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Armored Assault Vehicle Officer - Lt. Gideon Gravatt
Infantry Officer - Wayne Garvey
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Armored Assault Vehicle Crew Member - David Meyers
Combat Mission Support Officer - Steve Sewell
Special Forces Officer - Angelo Johnson
Infantry - Steven Robertson

Featured Profile for Artillery and Missile Crew Member
Artillery Missile Crew -- William Alston

William Alston

I am originally from Boston MA. I wanted to attend college, but did not have the finances, so I worked in sheet metal after high school. I joined the Army so that I could both go to school and have a career, I originally intended to join the reserves, but after the career counselor and I talked about things, we decided the best thing for me to do was to join active duty. We mapped out a number of different jobs based on the qualifications I had met and I chose to become a Patriot Launching Station Enhanced Operator/Maintainer.

After basic training, I went to advanced individual training for on-the-job training. I was promoted and I moved to permanent party to join my actual unit. I was in permanent party for about two years, and I moved up the ranks to Specialist. As a Specialist, I was in charge of five soldiers. I was promoted to Sergeant when I became a non- commissioned officer (NCO) and I served as a Launcher Assistant Section Chief.

I’ve been mostly stationed in Texas. However, I did a year in Korea where I served as Assistant Section Chief. In Korea, I was in charge of the training, maintenance and the welfare of my soldiers. I was responsible for the care and maintenance of 152 live Patriot Missiles. This included making sure that all the maintenance, paperwork, and inspections were completed. It was exciting to live there, although it was definitely a culture change since I did not know the customs or the language. But it was a fabulous time. While there, about 20 of my soldiers & I volunteered our time at one of the children shelters. Working with that homeless shelter for the little children was a worthwhile experience.

I came back to Texas and was promoted to Staff Sergeant which resulted in added responsibility and an increased number of soldiers to supervise along. I then became a Platoon Sergeant and have several people who work under me. As a Staff Sergeant, it’s my job to be sure the soldiers receive training, that all the training is being conducted, and that all my non-commissioned officers take care of their soldiers. I also ensure that the soldiers have no financial or family issues. Basically I am responsible for making sure my soldiers have a good work environment.

My platoon serves as a launcher platoon in a patriot battery. A patriot battery is made up of three platoons. My platoon is assigned sic launching stations and one GMT (Guided Missile Transporter). Our mission is to get this equipment out to its specific location – get it deployed, placed and ready to shoot down missiles at a moment’s notice.

I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve done well in the military and I’ve had the opportunity to advance because I’ve applied myself. I’ve always liked the idea of teaching people something. I think that is what is the most rewarding to me as an NCO. In my role, I train new soldiers. I am able to see a new soldier come out to the field not knowing anything about his job and then watch the soldier certify. Knowing that I taught him and that I had something to do with his success is very rewarding.

Thanks to the educational opportunities in the Army, I’m about 12 credits away from my associates degree in criminal justice. I plan on making the military a career, however I want to have something as a back- up plan just in case. I encourage all my younger soldiers to pursue educational opportunities in the military because there are a lot of courses you can take and other training that you can do to enhance not only your career, but yourself for life after the military.

I’ve enjoyed every moment of my job and work. It’s been a life- changing experience and I’m glad I enlisted in the Army.

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