News: Junior NCO proves leadership abilities
Story by Pfc. Jessica Luhrs-Stabile
KIRKUK, Iraq - Even though Cpl. Christopher Cunningham, a native of Ayer, Mass., and a team leader with 1st Platoon, Bravo Company, 1/30th Inf, is a junior NCO, he is looked upon by his leadership as one of the most experienced Soldiers in the platoon and has proven he is a leader, according to his platoon sergeant Sgt. 1st Class Isaiah Brown, from Illinois.
“We put a lot of faith in Cunningham and his tactical knowledge. We have entrusted him in training new Soldiers in Bravo Company on the operating procedures,” Sgt. 1st Class Brown said.
Cunningham, deployed to Kirkuk in October 2009 and is currently on his second deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He said although the last deployments was very different he uses his experiences from it to accomplish his mission here.
“Comparing the two deployments is like comparing day and night,” he said. “I was here [Iraq] in 2007 operating in a countryside village that had not seen a U.S. presence, we were attacked often and there was a large insurgency presence.
“We’re not doing that mission anymore we’re here to stabilize and train our partners, but we cannot be complacent there are still insurgents in the area,” said Cunningham.
He continued to say he ensures all of his Soldiers remember a threat is still present and that they are trained to properly respond.
When the team leader and infantryman returns to the states he said he is a dedicated family man.
“My family is very important to me, I have a son on the way and I am scheduled to go on leave for his birth,” he said.
Cunningham plans to make the Army a career. When he returns to Fort Stewart later this year and said he wants to attend various military schools to build on his career while spending time with his newborn son and wife.