his country.”
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