News: 4th Infantry Division soldier serves with pride
Story by Sgt. Antony Lee
KANDAHAR AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – When service members first arrive at Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan, to begin their deployments, all must first be trained on certain skills before they can begin their mission.
The training differs depending on the nature of the service member’s job. Some are trained on weapons systems, for example, while others are trained on Biometrics. Some are trained solely on countering improvised explosive devices.
Master Sgt. Pablo Jimenez of 4th Infantry Division makes sure incoming service members are properly trained for their mission in southern Afghanistan. He is a senior noncommissioned officer in the operations section of Regional Command (South), a section that focuses on current and future operations. Jimenez has been serving as the officer-in-charge of training.
Jimenez is serving in Afghanistan for a second time. His first time in Afghanistan, he served as a company first sergeant in eastern Afghanistan, as he and his soldiers worked with Afghan forces on missions outside the wire.
“Our main mission here is to assist the Afghan forces,” he said.
That mission has not changed since he was last here, but his job certainly has: Jimenez now helps coordinate training – both mandatory and optional – for units coming through KAF. He also serves once a month as a range safety officer for soldiers conducting marksmanship training.
Jimenez’s Army career began in August 1986 when he first enlisted in his native Puerto Rico. Since then, his career – which he says he is very satisfied with – has taken him all over the world. In addition to his two deployments in Afghanistan, he has also served in Iraq.
“My dad was in the Army – he is a Korean War veteran,” Jimenez said. “I always wanted to be like him.”
Outside of his combat deployments, Jimenez, who is an Infantryman, has been stationed overseas in Italy and in South Korea. He says his time in Italy, from 1999 to 2002, was his best experience in the Army.
“I have enjoyed my Army career,” he said. “The Army has allowed me to travel around different countries, get to know different types of people and experience their cultures.”
Jimenez says his wife, Joanne Aldridge Jimenez, who has been with Jimenez through three deployments, is a big reason he continues to serve.
“When you have a solid marriage and your wife is there for you – she gives you positive encouragement, she is praying for you, and she’s taking care of the household – that makes your life easier here. It makes you stronger.”
Jimenez, who has been stationed at Fort Carson, Colo., since January 2013, also plays the drums for the Catholic service he attends on Sunday evenings. He is scheduled to return to Colorado this summer as the 4th Infantry Division completes its time as Headquarters, Regional Command (South).