"He promised me if I kept him on night shift that he would complete [his bachelor's degree], and ... I was so proud when he did complete it,” ARMY Staff Sgt. Marlene Noel, Boyd's supervisor, said.
“It was a lot of work, but instead of watching movies during the free time, you know, you just had to do some homework,” Boyd said of completing his degree. “So it took a little bit of sacrifice, but I was able to get it done.”
He is now working toward his master's degree in computer science. And the story doesn't end here.
Boyd's latest assignment is with the division's new prosecution task force, which develops arrest warrants for approval by Iraqi judges in accordance with the new U.S.-Iraq security agreement. His job as an intelligence analyst is to comb through intelligence reports all day long looking for evidence to use in putting together a warrant. He helps his partner, a law enforcement professional, develop interview questions for detainees based on the evidence he finds in the reports and puts together the warrant packets that are presented to Iraqi judges.
When Boyd came to the section, he improved procedures for cross-referencing files in current warrants, using his free time and civilian-acquired computer programming skills to create a database to manage all the information the section processes.
“He took a very basic [system] that was there and turned it into what's essentially become the standard for the other divisions here in Iraq,” Army Maj. Kevin Admiral, chief of the task force, said. “I think he's definitely set a great example for all noncommissioned officers and soldiers here in Baghdad. He definitely knows how to manage his time.”
Boyd also has worked with Multinational Corps Iraq to help develop the Combined Information Data Network Exchange database for warrants so that the new system maintains some of the same functionality he developed in his own program.
Boyd's enlistment will end after this deployment, and he said he plans on becoming “Mr. Boyd” and finding a job in the computer science career field. But he doesn't rule out ever bringing those skills back to the military. “It's always a possibility,” he said.