• July 25, 2014

Ironhorse mechanic fulfills lifelong dream to enlist in military

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Posted: Wednesday, December 8, 2010 12:00 pm | Updated: 9:20 am, Thu Aug 16, 2012.

By Spc. Bailey Jester

1st Cavalry Division public affairs

Growing up in the small town of Dallas, Pa., Pvt. Richard Huey III, always wanted to join the U.S. Army.

Huey's decision was partly affected by his family's strong military heritage. His grandfather served in World War II and his father served in Vietnam both in the United States Navy.

Although he did not join the military right away, he later followed his dream to pursue a career in the Army.

"(Huey) is a motivated and squared away individual, he always gets his job done," said Staff Sgt. James Hooser, a shop foreman assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.

Not even assigned to his unit for two weeks, Huey earned an Army Achievement Medal and a battalion coin for hard work and dedication during a field exercise for his new brigade.

The medal is awarded for meritorious service or achievement in either combat or noncombat based on sustained performance or specific achievement of an outstanding nature.

"I appreciate the recognition for what I did," Huey said about his award. "But I was only doing my job."

Before enlisting in the Army, Huey's work ethic and enthusiasm were created from working as an industrial mechanic.

"Working with machines is a lot like working with cars," Huey said about his alternate occupational choice. "Since the age of 13, I have been working with muscle cars. Engines and electricity just come easy to me."

After 14 years of working in the union, Huey decided to fulfill his childhood dream of being a soldier. He quit his comfortable, well-paying job and enlisted in the Army as a power generator mechanic.

"I worked the same type of job in the civilian world, so I already knew the basics," Huey said about his choice. "I love the mechanical aspect of machines and I worked as an electrician so it was all familiar to me already. Plus, I was ready to serve my country."

In March of this year, he went to Fort Benning, Ga., for basic combat training, then Fort Lee, Va., for his Advanced Individual Training.

Arriving to his unit in September, his first tasking was a field exercise with the Ironhorse brigade.

"As soon as they learned that I was a generator mechanic they informed me I would instantly be sent to the field," Huey said, explaining his introduction to the unit.

Less than a week later, Huey deployed to the field.

"Being his first week with the unit, he definitely made a first impression of being a charger," said Sgt. Dirk Zimmerman, a Bradley fighting vehicle mechanic. "He volunteered for many tasks and kept busy."

While in the field Huey took great pride in the care and upkeep of the brigade's generators, helping create a successful exercise. He also made regular trips around the site to check the generators ensuring they were maintained and working properly.

He also used his knowledge of generators to hook a 3-kilowatt generator to the dining tent, allowing access to lights for the dinner meal.

Huey plans to apply for warrant officer school or climb the enlisted ladder as far as he can.

"I have no regrets in my decision to join the Army," Huey said. "There have been stumbles here and there, but it would be like that anywhere. I love it."

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