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News | June 10, 2024

From green fields to Army greens: Personal and professional development through service

By Spc. Midori Preecs Exercise News Day

With every individual joining the armed forces comes a unique story.

People from all backgrounds bring a new perspective and skills to the military, making each individual's contribution invaluable to the overall strength and effectiveness of the armed forces.

U.S. Army Sgt. Alec Perez from the 370th Transportation Company was born and raised in Texas, where he attended Harlingen High School South. Perez played football in high school until his senior year when an unexpected injury almost left him paralyzed.

“The camaraderie I shared with the guys was gone, and it felt like I was missing a piece of myself,” said Perez.

Upon joining the Army in 2017 as a Motor Transportation Operator (88M), Perez began to see how his Army battle buddies reminded him of his team back in high school. “The military helped me fill in that missing puzzle piece,” said Perez.

“Traveling, going to new places, and meeting so many new people has been one of my favorite things about being in the Army,” Perez said. He met one of his best friends at the beginning of his military career and has been able to advance in rank and experience the opportunities the Army has to offer altogether. “We joined about the same time; we’ve gotten all our ranks together, gone to BLC together, and have truly stuck it out until the end.”

The Army provides Soldiers with personal development and professional skills to carry with them throughout life. “The Army has helped turn me into a better leader without realizing, learning how to shoot various weapons, fix trucks, and then turn around and teach my Soldiers what I've learned or through my mistakes,” said Perez. In this career, you learn to lead by example, manage teams, and make decisions under pressure.

Perez said, “It has helped me with problem-solving or thinking outside the box during difficult situations.” The military lifestyle often requires quick and efficient problem-solving abilities while utilizing clear and concise communication.

“The Army teaches you to be coachable because no one knows everything, and constructive criticism, good or bad, helps,” said Perez. Growing up without a father figure, his mom played an important role in helping him become the man he is today, but the Army has only helped guide and shape those values. “The Army has helped me fine-tune ways of being a gentleman, with my mom being my first teacher.”

The Army fosters and enhances the relationships you've developed before enlistment and throughout your service. “I can’t think of another career I would want where I feel like I truly belong, I would happily serve many more years,” said Perez.

Camaraderie in the military creates a bond like no other, and Perez said he joined a family.

“It has helped me find my brothers, and even though they are not blood, I know they will have my back as I will have theirs,” said Perez.