Fort Bragg paratrooper proudly serves in Afghanistan
August 11, 2014
BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan - Sgt. Lauren M. Martin, who performs as an administrative noncommissioned officer at the U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, Headquarters Company, currently deployed to Afghanistan with the XVIII Airborne Corps, does not hide her pride for serving in the U.S. Army.
"I had never left the state of Pennsylvania until I joined the military. I experienced my first plane ride when I went to basic training. I love what I do," said Martin while explaining that she is the first member of her family to join the military.
"I come from a very small town. My parents are amazed by the little things that I do in the military. For example, they did not know what a Meal Ready to Eat [MRE] was. I brought one home and it was a free for all," said the young noncommissioned officer.
Martin, a native of Milanville, Pennsylvania, and the youngest of three siblings, joined the U.S. Army in November 2010. However, she worked in the civilian sector for a couple of years before deciding to wear the uniform.
"I took the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test in high school, but after I graduated I decided to stay and work on a farm, where I harvested crops among other daily farm chores," said the Honesdale High school graduate.
The 25-year-old noncommissioned officer decided to join the U.S. Army as a way to enhance her future career options. She attended basic training at Fort Sill Oklahoma and the advanced individual training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.
Martin's current duties in Afghanistan provide critical administrative support to the troops of the XVIII Airborne Corps and other personnel assigned to the U.S. Forces-Afghanistan command. From processing rest and recuperation leave requests, to delivering mail, Martin definitively makes the difference in the days of many people.
"I have been extremely impressed with Sgt. Martin. Even though this is her first deployment, she has excelled, always giving 100 percent every single day and always raising her hand to volunteer, helping out soldiers in any way she possibly can," said U.S. Army Capt. Thomas A. Givens, commander of the U.S. Forces-Afghanistan headquarters and headquarters company.
Martin's duties do have a considerable impact in the day to day operations of the XVIII Airborne Corps staff, as she also efficiently coordinates air movement requests for equipment, troops and leaders in the U.S. Forces-Afghanistan headquarters.
"I get a lot of emails and hallway conversations stating how great Sgt. Martin is and how much she has helped them out. She has definitively impressed the leadership here," added Givens.
Looking at her future, Martin is determined to pursue a military career and wants to progress through the ranks.
"I am submitting my application for Warrant Officer, to be an aviator. When I first got to the New Kabul Compound, I started getting involved in aviation. I absolutely love it. I love been around helicopters, so I want to fly Black Hawks," added the Fort Bragg soldier, who hopes to get selected by the human resources command board scheduled for November 2014.
Due to her excellent performance, Martin has the absolute support of her chain of command.
"I think it's great that we have young soldiers who set goals for themselves and who are actively moving forward to achieve those goals. She is always trying to accomplish more and to better herself," said Givens.
With less than a few months left before the end of America's longest war, the female paratrooper believes her outstanding performance and service overseas is making the difference.
"The deployment to Afghanistan has been a great experience and I would do it all over again, if I had to. I love everything that I do. I just like to help people. I believe it is worth it to be in Afghanistan because we are helping the Afghans in a lot of things," said a proud Martin.