By Capt. Addie Snay
1st Medical Brigade public affairs
BAGRAM AIRBASE, Afghanistan - Army Spc. Jason Villar, a native of Winter Springs, Fla., currently deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom with the 1st Medical Brigade based out of Fort Hood, has been accepted into the United States Military Academy Preparatory School to be followed by attendance at the United States Military Academy.
Villar, 21, was in sixth grade during 9/11 and remembers mailing care packages to soldiers through his school.
"All I could think about was being on the other side and receiving these packages and fighting for a country that loves its soldiers so much."
He enlisted in the Army in August 2008, attended basic training at Fort Benning, Ga., and advanced individual training as a dental specialist at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.
Villar set himself apart from his peers early in his Army career, graduating advanced training as the honor graduate and earning the Juliette Southard Leadership Award. A few years later, he attended Warrior Leader Course, in which he graduated with honors, earned the leadership award, and was placed on the commandant's list.
More recently, Villar earned the honors as the Soldier of the Year for 1st Medical Brigade in 2011. He then went on to compete and win the Soldier of the Year competition for Fort Hood in the same year.
Since enlisting, it has been his desire to become an Army officer. Villar attended Junior Reserved Training Officers' Corps at Winter Springs High School. The experience and training from this program, three years of active-duty service, and his deployment in Iraq have prepared him for taking the next step toward becoming an officer.
"Being a West Point graduate and serving in our Army as an officer would be the greatest contribution I could give to my country, my community, and my family," Villar said. "As a West Point graduate I would be a part of a tradition founded on facilitating others to reach their greatest potential."
With encouragement from leadership and fellow soldiers, Villar put together and submitted his packet to West Point. He received notification of his acceptance to attend United States Military Academy Preparatory School shortly after his arrival to Afghanistan.
"I have no doubt that Spc. Villar will continue to excel as he is placed in positions of increasing responsibility and challenges. His performance clearly demonstrates outstanding potential for success in today's Army as a commissioned officer," said Col. Bruce McVeigh, commander of 1st Medical Brigade.