My name is Major James S Johnson, and I am currently assigned to the Command and General Staff College, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, enrolled in the Satellite Campus at Army Logistics University, Fort Lee Virginia. “The views expressed in this paper are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government”
The reason I’m posting is to inform the new Soldiers that life in the US Armed Forces is an excellent life. The concept is you make your military career what you wanted to be. When I first joined the US Army, I was a young kid out of Atlanta Georgia, looking to make a better life for myself. The Army taught me discipline, mental toughness, firmness, and gave me a purpose to what was said when I was growing up is BE ALL YOU CAN BE. I believe this is still true today. When I joined I was a Private First Class, after completing Basic training, Annual Individual Training (AIT), and Airborne School, I was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg North Carolina. My leadership trained me ensured that I was proficient in my job, and yes being part of division we trained in preparation for armed conflict.
As I progress up the ranks, as a SGT/E-5, I began to ask myself, where I wanted to be in 3, 5, or even 10 years from now. Do I want to remain in the military, or is there something better for me. I knew then that the Army was for me. I set short and long term goals, started my education with tuition assistance and made sure I was either ahead or along the right progression chart with my peers. After the first gulf war, the military sent me to more schools to increase my potential for responsibility. I want to tell you upcoming future leaders that military and civilian education is very important. It may be the difference in your life.
To make a very long story short, within 11 years I was picked up on the promotion list in the secondary zone for SFC. Once I was promoted to SFC, I was assigned to Okinawa Japan. Like I said, The Army has nice areas where you can serve. I worked with the elite Special Forces Group as there Logistics NCOIC. My job was to procure, acquired, and makes sure all equipment is in accordance to applicable regulations. Did I mention I was in Japan assigned to a Special Forces Unit. The time I spent with the SF (G) was great. Now as I move forward, it’s now 1997 and I just received a letter welcoming me to the Warrant Office Corp. I was very pleased that the Warrant Officer Corp was granting me this opportunity to be a technical expert in the logistic field. After graduating from Warrant Officer Basic Course and intermediate training for logistics, I was sent back to Ft. Bragg to work for the Field Artillery Brigade. My Warrant Officer years were great, I learned a lot from great Officer and NCO’s. I continued my education and received my Associates and Bachelor Degree from Campbell University. Did I mention the Army pays for your education while you’re on active duty? It’s now 2001, and I receive an e-mail that I was accepted in Officer Candidate School (OCS). I was very please and this was an opportunity for me to learn more of the tactical side of the military. I graduated OCS as a Distinguish Military Graduate (DMG), and I was one of the US Army newest Second lieutenants.
Since becoming a 2LT, I have met a lot of good military people and their families, I have taken command of a company that I will never forget (GO VIKINGS), I received my Master Degree in Logistics management, and the most of all I received mentorship, guidance, and positive feedback whether good or bad, it definitely develop me. Now at the field-grade level, I want to continue to look to the future as a LTC or possible a COL. New Soldiers, what I’m saying to you is, the US Army is an organization of traditions, values, and has a purpose to develop, shape and mentor you into a better Soldier or citizen. It’s your career; it’s what you make of it.
JAMES S. JOHNSON
ALU, Student, ILE 12-002 Staff Group C
Ft. Lee VA