News: “Rise Up” – Engineer Company exemplifies Soldier-first concept during deployment
Story by Cpl. Clay Beyersdorfer
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – As an engineer in the Army, it is a fair assumption that most of your days could consist of building, tearing down, and moving structures around base.
Don’t tell that to the Soldiers of Forward Support Company, 65th Engineer Battalion, who are currently deployed to Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.
While they are an engineer battalion by name, FSC Soldiers, with a variety of military occupational specialties between them, have been asked to complete many different tasks outside of their normal job duties during their current assignment at Forward Operating Base Lindsey, where they were sent more than a month ago to help transition it eventually to the Afghan National Army.
Take for example Sgt. William Gogue, who is actually a mechanic by job title, but currently works as the dining facility noncommissioned officer in charge at FOB Lindsey.
He is in charge of five privates first class that along with Gogue serve food to more than 300 people.
“I love cooking, so when I was asked to do this job, I couldn’t have been happier,” Gogue, who had to complete a week long course prior to learn the process of ordering supplies and cooking for a large group, said.
Gogue said that he had to “audition” for the job, after barbequing for the entire battalion.
“I guess they liked it,” he said with a laugh.
His command group christened his new position with a sign right outside the DFAC tent with the words “Gogue’s Grill” spread across it.
Although he is not performing his duties as a mechanic, Gogue still has found a passion for his work overseas.
“Feeding everybody and seeing the smile on their faces is totally worth it,” he said. “Making people happy is what keeps me going on the long days out here.”
Another Soldier performing outside his job is Sgt. Derrick Earvin, a wheeled-vehicle mechanic.
Since his time at FOB Lindsey, Earvin has been tasked with providing security at the checkpoints around the base, as well as conducting presence patrols in the local area.
A task usually assigned to infantrymen, Earvin has embraced his new role.
“It is a good experience, to be able to get to do a new job, it’s nice,” he said.
He talked about being overseas, and the ability to perform as a Soldier outside of garrison.
“Being deployed, it lets you do your job,” Earvin said. “You train and go through all the drills, so being able to put those into practice in a deployed setting is great.”
Overseeing all of the change and transition is 1st Lt. Alex Lostetter, the executive officer for FSC.
As the XO, Lostetter is responsible for coordinating all of the logistics for FSC, making sure everyone on the same page.
She talked about the versatility of FSC Soldiers, and how it motivates her to do her own job.
“We have a bunch of people working outside their MOS, and it’s a little crazy at times,” she said. “But we embrace it, and it’s cool to see the positive attitude everyone has doing things they weren’t trained before to do. It definitely boosts my morale”
Lostetter credits the leadership within the company “for being able to motivate and get the most out of their Soldiers.”
With all the changes and transition, it’s just another day for a company whose motto is “Rise Up.”
“We have a great team out here, and everyone really has risen up to the occasion and has done a great job,” Lostetter said. “Until you step back and look at it, we all just see it as work, and being a Soldier and doing what you are asked to do.”
This work, “Rise Up” – Engineer Company exemplifies Soldier-first concept during deployment, by SGT Clay Beyersdorfer, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.