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The Rhythm Of Serving
by Staff Sgt. Mahsima Alkamooneh
Minnesota Army National Guard
March 29, 2024

Born and raised in the city of Nairobi, considered the beating heart of Kenya, 1st Lt. Augustine Neto carries with him a legacy of service deeply rooted in his family's traditions. As he shares his story, his gaze reflects a sense of pride forged through more than 11 years of dedication and commitment to the U.S. military.

March 22, 2024 - Minnesota Army National Guard 1st Lt. Augustine Neto, the officer in charge of C2 Node for 34th Infantry Division "Red Bulls" and Task Force Spartan that is deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation Spartan Shield. Neto was born to a military family in Kenya before moving to the U.S. and has served in the Minnesota National Guard for 11 Years. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from Minnesota Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Mahsima Alkamooneh.)
March 22, 2024 - Minnesota Army National Guard 1st Lt. Augustine Neto, the officer in charge of C2 Node for 34th Infantry Division "Red Bulls" and Task Force Spartan that is deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation Spartan Shield. Neto was born to a military family in Kenya before moving to the U.S. and has served in the Minnesota National Guard for 11 Years. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from Minnesota Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Mahsima Alkamooneh.)

"My dad served in the Kenya military for 32 years," Neto begins, tracing the lines of his upbringing. "Having been brought up in a military family instilled in me a deep sense of service.”

In 2011, Neto made the journey across continents to pursue higher education in the United States, driven by a passion for learning. That path later led him not only to academic achievements, but also to a different kind of classroom ... service in the Minnesota Army National Guard.

After joining the Guard in 2013, Neto found himself drawn to the sense of community and purpose it offered.

"I felt the need to serve the same way my dad and grandfather did,” he explains. "To give back to the community and be part of something greater than myself.”

With a degree in international business and a master’s in finance under his belt, Neto is now pursuing a Doctorate of Business Administration while also serving as a leader with the 34th Infantry Division. His journey is a testament to the opportunities for growth and development within the military.

Reflecting on his most rewarding moments while serving, Neto shares a glimpse into his leadership philosophy.

"Seeing people under my leadership progress academically, knowing that I played a part in their development, that's the one thing that I find highly rewarding," he says. "The Army gives you many opportunities, one of which is academics."

March 22, 2024 - Minnesota Army National Guard 1st Lt. Augustine Neto, the officer in charge of C2 Node for 34th Infantry Division "Red Bulls" and Task Force Spartan with his team while deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation Spartan Shield. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from Minnesota Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Mahsima Alkamooneh.)
March 22, 2024 - Minnesota Army National Guard 1st Lt. Augustine Neto, the officer in charge of C2 Node for 34th Infantry Division "Red Bulls" and Task Force Spartan with his team while deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation Spartan Shield. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from Minnesota Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Mahsima Alkamooneh.)

As Neto dives into the complexities of his role as an officer in charge of a command-and-control mobile systems team in the communication section, he illustrates the importance of his job in the military landscape.

"Our mission revolves around maintaining constant communication, ensuring the flow of information even in the most challenging environments," he explains. "It's about facilitating connections, bridging gaps, and ultimately, ensuring the success of our mission."

Beyond the technical aspects, Neto emphasizes the significance of building relationships within the military community.

"We are one force, one fight," he asserts. "The bonds we form, the camaraderie we share – those are the foundations of our strength."

His aspirations extend beyond the military. Away from the battlefield, Neto finds solace in music, his soul intertwined with the melodies of his trumpet and saxophone. He hopes to one day be a member of the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra. He also dreams of becoming an instructor at a university in Minnesota, sharing his knowledge and inspiring future generations.

In Neto’s heart beats a rhythm of service – a melody of courage, sacrifice, and dedication.

“We, as Soldiers, are a part of a bigger mission,” added Neto. “What we are doing is bigger than ourselves, this is a higher calling.”

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