Senior staff writer
U.S. Army Capt. Edwin “Eddie” Mobley of Beech Grove is moving one step closer to the Pentagon. Mobley, a 2006 graduate of Beech Grove High School, begins classes next week at Harvard Kennedy School of Business in Cambridge, Mass. He and wife Emily, who is expecting their first baby in September, have relocated from Fort Campbell, Ky., to Cambridge.
“I will be able to study more about the Army’s relationship with various departments, particularly the Department of Commerce,” said Mobley, who earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from West Point. “This will give me knowledge of how government works so I can apply that to my Army background.”
Mobley is among one of four Army officers enrolled with civilian students on a path to earn a master’s in public administration from the school named after President John F. Kennedy. Upon graduation he will become an Army strategist in the Pentagon.
Mobley has served as platoon leader of the 160th Airborne Special Operations Aviation Regiment, consisting of 13 pilots, 26 soldiers and 10 Apache Longbow helicopters in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Highly decorated, he has been awarded with Air, Meritorious Service, Army Commendation and Army Achievement medals and a Valorous Unit Citation.
Mobley, in a telephone interview Saturday, recalled his high school years, which eventually led him to a military career and back home occasionally to encourage high schoolers to commit to excellence. The former Beech Grove three-sport athlete and National Honor Society inductee contends,
“Excellence is a lifestyle, not an achievement.” He admitted that the camaraderie, teamwork and discipline at West Point was fostered in him through club and high school wrestling, where he became a state finalist.
“The wrestling room there is a storied tradition,” said Mobley, who also played football and ran on the track team. “The coaches taught me how to work hard, how to prepare to win and how to seize the moment to win.”
The foundation to his pathway to West Point was laid during his junior year when realizing that college would be too expensive. He served as an intern in May 2007 to former Sen. Richard G. Lugar.
“I grew up in a blue-collar family,” Mobley said. “I was willing to work harder and sacrifice more. My school day was early morning workout, classes, after-school workout and studying. No one was going to outwork me.”
He has returned to Beech Grove for special occasions: receiving the key to the city from former Mayor Joe Wright in 2010, speaking to the 2013 National Honor Society inductees, and being the inductee into the high school's Hall of Fame in 2017.
His parents served the city; his late father Paul David Mobley was a city councilor, and mother Nancy is a former school board member. His remarks to the inductees in 2013 should serve as inspiration to students today:
“Every year at West Point forced me out of my comfort zone, and each time I fell back on the fundamentals from my Beech Grove experience that led me to be successful: working harder than my peers, a willingness to seize opportunities, and the ability to make allies by treating people well. Your high school experience will not define your life, but it will perpetuate your future success.”
In return, he has presented his West Point sabre and American flags that flew in Afghanistan to the school and to the city. Mobley continues to urge today’s students to excel by stepping from their comfort zone and to experience new challenges.
“To be successful, you have to stay hungry and show diligence and grit. You will find that the harder you work, the more opportunities you will have.”