Petra Lovetinska Seipel
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." ― Maya Angelou
Maj. Petra Lovetinska Seipel was born in Prague, Czech Republic-a city rich in history, where architectural styles from every century majestically dominate the skyline. As she was growing up, the Czech Republic was still called Czechoslovakia and the communist government ruled the country. She was 11 years old when the Velvet Revolution of ’89 brought down the regime and the country embraced democracy. In 1992 her family boarded a plane for the first time ever and headed to America, not knowing any English. She spent her first year in the US learning English and absorbing her surroundings. Washington, D.C. public schools are very diverse, culturally and economically, and for someone who came from a homogeneous society it was a true culture shock. Seipel embraced the change and enjoyed the diversity it offered, providing opportunities for her to make friends from many countries.
In August of ’96, Seipel made history by becoming one of the first four women to attend The Citadel, previously an all-male military school. This opportunity became possible due to the generosity of the "Petra Plank Holders." The Petra Plank Holders, a group of Citadel Alumni and friends who donated money made her Citadel experience possible. She is very grateful to them for their support. Seipel distinguished herself in many ways as a cadet and was honored by receiving the Palmetto Award
As a senior, Seipel decided to join the US Marines. She faced a significant obstacle, as she was not a US citizen. She became only one of five people in the history of the United States who have received their citizenship as a special Act of Congress and shares that honor with Mother Theresa, William Penn, Winston Churchill, and Raoul Wallenberg. Seipel’s occupational specialty is Aviation Supply. She has had many assignments that have taken her all over the world, including a deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Seipel is a life-long learner and earned a Master of Business Administration degree with Material Logistics Support sup-specialty from the Naval Postgraduate School in December 2013. Upon completion, she was assigned to the Logistics Command at Albany, GA.
When she is not in uniform, Seipel enjoys spending time with her family. She and her husband Patrick, also a Major in the Marine Corps, have two children; a three year old boy named Harley and a newborn son named Max. They enjoy the outdoors, whether it is hiking or boating. She also enjoys swimming, quilting, running and much more. While serving in California, she was determined to swim from Alcatraz to San Francisco. Despite being three months pregnant, she made the swim in about 40 minutes. It was one of her proudest moments.
Petra Lovetinska Seipel (2014). Personal communication