News: Doing it all for the family
Story by Spc. Shantelle Campbell
BAYJI, Iraq — Sgt. Michael J. Figueroa, an infantryman with Company B, 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division out of Fort Riley, Kan., considers his greatest accomplishments to be his Family and his Soldiers.
"My Family, my kids — they're what keeps me going," he said. "Everything I do is for them, regardless of what it is, everything is for my Family and for my Soldiers. I can't let myself wind down or get too caught up in my own thing because it affects them."
At 21, Figueroa joined the military because it was something he always looked up to and always wanted to do.
"I feel that I can have an impact on people's lives and in the way they look at things," said the Tuscan, Ari., native. "And, as [my Soldiers'] first line supervisor they look up to me."
The two most important values of leadership for Figueroa are loyalty and respect. He said that he believes by practicing those two values everything will "fall into place."
"[Soldiers] will have each others' back whether it's in combat, back in [garrison] or on or off duty," he said. "[If they] are loyal with each other and have respect for each other, then everything will honestly just fall into place."
"I've had a great chain of command since I came in the Army," he added. "They showed me the ropes, and they taught me pretty much everything that I know, and I thank them for that. It helped me progress to where I am now."
Figueroa is currently on his second deployment to Iraq with the 'Ranger' battalion and said that he plans to finish his degree in criminal justice.
"My future goal right now is just to finish up my degree," he concluded. "From there, I would really like to stay in the Army, but my life pretty much revolves around my Family so, it's pretty much what's best for them."