The American Soldier

by Master Sgt. Joseph Brookshire

“…every citizen to be a soldier; this was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state.” Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1813

“Nice to meet you…where do you work…what do you do?” sound familiar? Whether it was a major event such as the World Cup or simply a gathering of parents from my daughter’s soccer team, I’ve spent over 20 years “working the room”. You know the routine.

Well, in the fall 2009 a great deal of my world changed. I, an Army Reserve Soldier, received orders placing me on active duty in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

No longer having to decide which tie best matches which shirt instead every morning I put on my Army Combat Uniform. When not in uniform, I would still get the “where do you work and what do you do questions”. I simply answer, “I’m a Soldier.”

I am a Soldier, an American Soldier. With all due respect, President Jefferson, not every citizen can be a Soldier. According to a recent survey out of the entire 17-24 year old population of the United States less than a third are eligible to join the military. So, it is safe to say, we are an elite force. If you are one of those who wear the uniform with “U.S. Army” on your chest, remember that you proudly carry this nation’s most respected title…. “American Soldier”.

The American Soldier’s role is multi-faceted. They have many responsibilities and additional duties, squad leaders, drill sergeant, mentors, trainers, to name a few. Every Soldier learns basic combat skills, but then train in their primary military occupation known as their MOS, truck driver, nurses, dental technician, military police to pubic affairs. You name it, there is probable an American Soldier doing it somewhere. When not in uniform, the American Soldier comes from all lifestyles, ranging from teacher to cattle rancher.

Check out the American Soldiers selected to re-enlist in this year’s Army Reserve National Capitol Reenlistment Ceremony and follow them through the week. Leave you comments and be sure to congratulation them.

Three Soldiers, Sgt. 1st Class Leslie Beltran, Sgt. 1st Class Stephen Pate and Sgt. 1st Class Boris Cornejososa are here in Washington DC, this week to share with you the events of the 2010 National Capitol Reenlistment Ceremony and the Quality of Life Family Readiness Conference.


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