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Trojan headwear built with flair

USC Marshall graduate modifies custom helmets for military veterans who wear them at tailgates and special occasions

Combat helmet
A combat helmet embellished with horsehair plumes and personalized with an owner’s patch (Photo/Diane Krieger)

James Galindo MBV ’16, a USC Marshall School of Business alum, creates custom helmets for followers of the Master of Business for Veterans program.

Modified from actual combat helmets, each is embellished with horsehair plumes and personalized with the owner’s patches, name and MBV cohort. Galindo even welds the owner’s dog tag on the inside.

Faculty, alumni and friends of the MBV program don the distinctive headwear for special occasions — USC Marshall Dean James G. Ellis wore his at the school’s 2016 satellite commencement ceremony, attracting the admiration of guest speaker Pete Carroll.

“You’ll see them in full effect at any of the tailgates,” said Jeremy Todd MBV ’16. “One costs about $1,200. The tactical helmet alone is worth $600.”

Todd sported his helmet at a Welcome Week luau in Alumni Park. The event was hosted by the USC Veterans Resource Center for the roughly 1,000 warrior-scholars and military-affiliated students attending the university.

Prepared to serve

Jeremy Todd and family

Jeremy Todd with daughter Camilla and son Matthew (Photo/Diane Krieger)

A sergeant first-class with 15 years of service in the U.S. Army, including five combat rotations, Todd will earn his second USC Marshall degree next spring when he wraps up his degree in entrepreneurship and innovation.

The 32-year-old Trojan — whose children Matthew, 4, and Camilla, 2, were decked out in cardinal and gold for the barbecue — rows on USC’s varsity crew team and is a member of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. In 2015, Todd became a cadet through the accelerated ROTC Green to Gold track at USC. When he finishes the two-year training in 2017, Todd will transition from a non-commissioned officer to a commissioned second lieutenant and Army platoon commander.

His additional three-year service commitment through ROTC won’t hold Todd back professionally.

“I’ll be done with my real estate license in October,” he said. “And I’ve got a startup that I’m working on with a partner.” Asked to elaborate, he demurred with a cryptic smile: “It’s an electronic commodity, but I can’t talk about it. It has the potential to be big.”

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Trojan headwear built with flair

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