Where there is a will, premier Soldiers will find a way

| April 29, 2016 | 0 Comments
Staff Sgt. Rodenay Joseph and Sgt. Nathan Ramos, 8th Theater Sustainment Command administrative law paralegal noncommission officers, discuss the morning activities April 7 during the 8th TSC air assault train up course at the Fort Shafter Physical Fitness Training Center. (US Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Nicole Howell)

Staff Sgt. Rodenay Joseph and Sgt. Nathan Ramos, 8th TSC administrative law paralegal noncommission officers, discuss the morning activities April 7 during the 8th TSC air assault train up course at the Fort Shafter Physical Fitness Training Center.

 

Story and photos by Sgt. 1st Class Nicole Howell
8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs

FORT SHAFTER — Staff Sgt. Rodenay Joseph, the 8th Theater Sustainment Command administrative law noncommissioned officer in charge, wanted air assault to be one of his professional achievements, a stepping stone to his next goal.

One deterrent he found along his journey to Air Assault School was identifying the requirements to attend the June 2015 class.

“There was nobody,” Joseph said. “It took me two months to find out who could put me into the school.”

When he made it into the class, fully prepared, struggling only with sleep deprivation within the first four days, he was still determined.

He graduated the course the first time taking it, only to come back to the unit finding the situation was the same as when he left.

“When I got back from Air Assault, I met up with a sergeant major and told him more people would attend the school if we got a program in place where we can assist them,” Joseph said. “He told me if I see the need, why don’t I do something about it. So, I built the program from scratch.”

While going through Air Assault, I was taking notes – I always take notes – on some of the reasons people were failing out of the school, so we can minimize the people we send making the same mistakes.” Joseph said.

Soldiers with 8th Theater Sustainment Command practice hooking their Swiss Seats to a rappel line as part of their air assault training April 7 at the Fort Shafter Physical Fitness Training Center. (US Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Nicole Howell)

Soldiers with 8th TSC practice hooking their Swiss Seats to a rappel line as part of their air assault training April 7 at the Fort Shafter Physical Fitness Training Center.

Joseph’s class would cover everything from the helicopter study guide to layout; he would simulate what they would see at the school and cover everything the students could do to avoid getting kicked out of the school.

“When I first started the curriculum, I didn’t start only with 8th TSC,” Joseph said. “I started with friends, with people from Schofield Barracks and different units, so, once they graduated, they would tell their sergeant major and first sergeant, and I would start getting emails and phone calls asking to send Soldiers to this training. The word is out there and … a lot of people observing.”

He was determined to get Sgt. Nathan Ramos, another 8th TSC paralegal, to go to Air Assault School. There was one problem: Ramos did not want to go.

Ramos was already a known overcomer of obstacles, one being a heart condition. On top of that, he had just left a toxic work environment and was just getting settled into the 8th TSC when Joseph started to encourage him. Ramos was not giving up moving forward in life, but trying to get his energy back to continue his journey.

Sgt. Nathan Ramos, an 8th Theater Sustainment Command administrative law paralegal noncommission officer, explains each deficiency to Spc. Abhishek Jain, during the layout portion of the 8th TSC air assault train up course April 7 at the Fort Shafter Physical Fitness Training Center. (US Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Nicole Howell)

Ramos explains deficiencies to Spc. Abhishek Jain, during the layout portion of the 8th TSC air assault train up course April 7 at the Fort Shafter Physical Fitness Training Center.

“There is a lot that I really didn’t want to do, but it is not because I didn’t want to do it,” Ramos said. “I just didn’t want to right then … you know, but I knew it would be good for me.

“I knew Air Assault was going to be good for me, and Staff Sgt. Joseph kept pushing me. Being the good mentor and friend, he saw the potential in me, and said, ‘I know you have this,’ which made me say, ‘Ok, I’ve got this,’” Ramos said.

Ramos went after attending the course created by Joseph.

Before Ramos left for the October 2015 class, however, Joseph realized the need for someone to assist him with teaching the class because he could not always be there. He looked to Ramos because Joseph knew he was a hard worker and trusted Ramos to help him maintain the class in his absence.

“After Ramos finished school, I had to go to SLC (Senior Leaders Course) for two months,” Joseph said. “He took over in my absence.”

“Maybe it is self-proclaimed; I’m not an alternate instructor. With the amount of people we have and the type of program we are running, there is no way to have an alternate,” Ramos said. “We both have the same knowledge, we are both there, we are both making the schedule, running PRT (physical readiness training) and checking packets. We rely on each other to get stuff done.”

In early April, Joseph and Ramos found out that U.S. Army-Pacific is planning to send a group of Soldiers to train for upcoming classes in May and June, and they are ready for them.

“Hard work pays off,” Joseph said, “and I’m giving back what the Army has invested in me to helping others. It is priceless when you help somebody and make a difference in somebody’s life.”

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