Austin Cloninger- MHS Alumni SpotlightFeb 08, 2023 03:25PM ● By Verlene Johnson
Austin Cloninger was born in Sherman, Texas, to John and Cindy Cloninger. With his dad being in the Army, he moved around a lot while growing up. However, in 2005 his family moved to Morgan, where he attended Morgan Middle School and Morgan High School.
After graduating from MHS in 2015, Cloninger served a mission in Piura, Peru. Upon returning from his mission in 2017, he started at Brigham Young University. While studying at BYU, he was accepted into the Middle Eastern Studies/Arabic program, where he had the opportunity to attend BYU Jerusalem Center. “Living in the Holy Land was a life-changing experience for me,” commented Cloninger.
When he came back from Israel, he enlisted in the Utah National Guard as a linguist in a Military Intelligence Unit. He also enrolled in the ROTC program at BYU as he continued his studies. Soon after enlisting, Cloninger began participating in military skills and endurance competitions consisting of 48 hours of CrossFit workout and military skill events, which included shooting, land navigation, first aid, small unit tactics, running and long-distance marches under pack. These competitions took him all over the United States to compete. During this time, he was also accepted to a military scholarship to study Arabic in Amman, Jordan.
Cloninger spent a semester living in Jordan studying religion, culture and Arabic. Additionally, he was sent to further his training at the Sabalauski Air Assault School in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where they were trained on the missions performed by rotary wing aircraft, aircraft safety, aero-medical evacuation procedures, pathfinder operations, principles and techniques of combat assaults, rappelling techniques and sling-load operations.
Aside from his time studying and fulfilling his military duties, Cloninger worked as a personal trainer specializing in functional fitness, injury prevention and rehabilitation, strength training and performance enhancement. “During this time, I met my amazing, beautiful wife, Gina. We had a COVID wedding in our living room on Feb. 4, 2021, and it was perfect! We also adopted a Great Dane who we named Moose.”
Cloninger sustained several injuries that eventually resulted in his being medically discharged from the military. While working hard to recover, he found a lot of progress working with chiropractics. “I was able to make a lot of improvements, and I decided that I wanted to become a chiropractor and help others the way it has been able to help me,” said Cloninger.
After graduating from BYU with a bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies/Arabic with a minor in Military Science, Cloninger applied for and was accepted to Logan University’s Doctorate of Chiropractic Program, which means he and his wife will be moving to Missouri to start a new adventure this summer, and he said he could not be more excited.
Cloninger currently lives in Morgan and works at 100% Chiropractic in Clinton as a Chiropractic Assistant and Stretch Therapist.
While Cloninger was at MHS, he participated in the Ovation Chamber Choir for three years, was in the school’s production of “Peter Pan” as Captain Hook and was the seminary president. Cloninger said his time in choir was super impactful. “I developed long-lasting friendships and a love of music that has lasted to this day. These friendships have played a part in who I’ve become and taught me the value of friendship. I have carried those lessons all over the world as I’ve made new friends and engaged with people from all over.”