Fort Bliss Soldier makes history
Staff Sgt. DeMarco Wren,
Newly promoted Sgt. Craig A. Easler, a 33-year-old father of two, has made Army history by becoming the first Soldier to be promoted to sergeant in his military occupational specialty.
The MOS consists of more than 200 enlisted personnel in the electronic warfare field, including Easler, who is assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division. As a corporal, Easler was the most junior in the entire MOS. On May 2, Easler was promoted to sergeant.
Lt. Col. Chris L. Connolly, Easler’s former battalion commander, said he believes Easler’s experience in satellite communication and his knowledge of information technology made him an ideal candidate for his MOS.
Easler diligently pursued the path to obtain his current MOS. At the beginning, he did not meet the requirements for the MOS, but he worked tirelessly to obtain those requirements, Easler said. He had not completed Warrior Leaders Course, but he enrolled and completed the course. He was not an NCO, so he worked hard to be become laterally promoted from specialist to corporal. For all of his hard work, he received a letter of recommendation from the battalion commander to attend advanced individual training.
Easler initiated contact and gained rapport with Nicole Knight, Department of the Army personnel analyst, who he said was very instrumental in his quest to become an electronic warfare specialist and sergeant.
According to Knight, to date Easler is the only active-component corporal to have graduated the electronic warfare AIT and be promoted to the rank of sergeant.
Easler completed the nine-week course at Fort Sill, Okla., and upon his return to Fort Bliss, he was immediately deployed to Iraq, making him the first junior-enlisted electronic warfare specialist to deploy.
“I’m very privileged to have overcome this milestone,” stated Easler. “While making history is a great honor, it gives me greater satisfaction to show Soldiers they can achieve any goal with desire, determination and support – regardless of their rank.”
Easler, who recently returned from a workshop at the Pentagon, impressed the instructors so much with his knowledge and insight that his feedback will help write the electronic warfare technical manual.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Michael Gudmundson, Easler’s officer-in-charge, said he has “total confidence in the abilities of Easler, who he said knows all the vital functions of the equipment and is indispensible.
While in combat, Easler was recognized for his performance by Lt. Col. William Cantrell, the division electronic warfare officer, and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal and the Bronze Star Medal for his “unwavering dedication and commitment to excellence.”
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