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    Chattanooga Police Veterans Shine Overseas as Tennessee Army National Guard Soldiers

    Chattanooga Police Veterans Shine Overseas as Tennessee Army National Guard Soldiers

    Photo By Capt. Matthew Gilbert | Staff Sgt. David Young, a paralegal with the 230th Sustainment Brigade, Tennessee Army...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Matthew Gilbert 

    230th Sustainment Brigade

    The exercise, a U.S. Army Europe led training focused on strengthening military relationships amongst European countries, is on a large scale. The 2017 exercise alone involved 25,000 troops from the militaries of 23 allied nations and an area of operations which stretched across Hungary, Bulgaria, and Romania.

    One purpose of the exercise is to test the logistics of the region as explained by Cook. “The purpose of Saber Guardian is to see if the United States can operate and function with partner nations,” said Cook. “It allows leaders to stress the system, to see which systems and processes are broken, and to provide an opportunity to improve. It places great stress upon the region’s rail system, trucking assets, air assets, available roadways to accommodate military vehicles, bus transport, and many other logistical areas.”

    A second important purpose of the exercise is to force foreign militaries to work together and overcome cultural and language barriers to work together effectively. “This annual exercise forces over 20 allied and partnered nations to train, to build readiness, and to improve interoperability under a unified command, executing a full range of military missions to support the security and stability of the Black Sea Region,” Cook continued.

    An exercise of this size requires a lot of planning, and that is where service members like Cook and Young have to supplement U.S. Army Europe’s troop count in order to assure the mission can be accomplished.

    Cook spent months planning the exercise as the U.S. Army Europe liasion to the Romanian Joint Force Command. As one of the main conduits of information between Romania and Germany, she attended frequent military briefings and coordinated several visits between the U.S. and Romanian Armed Forces.

    While Cook spent her time planning from the headquarters, Staff Sgt. Young’s role was to supervise the implementation of the plans as the Transportation Management Coordinator.

    “As a Transpartation Management Coordinator for exercise Saber Guarian, my job consists of receiving equipment, vehicles and supplies from military units participating in the exercise,” explained Young. “I manage where these items are in the customs process. I have to lay eyes on every piece of equipment every day. I need to learn where we are in the inspection process. Once that is finished, I ensure the paperwork is in order and supervise the equipment’s loading onto the ship.”

    “This job is important. If not done correctly, then equipment may be left in Romania and not taken back to the states.”

    Cook and Young have devoted their lives to public service. When not serving as Soldiers in the Tennessee Army National Guard, they serve the city of Chattanooga as police officers. The Department has always supported their careers; Cook serves as a lieutenant while Young serves as a sergeant.

    “I have had approximately three year-long deployments since I joined the Tennessee Army National Guard. The department has always been very supportive of my military career,” explained Cook.

    In fact, the department views this military experience as an asset. Cook states, “the military has sharpened my leadership skills and my decision making abilities. This pays dividends when I have to lead a team which makes important decisions with very little reaction time.”

    Young’s experiences have been similar – his military experience, which includes several deployments and prestigious decorations, has caused him to rocket through the ranks of the department. In his 14 years at the department, Young has been a supervisor, a field training officer, has been promoted to sergeant, and has a member of the Honor Guard Team, the Hostage Negotiation Team, and Crisis Intervention Team. Furthermore, when Young is not protecting his community as a Soldier or police officer, he serves as a pastor of St. Mary CME Church in Chattanooga.

    To both Cook and Young, serving in the Tennessee Army National Guard is a blessing and a calling.

    “Never in my wildest dreams did I think that the Tennessee Army National Guard would take me to Europe, and giving me the opportunity to be a part of history in central Europe and the Balkans,” explained Cook.

    “I love to serve,” explained Young. “I feel I have been called to all three careers and I am exicited to be able to serve my city, state, country and nation.”

    And because of hard-working servants like Cook and Young, people in Chattanooga sleep safely at night.



    Date Taken: 08.04.2017
    Date Posted: 08.04.2017 03:34
    Story ID: 243675

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