News: 2nd re-enlistment special for Air Cavalry troop
Story by Staff Sgt. Nathan Hoskins
By Spc. Nathan Hoskins
1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs
CAMP TAJI, Iraq – It wasn't the large cash bonus; it wasn't the Air Assault School or civilian education incentives, none of these made this particular Soldier's second re-enlistment special.
This 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division Soldier's re-enlistment was special because his father showed up to be his re-enlisting officer.
Fayetteville, N.C., native Staff Sgt. Jeremy Walker, a maintenance technical inspector for Company B, 615th "Cold Steel" Aviation Support Battalion, was sworn in for his second oath of enlistment by Savannah, Ga., native Chief Warrant Officer Rhimmington Walker, the brigade target officer for the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Aug. 6.
At first glance, and maybe second glance, most people would not think that Walker senior, who is black, and Walker junior, a Caucasian, were father and son. That's because Walker senior was Jeremy's step dad when he adopted him at the age of six.
Because his father so greatly influenced his life and his military career, Jeremy didn't give it a second thought when he had to decide who would re-enlist him, he said.
"There's no one that's inspired me more other than my mother and father. The opportunity to have my dad come do it – I mean, who can say that they had their dad come and re-enlist them and be their re-enlistment officer (in Iraq)?" he said.
His dad, who is stationed in Mosul, Iraq, was honored by the request, but was worried at first if he was going to be able to make it, he said.
"When I initially got the call, the first thing I thought about was, 'Will I be able to get a flight?'" said the senior Walker.
Since the Army tries to fulfill requests like this for Soldiers who are re-enlisting, they came through, and Rhimmington was on his way to see his son.
"I'm pleased that the Army ... gives you the opportunity to actually fly across the country, from one FOB to another, to be able to do that for your son," he said.
The junior Walker is well on his way to making a career out of the Army. He knew from the moment he first enlisted that he was staying in for the long haul just like his parents.
His father already has 28 years in service and his mother is a command sergeant major currently working at the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy at Fort Bliss, Texas. He even has a younger brother who is an air traffic controller based out of Fort Rucker, Ala., he said.
Jeremy also has a younger sister – who is the 'black sheep' of the family – attending college to be a surgeon, instead of joining the military, he said.
"Right now my younger sister (is) currently at college over at the University of Texas, El Paso. She – as far as I know – doesn't plan on joining the military, but you never know with us," he said with a laugh.
As far as his military career is concerned, Jeremy had it all planned out before he took his first oath of enlistment, he said.
During his remarks after re-enlisting for the second time, he told those in attendance that he'll be reenlisting again when the time came – no matter the bonus or incentives.
On the topic of bonuses, when his re-enlistment non-commissioned officer offered him a hefty bonus and Air Assault School, something he's always wanted to do, those two things had no bearing on whether he would re-enlist or not, said the junior Walker.
"Not that they were a great influence on my re-enlistment – I was going to re-enlist if they gave me two dollars – but they ended up giving me $17,000, and I'm going to Air Assault School, as well.," he said.
Jeremy feels that the Army provides a rewarding and fulfilling life, but it is up to the Soldier to make it work out in a positive way.
"The Army is what you make of it. It can do great things for you or you can just hate it the whole time you're here and just go ahead and leave," he said. "Take advantage of what the Army has to offer and you'll improve your life as well as help defend your country."