Katie Yetter, class of 2022


In her interview, Katie Yetter, Brown University class of 2022, speaks about the many components of her experience as a student veteran, including her initial attraction towards the military — specifically the Marine Corps — her experience in the field, and her transition back to civilian life as a veteran student at Brown.

Yetter begins by describing her childhood moving across the United States — eventually settling in Connecticut for her father’s work — a job engineering that would eventually connect to Yetter’s own work as a mechanic in the Marines. She notes that the agricultural education program she participated in during her high school years was foundational to her personal development and development as a student, showing her the value of a non-traditional education pathway. She then describes the encounters she had with military recruiters at her school and the drive to prove herself that informed the decision she made to enlist in the Marine Corps. She notes that friends and family were initially surprised by the decision, but supported once they saw her commitment to service.

Yetter recounts the harrowing experience of bootcamp — which demanded almost superhuman levels of physical and mental stamina. Despite the challenge, she reflects that this was an important experience of self-realization that broke her down and built her up as a Marine. She speaks fondly of the pride she felt when presenting herself to her family upon completing the training. Deciding to pursue a career in aviation mechanics, Yetter underwent another vigorous round of training and vocational education that allowed her to work on repairing F 35 fighter aircrafts and gain great success working abroad. However, she also recounts the challenges she faced as a female mechanic, when fellow female Marines were few and far between. Yetter’s growing interest in obtaining a degree led her to apply as a Resumed Undergraduate Education student to Brown, where she navigated a difficult transition with the support of the on-campus veteran community and began pursuing coursework in Cognitive Linguistic and Psychological Sciences, and neuroscience. She also worked in the Veteran’s Office to continue developing programming for students.

Most recently, Yetter has been interested in building on her current research into how the transition out of the military impacts veterans — including the psychology of addiction and incarceration. She hopes to one day either develop an addiction program recovery program for veterans or pursue law school to fight wrongful incarcerations.


Recorded on January 6, 2022 in Alumnae Hall, room 205, Brown University
Interviewed by Amanda Knox, Pembroke Center Assistant Archivist

Suggested Chicago style citation: Katie Yetter, class of 2022. Interview. By Amanda Knox. Pembroke Center Oral History Project, Brown University. January 6, 2022.


Katie Yetter ‘22 was born in New Hampshire and spent her childhood in New England before enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps after completing high school. In the Marines, she served as a F-35 Aircraft Safety Equipment Mechanic in the from 2013 to 2018. She received two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals during her years of service. After serving, she enrolled at Brown as a Resumed Undergraduate Education (RUE) student, where she concentrated in Cognitive Neuroscience and Sociology and was involved in a number of initiatives to improve the experience of veteran students on campus. In 2021, Yetter helped to launch the Peer Advisors for Veteran Education (PAVE) program at Brown, serving as one of six student advisors. She is currently a graduate student at Brown’s School of Public Health studying addiction and mindfulness.