Soldier in Focus - Pvt. Sharper
April 28, 2009
BAGHDAD - Pvt. Brandon Sharper currently serves as a communications specialist for Headquarters and Support Company, 46th Engineer Combat Battalion (Heavy) on Camp Liberty. The "Steel Spike Battalion" Commo section has been a driving force in keeping the battalion's lines open while conducting numerous missions across Multi-National Division-Baghdad.
Sharper, a 21 year-old Camden, S.C. native immediately joined the military after graduating high school stating, "I was looking for a challenge and a place that I could advance my career goals."
Sharper's drive to constantly become a better Soldier and to excel in his job are the reasons his section nominated him for "Soldier in Focus."
What do you enjoy most about being in the Commo Section'
"I love to troubleshoot and figure out equipment. It's fun to get issued a high speed piece of equipment, learn it and then teach others. I like dealing with technology in general.
I also like being around motivated Soldiers like myself. Spc. Godhigh, Pfc. Campbell, Spc. Miller and Pfc. Geradts are a great group to work with. We've become so much closer since deploying out here. We go everywhere together."
So what is your favorite piece of equipment to work with'
"I like working with the video teleconferencing equipment, the new Commo radios, and the new TACSAT radios. The TACSATs connect with satellites. It's been interesting learning the CREW systems and the Electronic Warfare equipment. My favorite power tool is the power drill! It's very easy to use and you can use it to multi-task."
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time'
"I like working out at the gym and doing the fun runs. I love to challenge my mind and my body. Last October, during the 13-mile Sapper run, right about mile eight I started to tell myself I can keep going and kept pushing myself. I love the feeling of accomplishment. I like the t-shirts too."
Do you do any special training for your fun runs'
"I've started a personal training that I like to call, 'The Campaign' and my theme is, "I am the dedication." This means I am trying to better myself and become a better Soldier in all aspects. I scored a 280 on my last APFT, but I've been conditioning my body so I can reach 300 points. I've gained 20 pounds of muscle since getting out here. You should see my before pictures. 'The Campaign also focuses on me knowing my job and becoming better at it. With help from my NCOs I won the company Soldier of the Month board and I'm going to the battalion one next. I just want to be an all-around better Soldier."
What is the favorite saying in the Commo section'
"Shake -n- Bake! We say it all the time. I also like, 'cool whip!' It's like saying 'cool beans.'"
Lots of food references. So, what is your favorite type of cheese'
"Swiss. It's playful; it has holes in it."
What is your favorite meal to cook and eat at home'
"I like to cook fried chicken, chicken and rice, vegetables and buttered dinner rolls. I can't wait to get back and enjoy that and sit down and spend some real time with my 8-month old son."
Here's a random question: If you were an appliance, what would you be'
"I think I'd be an air-conditioner because I'm cool, calm, and collected. I'm also energy-efficient and like to work smarter, not harder."
Tell me something about this deployment that you won't miss'
"The flies out here are vicious; they're ruthless. The sun looks very angry on this side of the world. The dust has a distinct smell to it and the rocks and sand...the guys see me trip on the rocks every day."
Is there anything people would find shocking about you'
"Yes. I would like to be a politician; the mayor or governor of South Carolina. I would bring the state's record up to extraordinary numbers and hold lots of fun runs. We'd have runs for breast cancer, Alzheimer's, veterans, etc., and I'd be leading all of them. And, I'd bring the Panthers to South Carolina. I'd bring them home! I also am interested in getting my degree in sports medicine, but I guess that's not really shocking."