Research center co-workers reunite while deployed
April 10, 2013
- Davis reports having a greater appreciation for Soldiers and the work Soldiers do
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- On any given workday, Domonique Davis and David Hartfield can be found in their respective offices in the Security and Intelligence Division of the Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center.
But in February 2012, the Redstone co-workers -- Davis, a security specialist, and Hartfield, an intelligence specialist -- found each other in an unexpected place: the Middle East.
The two AMRDEC employees took very different paths to this unplanned meeting in the desert.
Hartfield was on a military deployment to Iraq from August to December of 2011 because in addition to his civilian career as an intelligence specialist, Hartfield is a captain in the Reserves.
Just when he thought it was time to come home, his group was tasked to work in Kuwait, which is where he stayed until July 2012.
Davis voluntarily deployed as a civilian.
She was introduced to the idea by another co-worker who was preparing for a voluntary civilian deployment and thought the program would be a good fit for young Davis.
"She said, 'This would probably be good for you because you're young, you don't have any kids, you're not in school, and you can do this.'
"I was like 'You know what, this might be a good idea, it would be something different.' I went to school here; I never left Alabama, so I'm like, 'Yeah, I do want to do something different, and then it would be rewarding because I'll go over there and I'll be doing something for my country.' It was just a good idea all around," Davis recounted.
Davis left for Kuwait when Hartfield was supposed to return. She didn't know that his tour of duty was extended.
Davis was part of a three-person team that was very busy, she said. "We only had one intel analyst and two security personnel doing the job of our team, but we also had physical security incorporated with our stuff and I had never done physical security. And the pace was faster. You have more customers that you have to work with and, man oh man, it was a really good experience."
The small team and fast pace are what led to Davis to call on Hartfield for some assistance. Davis recalled that the intelligence officer on her team left for R&R and Davis was left to handle intelligence work, too. "I did not know intel that well," Davis said.
Davis kept in contact with the AMRDEC Security and Intelligence Division manager Sharon Boclair who informed Davis that Hartfield was still overseas. The two communicated via email and Davis asked Hartfield for help.
So, it was in Kuwait where Hartfield and Davis ran into each other.
Hartfield's unit came to Camp Arifjan, where Davis was located, and while there the two AMRDEC employees were able to meet, and Hartfield helped Davis with some of her intelligence work.
"I was so happy to see him," Davis said. "My supervisor is prior military so he saw people that he knew. I'm in Kuwait; I don't know anybody, and this is my first time, and I'm already just a little nervous and home sick, so I was happy to see him. I was so happy to see him. He helped us out. He saved the day. We call him Super Dave. He came and he saved the day and I stopped getting pressure. They were happy with the input I was giving after I had his help."
Now, back at the AMRDEC, Davis reports having a greater appreciation for Soldiers and the work Soldiers do, as well as a different perspective of the value of the work done here at the center.
"I did not know our Soldiers worked so hard," she said. "I just had a new found respect for them. I'm proud to work for them. You just really don't get that effect here because we don't have as many uniformed personnel here, but over there it's mostly uniformed military personnel and I was just like 'wow.' It was a really good experience."