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    Motivation Leads to Success

    Motivation Leads to Success

    Photo By Spc. Ellison Schuman | Capt. Tobias Cukale, an Aurora, Colorado native and the acting Public Affairs Officer...... read more read more

    Cukale has been a UPAR since 2018. He started as an armor officer and was selected to become a UPAR by his battalion executive officer. "During my National Training Center rotation, I took personal photos for myself when I could," he said. "When I got back, I received an email from my battalion executive officer and brigade public affairs officer saying, 'he's your new UPAR,' and I've been doing it ever since."

    Cukale has worked through trial and error ever since he started as the battalion UPAR. He's learned from others and has made himself better because of that. Others have taught him how to become more efficient at taking photos, videos, and graphic design. "I think the three most important lessons I've learned that have helped me succeed as a UPAR are purpose first, learn from everyone, and experiment," he said.

    "His ability to integrate and work with the division public affairs team is why he is extremely successful," said U.S. Army Master Sgt. Kimberley Johnson, the public affairs noncommissioned officer in charge of the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. "He is an all-around knowledgeable and motivated leader." His hard work ethic started even before his career.

    He's worked on his skill set and even obtained his Bachelor's Degree in Computer Graphics and Digital Design. "I took graphic design in college because it was fun, and I figured it would be a cool skill set to have," said Cukale. "It really has been the foundation for what I do now as a UPAR."

    Working on his craft and becoming better from others, he used this opportunity to improve on what he enjoys doing. Sometimes it's not just the job but the significance it has for others that help push him forward to get the job done. "One of the things I remember was getting a comment on one of the posts I'd made from a Soldier's mom saying, "Thank you for showing us what our Soldiers are doing," I don't remember what the post was, but I remember that," he said. Applying himself to the Keith L. Ware Competition from the multiple experiences he's been through to get him to this point has led to his success.

    In January 2022, Capt. Cukale, with the assistance of Master Sgt. Johnson, and U.S. Army Lt. Col. Ireka Sanders, the 4th Infantry Division's public affairs officer, submitted to the 2021 Keith L. Ware Award for UPAR of the Year category. Cukale came in second place at the FORSCOM level and competed at the U.S. Army level, where he placed third place on April 29, 2022. The knowledge obtained from being a UPAR and applying himself led to this. "It was a lot of luck and not thinking about it," he said. "I never thought I wanted to be one of the best UPARs in the Army; I just wanted to do a good job."

    His persistence to succeed regardless of challenges that come his way is what a leader does. "He had some medical barriers to overcome to compete, but he pushed through all of them and proved to himself and those watching what it is to be a leader and a strong UPAR," said Master Sgt. Johnson.

    Today, he's still serving in a Major billeted Public Affairs Officer slot as a UPAR, with the support and blessing of his brigade commander and PAOs. All because years ago, an NCO told him, "Take lots of pictures," Cukale said.



    Date Taken: 05.05.2022
    Date Posted: 05.14.2022 12:52
    Story ID: 420361

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