11B/11C - Infantryman/Indirect Fire Infantryman
Did you deploy?
I deployed to Iraq in 2011 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn. I primarily resided in Southern Iraq but traveled often to Baghdad and Northern Iraq as well.
What inspired you to join the military?
I was inspired to join the Army by one of my high school instructors and someone I consider to have been a mentor and a major influence in my life. Lieutenant Colonel (R) Guy Mallow, a former Ranger and Sapper.
What is the single most important lesson you learned while serving?
Communication is key in everything. Communication between soldiers during an operation, communication up and down the chain-of-command in garrison, communication during training exercises to understand strong and weak points. Communication is always key.
What is your most memorable moment or time during your service? Why?
My most memorable moment in the Army was the first time we took small arms fire in Iraq. I remember we were all joking about it immediately and no one had a care. Everyone was safe and we all had each other's backs. Despite being in a hostile environment and receiving hostile contact, we were keeping our heads up, exuding confidence, and we were all ready to get after it!
How has the military helped you grow personally and professionally?
The military has had an incredible impact on my personal life since I have gotten into law enforcement. It instilled the tactics and discipline needed to excel in this profession and has helped me achieve a high leadership role at a young age.
If you could tell the world anything you want, what would you say? Why?
Don't sweat the small stuff. I too often see those around me both personally and professionally getting stressed out too easily and over things that will not have a significant impact on their life (unless they allow it to).
What’s the dumbest / most cliche thing you’ve heard someone say in the military?
Dumbest thing ever? "We are drawing weapons and getting on trans immediately after first formation." That stuff never happened on time haha.
If you could go back in time and talk with yourself before you joined, what would you say? Why?
Soak up everything you can from your senior enlisted. They have so much valuable knowledge and experiences (both good and bad).
If you could tell the average civilian one thing, what would it be? Why?
Regardless of your career, professional status, or personal life, make every effort to have a positive impact on your community.
What’s been the most unexpected challenged you’ve faced since leaving the military?
Often wondering if I "left anything on the table" or had any unfinished business in the Army so to speak.
Is there anything else you’d like to add that wasn’t previously covered?
Funniest thing to ever happen to me in the military was at basic training. We were cleaning weapons and gear the week of graduating OSUT Infantry training and I went to my drill sergeant to have my weapon inspected. I had not shaved that day but really all I had back then was a little "peach fuzz." My DS asked "did you shave today private?" To this very day I don't know what I meant to say back to him, but what came out of my mouth was "it's not real facial hair drill sergeant." He replied without missing a beat, "Oh? So you just glued that shit on this morning huh?" and proceeded to smoke me.
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