I walked in his office with my brother and asked him where to sign. I would take the only Military Occupational Specialty (MOSS) available to me, Combat Engineer. Still a junior in High School would do my Basic Training (BAT) and Advance Individual Training (TIT) over the course of the next two summers at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. After signing my contract in March 2000, my upcoming summer break seemed to take on more importance than most of my friend’s; all but 3 days would be spent becoming a Soldier.
BAT was an eye opening experience where physical fitness and learning became the forefront f my thoughts. The realism of the responsibilities of life sunk in and upon returning home for my senior year of High School felt like was heading for something greater than most. The events of September 1 lath, 2001 made my reconsider my position in life. I had completed TIT, was in my first semester of Community College and felt it was time to take my commitment to the Army to a higher level. Knew I wanted to join the active Army and change my MOSS but had no idea what wanted to do.
Don’t waste your time!
Order your assignment!
I went through the entire enlistment process again when it came to picking my new MOSS I met with a seasoned Master Sergeant Career Counselor who advised me to take a Military Intelligence Job as Signals Intelligence (SIGNING) Analyst I knew nothing about it and soon found out neither did he. His only advice was, “It’s good. ” I pressed him for more information but again his answer was, “I don’t know, but avis good”. I took a moment to think, checked out the man’s stripes and decided he must know what he talking about. It was a good choice.
My next stop at Fort Jackson, South Carolina was brief before proceeding to Goodwill Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas to train to enter to this new exciting field. I was given a security clearance and trusted to perform very important work. The Iraq War was raging in the background and it wasn’t long after graduation I was transferred to Fort Hood, Texas and slated for a deployment to Iraq. Despite my mothers offer to ‘hide me in her attic’, spent the next 12 month in Baghdad working on Camp Victory at the war effort’s main headquarters.
I was able to work with many different people from several different countries and see some amazing things. Between the deployments reaffirmed my commitment to the Army by reenlisting for another four years. I have now done this in various forms five times over the course of my career, in 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009 and for the last time in 2013 which will keep my in the military until my retirement. During this time also entered the ranks of the Non-commissioned Officer (NCO) Corps as a Sergeant.
I would be trusted with Soldiers and asked to lead them. While most 23-year-olds were just starting out in life after college, felt special as leader already. 2006 held another deployment to Iraq for me. Again my mothers offer to hide my in the attic came and went. I think by this point my Emily got the idea that this wasn’t just my job, but my career. This deployment was much like the first. I worked only 300 meters away from where worked before, and even lived in the same building.
Not a lot was different until the notification that we would be extended for an additional three months during the “Surge” of 2007. From great challenges usually come great rewards and in August of 2007 1 was promoted to Staff Sergeant. After my second deployment I struggled with the health of my hip which required surgery in the fall of 2008. This kept me home while the rest of unit deployed third time to Iraq. While I missed the time with them, I was able to meet my wife and not long after they returned we had our first child, Noah in 2010. Tot to see the Army from a different angle during that year behind, working to keep the families Of those deployed safe and supported. In 2011, I was rewarded for my 8 years spent at Fort Hood and was able to move to Harrowed in northern England and work at RAFF Eminent Hill. This had to be my most rewarding assignment, working a real-world, 24-hour intelligence mission for the first half of my time there. During the second half and after y promotion to Sergeant First Class I was a Platoon Sergeant responsible for 30 Soldiers.
Helping Soldiers has always the most rewarding aspect of being a leader in the Army. The single most rewarding experience started when I received a phone call from a frantic wife of a Soldier of mine. He was drunk and after arguing with her, left their house. She didn’t know where he had gone but was sure he was drunk driving somewhere. Was able to intercept him, Stop him from getting in serious trouble with the local police and see that has was safe for the evening. We worked together to identify the issues n life and he received treatment for his drinking problem.
I was able to counsel through this difficult period in his life and develop him to in a NCO. Also while in England my wife and I had our second child, Sophia in 2011. We were able to take advantage of living in Europe and travel to Greece, Spain, France and Italy twice. Throughout my career developed the gift of gab and people told me I would make a great recruiter. At some point the Army must have been listening because right before I could volunteer, I received an email instructing me to report to recruiter school in 2014.