I have served in the Texas Army National Guard for just under 10 years, and I am currently still serving. I am currently assigned to the 1-141st Infantry Division in San Antonio, TX as an Infantry Officer.
What led you to join the military?
I was in high school when the World Trade Towers were destroyed, and that really resonated with me. I ended up going to college first and obtaining my bachelor’s degree. When I got out of school I couldn’t shake the internal struggle of enlisting in the Army. I felt as if I owed America at least 4 years in boots. After graduation, I was in the early stages of my career in the asphalt industry, so I decided to enlist the National Guard. This way I could still remain working full time and serve the country.
How has your military service impacted your life?
Serving in the Armed Forces has greatly impacted my patience and stress levels. Waiting in lines, problems on jobs, or any general delay, suffering, or trouble has zero effect on me now. I just think back on more difficult days and think to myself, “I’ve definitely have gone through worse…”
What was your greatest challenge in the military?
Personalities. Anyone can work long hours, complete tasks, and generally do what they’re told. It takes a special individual to complete all their tasks and create an environment that has a fun atmosphere for everyone. One of the hardest things to manage is the vast amount of different personalities and characters.
Recognizing different personality traits/attributes of individuals and putting them into positions that will lead to overall mission success was difficult at times.
What is something you learned in the military that you still use today?
There is something to be said about the leader that can motivate others to conduct arduous tasks when the general consensus is; that they don’t want to be there in the first place. I have been lucky in my military career to have been led by great commanders, and not so good Commanders. Leading by example and maintaining a positive attitude in everything I do is something I have taken with me in my everyday use. The construction industry is difficult. There are early morning start times, long hot days, and lots of labor-intensive work to be done. Now, as a superintendent, I utilize the leadership traits I have learned and adapted as my own into my day-to-day use. I have a firsthand in-depth view of what excellent leadership looks like, and I try to encompass these leadership traits in all that I do.