Brothers bond during jumps at Benning
February 11, 2011
FORT LEAVENWORTH -- Tim Stroud was working in an auto body shop in Huntsville, Alabama and was looking for a change. After listening to stories from his older brother, Major Greg Stroud, he decided that working in the service of his nation was for him, and he enlisted as an Infantryman.
"I think my brother really got motivated after listening to my stories about all the places I had been and the exciting things I had done," said Major Stroud.
Private First Class Stroud started Basic Training last September and after achieving a 300 on his Physical Fitness Test score, received a slot in Airborne School.
"After I found out Tim got a slot in Airborne school, I wanted to see if there was anyway to get back down to Fort Benning and jump with him," said Stroud.
Major Stroud, currently a student at the School of Advanced Military Studies, is well acquainted with Fort Benning and Airborne school as a Special Forces and former Infantry Officer. Having graduated from the school in 1999, Major Stroud has conducted almost a hundred jumps both stateside and overseas with Thai, Philippine, Malaysian, Indian, and Japanese defense forces.
The unique opportunity of being a part of his brother's airborne training was too good of an idea to let pass.
"I submitted a request through the [SAMS] leadership to see if I could go down and jump with him, and the concept and paperwork got approved," said Stroud. "I was extremely happy that the school recognized the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to jump with my brother at Airborne School and made it happen."
Throughout the jump week, the Stroud brothers were able to jump together four times to include a combat equipment jump with a mock weapon and assault pack.
"It was a good opportunity for me to get out of the classroom and go train with Soldiers," said Stroud. "It served as an excellent reminder to me that future plans and operations, which is one of the focuses of SAMS, depends on these motivated Americans and their willingness to put their lives on the line."
PFC Stroud is now assigned to 2nd Battalion, 508th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division and Major Stroud hopes to someday attend his younger brothers Ranger school graduation.
Major Stroud summed up the week saying, "It was a great experience and in my opinion, an excellent example of good leadership with a broad vision of what is important."