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    758th Engineer Company, multicultural and mission capable

    758th Engineer Company, multicultural and mission capable

    Photo By Sgt. William Taylor | Soldiers from the 758th Engineer Company are presented with Army certificates of...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    412th Theater Engineer Command

    By Spc. William J. Taylor
    314th Press Camp Headquarters

    MIAMI - On July 26, 1948, President Harry S. Truman signed an order that would change the armed forces forever.

    Executive Order 9981 became the definitive statement that would abolish segregation and discrimination in military units throughout the service branches.

    Approximately 65 years later, the United States Armed Forces are the true reflection of the American people with almost every possible ethnic, cultural and religious group being represented. One unit in particular exemplifies the importance of a diverse, multicultural fighting force.

    The 758th Engineer Company out of Perrine, Fla., has more than 20 different nationalities and ethnicities represented within their ranks.

    “The United States Army is not built up of one single kind of people,” said 1st Lt. Markus Kamberger, executive officer, 758th Engineer Company. “The fact that we have such a diverse unit gives us the opportunity to see multiple view points and different avenues of approach geared toward accomplishing the same goals.”

    Many of the Soldiers of the 758th Engineer Company were born outside the United States and became naturalized citizens through the Army Reserve.

    Since 2002, more than 89,000 U.S. service members have become naturalized citizens through the military according to the office of the U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Service.

    “I was given the opportunity of a lifetime to join the Army, and it is the best decision I have ever made,” said Spc. Ezra Pineda, interior electrician, 758th Engineer Company.

    Pineda, a native Venezuelan, received his naturalization after completing basic combat training and has served in the Army Reserve for four years.

    “I believe the Army Reserve has opened up so many doors,” said Pineda. “Not only have I received my American citizenship through the greatest Army in the world, but I have learned life skills that cannot be achieved anywhere else.”

    Pineda recalled an event that made him proud to be an Army Reservist: “Last year, we went to Honduras for our extended combat training at Beyond the Horizon. There we built schools and hospitals for a poor community. When we were helping these people, I had the opportunity to talk to a local, elderly lady. She cried tears of joy knowing that we were there to help.”

    Beyond the Horizon is a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored, U.S. Army South-planned and led annual humanitarian and civic assistance exercise.

    Pineda added, “She explained to me that not long before we started the project, a young woman lost her child due to the lack of medical care in the area. She said that they would be forever grateful for what we were doing for their community and that we were sent from heaven. It truly touched my heart and made me proud and motivated to wear the American flag on my shoulder.”

    Cpl. Hernan Sanguinetti, a signal support system specialist and Argentinian native, also received his naturalization through the Army.

    Sanguinetti is a third generation Soldier. His grandfather served in the Italian army during World War I and his father served in the Argentinian army.

    “When I came to America, I came for a job opportunity,” said Sanguinetti. “My background was in computers, and I received a work visa and green card so that I could have a career. I did not have to join the Army to become a citizen, but I knew that I wanted to serve in the United States Army. It was in my blood to serve the country I live in.”

    Sanguinetti originally joined the Army through the Florida Army National Guard then switched to the Army Reserve because of a specific military occupational specialty that he wanted.

    “I did not realize how diverse the 758th would be when I first arrived here,” said Sanguinetti. “You have Haitians, Cubans, Guatemalans, Dominicans, Argentinians, Asians, Europeans, Africans and so many more types of people working together in one single unit. It just shows that America is a melting pot of the world and the Army is the same.”

    According a blog entry posted last year, Maj. Gen. Marcia Anderson, Deputy Chief Army Reserve, wrote “the Army Reserve is proud to have one of the highest percentages of women across the military. The Reserve force also includes more African American officers than the Department of Defense average, and nearly 40 percent of Soldiers are minorities—the highest proportion of any branch of the armed forces. As Reserve Soldiers, they live and work in the communities that they serve, and they acutely understand the importance of reflecting the diversity and vitality of those communities.”

    The 758th replicates that the Army Reserve as a whole is a wide-ranging, diverse population of Soldiers that upholds the honor and privilege of protecting the citizens of the United States.

    “The Army bridges the gap on racial and gender equality, because in the Army we do not see race,” said Kamberger. “We see the individual person and what they have to offer.”



    Date Taken: 06.26.2013
    Date Posted: 06.27.2013 19:52
    Story ID: 109407
    Location: MIAMI, FL, US

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