• FORT HOOD, Texas - Sgt. Keith Bonner Jr., from Lakeland, Fla., a hydraulics mechanic for Company D, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, waits with his fellow classmates before graduating with honors from the III Corps' Warrior Leader Course, here, July 22.

    FORT HOOD, Texas - Sgt. Keith Bonner Jr., from...

    FORT HOOD, Texas - Sgt. Keith Bonner Jr., from Lakeland, Fla., a hydraulics mechanic for Company D, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, waits with his fellow classmates before...

  • FORT HOOD, Texas - Sgt. Keith Bonner Jr., from Lakeland, Fla., a hydraulics mechanic for Company D, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, stands on stage before graduating from the III Corps' Warrior Leader Course, here, July 22. Bonner graduated with honors, just one of two Soldiers out of nearly 300 to do so.

    FORT HOOD, Texas - Sgt. Keith Bonner Jr., from...

    FORT HOOD, Texas - Sgt. Keith Bonner Jr., from Lakeland, Fla., a hydraulics mechanic for Company D, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, stands on stage before graduating from...

FORT HOOD, Texas - A 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Soldier graduated with honors from the III Corps' Warrior Leader Course, here, July 22.

Sgt. Keith Bonner Jr., from Lakeland, Fla., a hydraulics mechanic for Company D, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st ACB, 1st Cav. Div., didn't let himself slide through the intense course designed to bring new noncommissioned officers and future NCOs to the next level.

Bonner studied hard and pushed through every physically and mentally demanding task to graduate with honors - just one of two, out of nearly 300 Soldiers to do so.

"I just like to challenge myself, push myself as hard as I can and do whatever I can to excel," said Bonner. "I really wanted distinguished [honor graduate], but I'll take second place."

It's no surprise to Sgt. Miguel Lefebre, from Coamo, Puerto Rico, the shops platoon leader and Bonner's current supervisor, that he did so well in WLC.

"[Bonner is] real disciplined. He'll probably end up being my boss! There's nothing bad I can say about him," said Lefebre.

"He's a guy who will put himself last in order for everybody to get ahead," he said. "He'll go the extra mile for anyone or anything."

Going that extra mile includes training other Soldiers so that they're able to complete their jobs quickly and properly, said Lefebre. Bonner teaches new Soldiers basic sheet metal work and how to properly use an aircraft ground power unit - an essential piece of machinery in aviation maintenance.

Not only does Bonner maintain the hydraulic systems in the aircraft, he also maintains, acquires and distributes vital and sometimes hazardous liquids in order for the aircraft to stay mission-ready.

Although Bonner worked hard to graduate with honors, he found getting used to the smaller, more mundane tasks to be more difficult than others.

"The most difficult part about WLC was probably the late nights, getting back into folding hospital corners on beds and doing all the conditional military school basics," said Bonner.

Page last updated Mon July 26th, 2010 at 16:09