Soldier in Focus - Sgt. Roy Mitchell
February 12, 2009
FORWARD OPERATING BASE LOYALTY, Iraq - Today's Soldier in Focus is Sgt. Roy Mitchell, an sniper assigned to 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Multi-National Division-Baghdad. Mitchell, a native of Garden Grove, Calif., enlisted in the U.S. Army for five years and deployed for the second time to Iraq.
As the team leader assigned to a sniper platoon, Mitchell mentors junior Paratroopers on the fundamentals of being a highly skilled military shooter. Mitchell takes great pride in teaching his subordinates and enjoys seeing how they develop into qualified snipers and professional leaders.
While conducting combat operations in Baquba, Iraq on March 24, 2007, Mitchell was shot twice by enemy combatants. A large scar on the right side of his head is a reminder of how fortunate he is to still be alive.
"I was hospitalized for six months, and it took me another six months to recover from all my injuries. I was given the option to leave the Army, but I was not ready to leave yet. I would have felt beaten by the enemy if I left the Army, and I was not ready to leave all my friends. They are like my family and I owe my life to them."
Recently, Mitchell was recommended to the rank of staff sergeant at a promotion board held in Iraq. He wants to continue to grow in the Army and plans to pursue a career in either a Ranger Battalion or a Special Forces Group upon the completion of his tour. Mitchell also hopes to purse a college degree.
During his spare time in Iraq, Mitchell enjoys watching movies, reading books and hanging out with his fellow Paratroopers.