News: Growing up in the Guard: Missouri Guard legacies make service and sacrifice a family tradition
Story by Cpl. Brittany Crocker
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - When Dustin Frederick was 3 years old, his father, Col. Lance Myler, came home from drill and hung his oath of office on the wall, signed by Charles M. Keifner, the former adjutant general of the Missouri National Guard.
Twenty-seven years later, Frederick’s father promoted him to staff sergeant at Ike Skelton Training Site.
“As a Guardsman myself, watching Dustin take the next step for a noncommissioned officer is a proud day for me and the rest of our family as well,” Myler said.
Myler enlisted into active service as an Army military policeman in 1983. He commissioned into the Missouri National Guard as an aviation officer in 1987 through Reserve Officer Training Corps and now serves in the Individual Ready Reserve from his hometown of Lebanon, Mo.
“My dad’s service really inspired me growing up,” Frederick said. “I always wanted to join the Guard. He went on his first deployment when I was 20, and three years later I enlisted.”
Frederick is not the only member of his family continuing the Guard legacy. His sister-in-law, Pvt. Sam Hooper, is slated leave for Basic Combat Training this summer and his younger brother, Brandon Myler, is currently in the enlistment process.
Since Frederick’s enlistment he has held four military occupational specialties, including information technology, maintenance, admin, and now medical logistics with the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 229th Multifunctional Medical Battalion in Jefferson City.
Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Hopkins, the 229th’s Readiness noncommissioned officer, said this is Frederick’s second promotion since he joined the unit.
“Frederick came to me as a specialist three years ago and really hit the ground running,” Hopkins said. “I’m sure he’ll be looking for many new opportunities to grow and succeed in the future in the Guard.“
To Frederick and Myler, work doesn’t feel like work when family is around. Myler gave his son’s unit incentive rides in his Black Hawk during Frederick’s 2011 and 2012 annual training.
“It was a great time to get to meet his unit and his leadership and kind of see what the Guard world looks like to him,” Myler said. “It’s exciting to see our legacy as a family become part of the Guard legacy. I mean, all you have to do is step in the front door of ISTS and you’ll see photos and exhibits that show what we’re a part of.”
Frederick’s battalion commander, Lt. Col Rebecca Segovia arranged for his father to promote him, like her father promoted her at every ceremony from staff sergeant to lieutenant colonel.
“I remember my father wore his Korean War veterans hat to the ceremony with all of his ribbons,” Segovia said. “He pinned my rank on and saluted me with a tear in his eye. It was also my deployment ceremony to Kosovo.”
Six months into Segovia’s deployment, her father passed away.
Like Frederick, Segovia’s family also carries on a legacy of military service. Her father, his five brothers, and six of her mother’s siblings all served in different branches of the military. Segovia passed the tradition on to her son, niece, and nephew who all serve in the National Guard with her.
Segovia, Frederick, and Myler cherish the opportunities they get to work with their families, and the occasions they celebrate much more. Like Myler, she makes time to mark her family’s military milestones. She plans to attend her niece’s upcoming basic combat training graduation.
“As military legacies, we have grown up with values that mirror the Army values,” Segovia said. “When you really live and understand sacrifice firsthand, your reality changes, and you treasure the moments you have.“
This work, Growing up in the Guard: Missouri Guard legacies make service and sacrifice a family tradition, by CPL Brittany Crocker, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.