Cougars Fostering Inclusion in the U.S. Military

By Christine Le with Jacob Loew

General Barrye Price, LTC Melissa Comiskey, and 2LT Katelyn Kubosh have each played a role in opening doors to women in the U.S. Military. Photos courtesy of the U.S. Army.

Serving in the military requires a noble spirit along with a strong passion for service and our nation. Enlistment, training, service, and earning promotions are long and arduous tasks, but General Barrye Price and Second Lieutenant Katelyn Kubosh managed to succeed with flying colors. The two University of Houston alumni credit UH with giving them the tools, support, and formative experiences needed to achieve their current ranks. Moreover, the policy changes spearheaded by Price empowered officers such as Lieutenant Colonel Melissa Comiskey, who served in the first women-integrated infantry/armor brigade in the Army and is the current director of the Army ROTC program at the University of Houston. 

Gen. Barrye Price is the author of numerous books and today serves as the president and CEO of Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America. Photo courtesy of CADCA.

Departing from his small midwestern hometown of Gary, Indiana, in 1981, a young Barrye Price found himself beaming with anticipation as he thought about his next four years at the University of Houston. He enrolled in the College of Business Administration and joined the ranks of other academically driven pupils.i The blistering, sun-drenched campus exceeded his expectations. Price loved how the serene fountain waters gurgled and splashed, capturing the attention of every student that walked by on the way to class. Seeing young undergraduates bunch together on the vibrant green grass while studying, eating, chatting, and laughing gave him a sense of joyful liveliness and belonging.  

Comiskey hopes that through her work as the department chair of UH Military Science, she can foster change in the U.S. Army by promoting a culture of inclusion. Photo courtesy of LTC Melissa Comiskey. 

Lieutenant Colonel Melissa Comiskey joined the University of Houston in 2022 as the department chair of Military Science and director of Army ROTC, but her career had crossed paths with General Price’s work years before that. Comiskey graduated from Texas A&M University and joined the Army as a second lieutenant. Similar to Price, Comiskey was drawn towards Army ROTC by the wide range of benefits provided. Upon graduation and completion of the leadership program, Comiskey decided to further her career in the U.S. Army. “I fell in love with the Army – most importantly, the people,” she explained. “We say, this is my squad, this is my team of teams, my family. It’s like that everywhere. There’s just that camaraderie that’s irreplaceable.”

Due to Price and Comiskey’s efforts in the U.S. Army, 2LT Kubosh was able to succeed and do what previously wasn’t possible in the Army a few years ago. Photo courtesy of 2LT Katelyn Kubosh. 

A beneficiary of Price and Comiskey’s efforts to open doors for women, Katelyn Kubosh was born and raised in Spring, Texas, a suburb north of Houston. She attended her first year of undergraduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin as a business major. Unlike General Price, however, being immersed in a new city surrounded by complete strangers made her terribly homesick. Akmost all of her family members attended the University of Houston, including her grandfather, her parents, her older brother, and younger sister. “My parents ended up getting married on campus. That’s so cheesy and so funny,” she reflected. Giving these strong ties to Houston, living in Austin miles away from her entire family did not feel right. “I didn’t want to be a Longhorn anymore. I missed my family, and I missed Houston,” she lamented.

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Read about Melissa Comiskey and other deployed-solider moms on how they deal with family separation

A conversation on making social change by reducing drug use through collaborative community efforts with CADCA President and CEO Major General Barrye Price (BBA ’85) and Bauer College Director of Alumni Relations Giovanni Rosselli. (Courtesy of C.T. Bauer College of Business).

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