Today’s #YOUAREGOVX member enlisted in 2006. With two deployments under his belt, Adam’s a veteran of both theaters in the War on Terror. First a Marine, and now a soldier, Adam’s navigation through the Armed Forces has allowed him to currently pursue a PsyOps path.
Can you give us a brief look at your service history?
I enlisted in the USMC in Sept 11, 2006 and attended boot camp at MCRD San Diego. I entered the Corps as an 03xx and upon attending School of Infantry at Camp Pendleton, I completed my pipeline to become an 0351 Anti-Tank/Breaching machine. I deployed with 3rd BN 4th Marines twice, once to Iraq in 2008 to Haditha, and to Afghanistan in 2009-2010 to Helmand Province.
After my contract expired in 2010 I decided to get out and enjoy a few years as a civilian. But I began to miss the military and re-entered into the Army in 2012. Upon my re-entry, I was given very few options as a "prior-service" member and took whatever they gave me. They awarded me the MOS of 14E Air-Defense Artillery. It only took me a year and a half before I was bored with that and went to Selection to join the SOF community as a 37F Psychological Operations where I am currently working my way through the "Q" course and am almost finished with my language portion of training. So far in the training, the hardest part isn't the physical requirements, which are still strict, but I have found that the language is difficult. I enjoy learning another language but it is a lot of work and requires most of my free-time at home.
What motivated you to enter into the military?
I watched Baghdad ER once and noted that the Corps always left someone at the side of the bed of an injured Marine. In that particular episode, that brave Marine unfortunately died, but it really struck a chord in my heart and I knew I had to go. I read the book Generation Kill, and it made me feel as though the Marine Corps was full of the finest warfighters our country has ever known. I always wanted, deep down, to join the military and serve my country, and I was always interested in the history and lives of those who’ve served.
As far as the PsyOps route in the Army: When I was in Iraq and Afghanistan, when we would clear out cities fighting through them, sometimes we would have dudes in HMMWV's driving behind us blaring AC/DC, Metallica and Slip Knot through giant speakers rigged to the outside of the vehicles. The guys inside looked so cool and we didn't really know what they did. I wanted to see what that was all about.
Any memorable moments from deployment?
I’ll tell a funny “you had to have been there” story, which you may not find funny but I think this is a better opportunity to tell a light-hearted story and a sad, deep one. We got tasked to provide an overwatch protection for a Route Clearance Platoon (RCP) while they cleared a portion of the 515 near our area. My team was operating at 25% (three sleeping, one awake pulling security on us and the convoy), and it was freezing cold out (probably only 15 outside). I was waking up the next guy who we all called "Big Pappa Pump", I could tell he wasn't completely with it as he rolled over and looked at me and said, "Big Pappa Pump's cold" and rolled back over and went to sleep. The others guys woke up and we all just started laughing. Like I said, you probably had to have been there. But we found it hilarious.
Any words of advice for anyone interested in a military career?
I would tell anyone interested in joining the Armed Forces that your career is what you make of it. I have always been one of those guys that if I didn't like my environment, I did whatever I had to in-order-to change it. I would tell them that it's not always fun, but if you look for the good in every situation, you will find the self-gratification you could ever need. Now, as far as which branch, I was extremely proud of my Marine Corps service and still am. The promotions in Marine Infantry were too far in between so I decided to move elsewhere. The Army on the other hand, has so many opportunities for career progression and is so different that I really enjoy it as well. I was able to get myself promoted from E-4 to E-6 within a year and a half.
What’s life like outside of work?
When the uniform comes off, I love running, swimming, biking, and weight-lifting. Outside of the exercise realm, I’m a big hunter. I love bow hunting, gun hunting, fishing, and I tie camping into all of it. I love spending this kind of time with my family. People sometimes forget, then the military is done using and abusing you, family is what you return home to. And my wife is the person I admire most. She takes care of my daughter and newborn son while trying to manage the house. And most importantly, she puts up with me and all my hobbies.
Adam’s GovX picks:
As for things I would pick, I have been a long term fan of the Garmin Tactix for its multi-use as far as tactical opportunities and all of its functions and battery life and durability. I also like the Alps Outdoorz Commander Pack Bag for extended hunting opportunities. I love music and listening to it I would have to say the Fugoo Tough Speaker is pretty unique or a strong speaker like that. Pretty much anything that falls into one of my hobbies.