After a troubled childhood and an abysmal k-12 academic career, Austin Soller (he/him) found himself with very few opportunities or direction and couldn’t have cared less about building a career. Desperate to escape his family and the small town in Michigan where he grew up, Austin decided to join the US Navy in hopes of finding a renewed sense of autonomy or at the very least, some way to try to feel happy.
Austin went on to achieve average professional success in his 12 year Navy career, but much more important than that was the time afforded towards personal development, training and experience toward a trade in IT, and of course, the discipline. While Austin struggled with chronic depression since his early teenage years, a battle which nearly claimed his life, Austin was able to make a drastic recovery towards the end of his career. Inspired by his partner Ashley Scarlett whom he had met while “serving” near Washington DC, he finally mustered the courage to seek help in the form of psychiatric and psychological care.
Austin would later be medically retired with a rare blood disease which he is still fighting, but not before turning his life around by becoming the best Sailor and spouse that he could be. He won Sailor of the quarter and became the command Suicide Prevention Coordinator where he provided correspondence as well as training to 1,000 Sailors while drawing from personal experiences and demonstrating the strength that can result from allowing vulnerability. Austin dreamed of making a difference while following politics for more than half a decade, inspired by individuals such as Bernie Sanders and AOC. He was elected onto the DPCTB board in early 2023 where he hopes to use his experiences to increase efficiency, organization and happiness throughout the caucus, party and beyond.