April 13, 2020 2 min read


Dan R.

U.S. Army


35M Human Intelligence Collector

Length of Service
April 2010 - August 2015

Did you deploy? If so, where?
Logar Province, Afghanistan, for Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) 2012-2013

What led you to the military?
Several generations on both sides of my family have served, primarily in the U.S. Army including my father, mother, and brother. I wanted to serve to challenge myself, learn how to lead, and learn how to work with a team in the most stressful situations.

What is the single most important lesson you’ve learned while serving?
Leadership requires the ability to positively influence others to do what they may not want to do.

What is your most memorable moment or time during your service? Why?
I arrived to my unit (109th MI BN) in JBLM, WA in November 2010 and was given the opportunity to compete in the 2011 Battalion Soldier of the Year competition. I won the competition and came in 2nd place for the Brigade Soldier of the Year competition. I was able to establish my commitment to success and a solid work ethic very early with my unit and I was promoted to SGT within my first year with the 109th. Additionally, for winning I earned spots in top Army schools including Air Assault and the Source Operations Course.

How has the military helped you grow personally and professionally?
The Army helped me test my leadership and to understand that one style can't be all encompassing for every person. I've always been a pretty hardcore introvert, so I had to learn how to be extroverted when needed.

If you could tell the world anything you want, what would you say? Why?
"One must be a Fox in order to recognize traps, and a Lion to frighten off wolves." --Machiavelli

What’s the dumbest / most cliche thing you’ve heard someone say in the military?
"C-130 rollin' down the strip..."

Is there anything else you’d like to add that wasn’t previously covered?
Get involved with the Veterans History Project! We needs Vets to share their military experiences. Here is my interview from June 2019 at the Library of Congress. WATCH.

If you could go back in time and talk with yourself before you joined, what would you say?
Read more books on leadership from military and civilian leaders.

If you could tell the average civilian one thing, what would it be? Why?
Find a way to serve, it will remind you that the human world doesn't just run by itself. It's put into motion and protected by others.

What’s been the most unexpected challenged you’ve faced since leaving the military?
How ignorant civilians really are about their military and the military experience and how little education is available to fill this knowledge gap.

Anything else you'd like to add?
When eating the Army shit sandwich, it's better to focus on the bread than the filling.

2 Responses

Timothy Holman
Timothy Holman

April 14, 2020

I believe you have hit on something special with this Dan. It gives the civilian world a chance to learn how the military works and how the men and women cope with and do their jobs.


April 13, 2020

Very cool. Keep on sharing these!

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