Hughes is a profile of leadership, mentorship

| December 8, 2016 | 0 Comments
Staff Sgt. Brian Hughes is the grand marshal for the 70th Annual Wahiawa Veterans Day parade at Wahiawa, Hawaii, on Nov. 11, 2016. Hughes, a native of Euclid, Ohio and assistant operations noncommissioned officer assigned to 2nd Bn., 35th Inf. Regt., 3rd BCT, 25th ID, was recognized for his service by being made the grand marshal for the parade. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division)

Staff Sgt. Brian Hughes is the grand marshal for the 70th Annual Wahiawa Veterans Day parade at Wahiawa, Hawaii, on Nov. 11, 2016. Hughes, a native of Euclid, Ohio and assistant operations noncommissioned officer assigned to 2nd Bn., 35th Inf. Regt., 3rd BCT, 25th ID, was recognized for his service by being made the grand marshal for the parade. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division)

In Part 2 of 2, Soldier demonstrates his resiliency

Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Staff Sgt. Brian Hughes, an assistant operations noncommissioned officer assigned to 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Inf. Division, was frequently questioned when he began his Army career, after a break in service from the Marine Corps.

“Right off the bat, what is better? The Army or Marine Corps?” is a question Hughes is often asked by the curious.

“People always ask me that,” he said. “My question is better at what? Okay, what are you talking about?”

Hughes completes training.

Hughes completes training. (Courtesy photo)

To those who asked, his answer to this question was heartfelt.

“I like to surround myself with outstanding people that are a team that are looking to accomplish a mission together,” he answered. “In both, I have been surrounded by outstanding people, so that’s what makes up the Army, just as it makes up the Marine Corps. It makes up any business, and that’s the people that you surround yourself with, and both have outstanding people.”

His first assignment after graduating infantry school was with the 1st Bn., 14th Inf. Regt., “Golden Dragons,” 2nd Stryker BCT, 25th ID, here, in January 2010.

In July of the same year, his battalion deployed to Kirkuk, Iraq, at little heard of Forward Operating Base Gaines Mills, not far from FOB Warrior.

“It’s a small place,” he said. “Again, the platoon was outstanding that I deployed with. I learned a lot.”

He served as an infantryman, an M240 machine gun operator, and even as a temporary radio telephone operator, when the RTO was on leave, while in Iraq. He was introduced to Soldier of the Month boards that prepared him to further his Army career.

A young Hughes when in the Marine Corps. (Courtesy photo)

A young Hughes when in the Marine Corps. (Courtesy photo)

“I still communicate with a lot of the Soldiers that I served with there and became very close with those guys as well,” he said.

Hughes redeployed to Schofield Barracks, after a year in Iraq, to remain until 2013. He volunteered to go to South Korea for a year to help maintain stability for his wife’s career as a school teacher.

“It was great professionally,” he said. “I earned my Expert Infantryman Badge. I was also recommended and brought into the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club in Korea. It was a good tour for me.”

Indeed, he returned for another three-year tour at Schofield Barracks – this time with Cacti in March 2014. There, Hughes and his wife, Julia, faced their toughest adversity together.

“I can tell you the toughest adversity that I had to face is – it’ll be about two years ago now – my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer,” he explained. “We handled (it using) our faith in God. We have a purpose no matter what the situation is in this life.”

The Hughes were not left alone. Cacti came to their side to support them in their most trying time.

“I can tell you this much; there’s never been a more important time in the military when a unit can support a Soldier,” he said. “The unit has really come to my family’s side, and they helped by providing meals.”

Hughes participates and leads several community events. (Courtesy photo)

Hughes participates in and leads in several community events. (Courtesy photo)

The unit and leadership provided flexibility for the Hughes family, as Julia suffered through stage four cancer and had 24 chemotherapy treatments.

“When you talk about adversity in the Army,” he said, “we talk about Master Resilience Training and things like that. What I always tell young Soldiers and young guys is listen. You need to prepare today for the battles and storms that are coming. You need to be prepared for when they happen, and it’s never been truer for us.”

This past Veterans Day, the Hughes were honored for their accomplishments and resiliency, as Hughes was made the grand marshal for the 70th Annual Wahiawa Veterans Day Parade.

“I was very surprised, because you have so many wonderful service members here on Oahu that could have been selected,” he said.

He felt humbled and hoped he had represented the Army and the military as a whole as grand marshal.

“The crowd that was out there … I received nothing but positivity from the crowd,” he said.

Command Sgt. Maj. Brian M. Disque, senior enlisted adviser, 2-35th Inf. Regt., said he selected Hughes because he was everything the Army looks for in a Soldier.

“To me Staff Sgt. Hughes is a great example of what we need our leaders to do and to be,” Disque said. “He’s dedicated to the mission. He places mentorship of Soldiers and taking care of Soldiers in high regard. He is the kind of Soldier that makes every unit he’s in and every community he’s in better. For that reason, who better to represent us then as Soldier (other than) Sgt. Hughes?”

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Category: Leadership, News

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