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    Infantryman prefers dirt to desk

    Infantryman Prefers Dirt to Desk

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Kelly Lecompte | Sgt. Brian Kuntzman from Charlotte, N.C., looks down from the gunner's turret of a...... read more read more

    BAGHDAD, IRAQ

    10.29.2009

    Story by Pfc. Kelly Lecompte 

    30th Armored Brigade Combat Team

    BAGHDAD, Iraq— Working in a tactical operations center is an important part of maintaining a unit's area of responsibility during a deployment in a combat zone, but for Sgt. Brian Kuntzman, a grunt at heart, being outside and sweating it out sounded much more fun.

    "I've never been the kind of guy that worked indoors or had an office job before in my life. I'm more of an outside kind of guy," said Kuntzman, a painting contractor from Charlotte, N.C. "I just like to be outside doing missions. The TOC is a vital role of the mission, but it's just not my make up."

    Kuntzman joined North Carolina's National Guard two years ago as an infantryman, after having been out of the service for 13 years.

    "It's just being around it," Kuntzman said of his reason for re-enlisting. "I just missed the Army. I felt like something was missing."

    Eight months after signing up, Kuntzman deployed with the 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team.

    "My name was on the list to deploy with the 30th," he said. "They put me in the headquarters platoon, and that has to do with the TOC, and that's something I wasn't really familiar with."

    Kuntzman said he started learning how to use the equipment in the operations center, but even as he learned more, it just didn't peak his interests.

    "They started introducing me to the job in the TOC, with the communications and the computers," Kuntzman said. "I just wasn't very interested in it and I asked if I could get into a line unit...They knew my heart just wasn't in it."

    Kuntzman said he came to Joint Security Station Doura, south of Baghdad, about a month into the deployment to help set up the company's tactical operations center. After meeting the company first sergeant and commander, he expressed his desire to join a traditional line unit. It was just the opportunity he needed.

    Kuntzman said he volunteered to come to JSS Doura because of the possibility of being able to join the infantrymen on a few missions, but instead, he got to join the company altogether.

    "I met 1st Sgt. Hatley and [Capt. Smith]... they took a liking to me and I stayed," Kuntzman said. "[Headquarters and Headquarters Company] let me come out here...and Capt. Smith let me be a part of his [personnel security detail] team."

    "Once I came out here...and 1st Sgt. Hatley introduced me to PSD, that's where I felt at home. It makes life so much easier when you can do something you like to do. It's been a very good deployment so far."

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 10.29.2009
    Date Posted: 10.29.2009 02:04
    Story ID: 40801
    Location: BAGHDAD, IQ 

    Web Views: 12,701
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