Tristan and Troy Williams take part during their mother’s promotion, Master Sgt. Tonia Williams, while their dad, Command Sgt. Maj. Paris Williams, participates through a video teleconference from his deployed location in Iraq. Both noncommissioned officers are assigned to the 11th Air Defense Artillery “Imperial” Brigade. Photo by Capt. Tamara Gonzales, 11th ADA Bde. Public Affairs
Dual military couple enjoys family
and mission success
Capt. Tamara Gonzales
11th ADA Bde. Public Affairs
A dual-military couple has its own unique set of challenges; however, there is one team that has not only met this challenge but is also successfully raising a family with four children while progressing through the NCO ranks.
Meet Master Sgt. Tonia Williams and Command Sgt. Maj. Paris Williams, a couple dedicated to family and selflessly serving the nation.
The Williams met at what is referred to as the Army’s coldest posts, Fort Drum, N.Y. The couple spent one week together at Fort Drum before Tonia deployed to Afghanistan post 9-11. Later, in November, Paris attended the air defense artillery’s Advanced Noncom-missioned Officers Course. Tonia did not take leave during her deployment making it about a year before the couple saw each other again. Shortly after her deployment, the couple got married.
“I appreciate the fact that my wife is the best mother and Soldier in her profession that I have ever met. She truly cares about Soldiers and takes her job very serious,” said Paris.
After their assignment at Fort Drum they were reassigned to Fort Bliss where Paris served with the 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade which deployed in January 2003. Tonia, then seven months pregnant, moved them from New York to Texas by herself. She was unfamiliar with the post or the local area, did not know anyone and was still unpacking when Paris deployed.
“This was one of the hardest times for us. I am really appreciative of my co-workers; they were really supportive,” explained Tonia about her Military Entrance Processing Station co-workers at the time.
As if matters weren’t difficult enough already, with her husband deployed, no local family and still becoming familiar to Fort Bliss, Tonia started going into labor.
Once again her friends from MEPS rallied to support her and helped until her parents flew in the next day.
In September 2005, the family moved together to Fort Lewis, Wash., where Tonia worked as 3rd Stryker Brigade’s human resource NCO in charge. Paris served as a first sergeant with the 5th Battalion, 5th ADA.
Their next move returned them to back to Fort Bliss when Paris was selected to attend the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy in July 2007. Tonia arrived later in November 2007 to serve as the 11th ADA Bde. human resources NCOIC. Paris graduated the USASMA course in May 2008, marking the beginning of the couple’s first joint assignment. Paris assumed responsibility as the command sergeant major of Task Force 3rd Battalion, 3rd Air Defense Artillery, Counter-Rocket, Artillery and Mortar in October 2008 and deployed six months later.
“I have never really had the opportunity to know his military side,” said Tonia. “We both take our jobs very personally and draw the line between work and home.”
Besides diligently serving in the Army, the couple dedicates their lives to their four children: Kelsie, Korine, Tristan and Troy.
“She manages her career while maintaining an immaculate house, cooks dinner and spends time with our kids. She is the greatest person I know and she is my wife, I am very grateful,” said Paris.
“We’re very lucky to have them as a part of our ‘Imperial’ Brigade team,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Jimmie Nelson, the 11th ADA Bde. command sergeant major. “They are dedicated to their jobs with Soldier care being a priority.