Soldier Follows Family Legacy
(November 28, 2010)
Army Command Sgt. Maj. Jon Smith of the
Indiana National Guard's Recruiting and Retention
Command presents Army Pfc. Alyssia Brown with a
Minuteman statue in Indianapolis, Nov. 22, 2010.
||INDIANAPOLIS, Nov. 26, 2010 – Army
Pfc. Alyssia Brown completed basic combat training
when she was a junior at Huntington North High
School in northeastern Indiana. And though she
enlisted before she could legally buy a pack of
cigarettes, she graduated Oct. 21 at the top of her
class from the Military Police Officer Basic Course
at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.
Brown received commendations from the post commander
of Fort Leonard Wood, U.S. Army Criminal
Investigation Command representatives and the
president of military police for her outstanding
leadership ability, discipline and performance while
under her training environment's command.
She said she draws her motivation from her mother.
“My mom has been through a lot and always
perseveres,” Brown said. “She got
good grades and ran track in high school. I try to
be like her. She always pushes me to do my best.”
Brown said she joined the military to follow in the
footsteps of her brother and uncle, both Operation Iraqi
Freedom veterans, and her grandfather. Her father is a
reserve police officer for Huntington County, Ind.|
She wanted to enlist from a young age, she said, and she
joined the Indiana Army National Guard on Feb. 13, 2009, at
age 17. She chose the Army's Split Option program,
completing basic training during the summer break between
her junior and senior years of high school, and attending MP
school after she graduated.
“I always knew I wanted to join,” Brown said. “I think
everybody should serve their country in some way.”
As a Split Option soldier, Brown served in the Recruit
Sustainment Program in Fort Wayne, Ind. The program's cadre
teaches recruits the soldier skills that prepare them for
basic training. Those returning from basic training then can
teach new recruits what it's really like.
“There wasn't a thing that was introduced in basic
[training] that wasn't already touched upon in RSP, so it
made me feel like I wasn't completely thrown out of the
water,” Brown said.
At the recruit program, soldiers are taught the military
rank structure, military courtesies and culture, drill and
ceremony, weapons systems and other information.
“It was a lot easier to have learned all those things I
needed to know beforehand, as opposed to learning everything
right when I got [to basic training],” she said.
While at MP school, Brown was recognized for her outstanding
leadership skills for taking charge during a detail at the
2010 MP Warfighter Competition at Fort Leonard Wood. She was
tasked with setting up tents for the competition. A group of
people dressed in civilian attire asked for assistance in
setting up a tent for their organization. Although she
didn't have to, Brown helped them. She quickly took charge,
giving them guidance and expediting the process so she could
return to her detail.
As it turned out, the people she helped were high-ranking
officials of the Criminal Investigation Command, and several
weeks later she was recognized in front of her company for
her efforts. Brown also was recognized as the distinguished
honor graduate for her unwavering motivation, outstanding
physical training scores and excellent rifle marksmanship.
“I'm really glad to be honored like that, especially in
front of my family on graduation,” said Brown, whose mother
recorded the ceremony. “They were all really proud of me.
I'm just glad that I was able to work hard enough to get to
be able to go up on stage and have my name called off. If
even to be recognized just for a fraction of a second, it
was truly an honor.”
Now that she has graduated, Brown will return to her roots
at the RSP for one last drill before moving onto her
“It has been a great pleasure having her as a RSP soldier;
she really sets the standard as to what we want all of our
soldiers to be like,” said Army Staff Sgt. David Grimm,
training sergeant for the recruit program's Detachment 2 in
Fort Wayne, Ind. “When I first met her, she was very
respectful and eager to learn and grow as a soldier. She
always has a great attitude and demeanor, and that
‘never-say-quit' attitude always rubbed off on others.”
Grimm added that he believes the leadership qualities Brown
has displayed and her experience to become an MP will carry
on when she returns to the RSP.
“She has a great relationship with her fellow soldiers,” he
said. “She goes out of her way to help others with anything
they may be doing at the time. She takes pride in being a
battle buddy and a friend, and she shows all of the
leadership qualities a young soldier could possess.”
Brown's family has embraced her role as a soldier and takes
pride in her achievements.
“I couldn't be more proud of her,” said Jeff Brown, the
soldier's father. “I've always encouraged her and her
brother to join. I couldn't be more proud of them both.
“I think there might be a bit of a rivalry growing between
her and her brother now,” he continued. “He didn't take home
all those plaques and medals that she did.”
His daughter's enlistment has strengthened their bond, he
said, and has given them something else in common: law
“Alyssia and I will sit and talk about law, what she can and
can't do as a soldier, what I can and can't do as a
civilian,” he said. “She's really grown into it.”
Brown said she plans to maintain her professionalism and
always remember the promise she made to her country, her
mother and to herself.
“It's been a life-changing experience for me,” she said.
“There's a responsibility that you put on yourself that you
can't put on anybody else that pushes you to your limits and
shows you that you can still succeed
Article and photo by Army Sgt. John Crosby|
Indiana National Guard
American Forces Press Service
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