FORT MCCOY, Wis. - When taking a casual glance at the Soldier's
Army Combat Uniform, one can't help but notice the unique emblem
sewn above his U.S. Army nametape.
As a matter of fact, the
emblem in question ... known as the Surface Warfare Enlisted Badge
... isn't an award given by the Department of the Army. Warrant Officer
David Lente, an all-source intelligence technician from the 364th
Expeditionary Sustainment Command (ESC), was in the active-duty and
reserve components of the U.S. Navy before making the transition to
the Army Reserve.
Warrant Officer David Lente, an all-source intelligence technician from the 364th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, poses by the sign of the 364th ESC as his unit provides support for the the 86th Training Division's Combat Support Training Exercise conducted in Fort McCoy, Wis., on Aug. 15,
2015. The purpose of CSTX is to converge units together in training environments that emulate the experiences and rigors of real-world missions. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Christopher A. Hernandez, 345th Public Affairs Detachment)
“In the Navy, I was hitting my 10-year mark and had
actually looked at crossing over to [the Army] and becoming
a warrant officer,” Lente explained. “So just having the
opportunity to do that and be able to continue my military
career was great because I love what I do.”
Lente began his military career in the Navy as a damage
controlman. While aboard numerous naval vessels on various
assignments, Lente cross-trained on other skill sets in a
way that resonates with his characteristic versatility.
learned basic engineering skills like diesel mechanics, hull
maintenance, learning the main space like the engine room,
and even basic plumbing,” Lente recalled.
serving 10 years, Lente transitioned from active duty to the
reserve component of the Navy. Lente then went to the Naval
Intelligence School, attending classes every weekend for 14
However, Lente finally decided to enlist in
the Army Reserve after encountering issues with advancement
“I kept getting passed over for [chief petty
officer] in the Navy Reserve ... so it was kind of like a
pull of the trigger to move forward and cross over,” said
Lente then left the Navy Reserve in 2013,
submitted his packet for Army Warrant Officer Candidate
School (WOCS), received his notice of acceptance, and
attended the course from June 4 to July 9.
that was significant about my [graduation] from warrant
officer course is that July 9 is the birthday of the Warrant
Officer Corps, which was created on July 9, 1918,” said
Lente. “That's always going to be stuck in my head, and it's
an honor to actually have graduated that same day.”
Lente brought over his prior knowledge of signal, human,
imagery, and targeting types of intelligence when assigned
to the 364th ESC, proving instrumental in training and
“So essentially, we gather
all of the information, disseminate it, and push that
information to different cells,” Lente described.
“Additionally, we look at the pre-planning coming from
different units that is passed down to us ...and see if it
reflects on how it [works] in a live-action environment."
“If not accurate, we can communicate with these commands
in building the pathways, mapping for these exercises, and
perhaps give them pointers on what to do instead,” Lente
Surprisingly, Lente's civilian occupation
differs greatly from his work in Army intelligence.
“In the civilian sector, I work in the medical field,” said
Lente, a resident of Eugene, Oregon. “I've worked in the
emergency room for 10 years, worked as a
firefighter/paramedic for five and one-half years, and then
recently got a job in the last three years to train
physicians in computer applications.”
recounted his previous deployment experiences while in the
Navy, starting with his involvement in the Persian Gulf War
in 1991, serving in Iraq between 2006 and 2007, and a
plethora of other overseas assignments.
“I was on an
ammunition ship going into the Persian Gulf War and had the
opportunity to serve on the USS Missouri since we had
re-commissioned it,” Lente proudly said. “I was on it for a
couple of weeks while [witnessing] all of the different
countries coming together for that conflict."
actually a moving part of my life to say that I've served on
the USS Missouri,” Lente added.
When asked about who
he regards as a personal source of inspiration, Lente
recalls a friend of his who he met early in his Navy career.
“I have this friend of mine, a retired Navy SEAL Team 2
commander whose unit was involved in the 1983 operation in
Grenada,” said Lente. “He's somebody I can look up to as an
example to strive for what you want to achieve.”
Lente and the rest of the 364th ESC will continue to
participate in the 86th Training Division's Combat Support
Training Exercise (CSTX) conducted here. The 86th Training
Division provides realistic and relevant training to ensure
service members are prepared for any call of duty.
Lente said that his future aspirations include becoming an
instructor for WOCS, acquiring even more knowledge and skill
sets, and retiring as a chief warrant officer four.
“If you have that love for something, you should continue
it, no matter what your age is or where you are in your
career,” Lente earnestly advised.
By U.S. Army Spc. Christopher A. Hernandez
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