News: Communications specialist keeps information lines open during Operation New Dawn
Story by Spc. Andrew Ingram
CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE WARRIOR, Iraq – As thousands of soldiers across Iraq do their part every day to accomplish the mission of Operation New Dawn, some of them stand out from the crowd.
As a network maintainer, Staff Sgt. Jonathan Battles, assigned to Company B, 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Advise and Assist Task Force, 1st Infantry Division, keeps lines of communication working smoothly between soldiers at Contingency Operating Site Warrior and throughout 1st AATF’s operating environment.
Without the ongoing efforts of Battles and his team, orders could not be received and troops conducting missions would get cut off from support elements.
“If anything goes wrong with the network or communications at COS Warrior, my Soldiers and I are the first line of defense,” said Battles, who hails from Tyler, Texas. “We troubleshoot any problems and get things running smoothly again as quickly as possible.”
Battles began his military journey in 1996, a year after graduating from high school.
“I had worked a few jobs but hadn’t found anything I really liked,” he said. “The recruiter said the Army was a great way to see the world, I wanted to travel so I joined up.”
Battles said at the time, he never would have guessed he would stay in past his initial enlistment; but 15 years, six duty stations and four deployments later, Battles said he still loves the Army.
“Originally I had two goals: see the world and make the rank of sergeant, because that was the rank my dad was before he got out,” he said. “But I stayed in because the pay was pretty good and I liked what I was doing. When I hit my 10 year mark I decided I wanted to stay in for the long haul and retire when I hit 20 years.”
Despite his humble nature, Battles’ comrades know that being a soldier is more than just a job for him, said Spc. Jason Nichols, network maintainer, Company B, 1st STB.
“Staff Sgt. Battles is a genuinely nice guy who does right by his soldiers,” said Nichols. “He works to develop their skills, he fights to get them time off when they need a break and he tries to help them through their personal problems.”
Battles’ dedication as a noncommissioned officer and technical expertise as a soldier makes him an invaluable asset to the 1st AATF, said Sgt. 1st Class Ronnie Adams, non-commissioned officer in charge of the 1st AATF communications shop.
“A lot of people underestimate Staff Sgt. Battles because he is such a quiet, unassuming person,” Adams said. “But Staff Sgt. Battles is always there the exact moment you need him.”
Adams said one of Battles’ best qualities is his humility.
“He is an incredibly competent soldier,” said Adams. “He has been doing his job for a very long time and you can see the pride he has in his work. He doesn’t let pride get in the way of learning. When he doesn’t understand something he asks experts questions, he learns and then becomes an expert himself.”
This work, Communications specialist keeps information lines open during Operation New Dawn, by SPC Andrew Ingram, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.