10th Mountain Division officer marks 25 years of service - w/pic (Arroyo) - 86 picas
April 7, 2011
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - Twenty-five years ago, the Internet was in its infancy, the world was mourning the loss of the Challenger shuttle crew, and Eddie Murphy was singing about his girl who liked to party all the time.
Twenty-five years ago, a 10th Mountain Division (LI) officer was enlisting in the Army.
Lt. Col. Oswald C. Arroyo, officer in charge of the Combined Joint Resource Management Shop for Regional Command-South of Intelligence and Sustainment Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion celebrated his 25th anniversary in the Army by reaffirming the oath of office March 11 at the ISAF Regional Command-South headquarters.
The Philippines native joined the Army after his parents immigrated to America, and he discovered he could join the service without being an American citizen.
"I went with them for a few months and then went back to the Philippines to finish my schooling," Arroyo said. "I heard you can join the Army as an immigrant - we always thought you had to be a citizen. In the Philippines, being in the service is a big deal."
With $85, a pair of jeans, running shoes and a hygiene kit, Arroyo enlisted in the Army on March 11, 1986, as a private first class.
"Not only is Lt. Col. Arroyo a highly valued member of the 10th Mountain staff, 25 years of service is a true American success story," said Maj. Gen. James L. Terry, Regional Command-South and 10th Mountain Division (LI) commander. "Ozzie is a son of the Philippines who enlisted in the U.S. Army with the support of his young Family who reunited with him in the United States after he completed training and was assigned to his first duty station."
Saying goodbye to his Family, he shipped off to basic training at Fort Knox, Ky. He went to advanced individual training at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Ind., to become an accounting specialist.
"When I became a citizen in 1990, I applied to (Officer Candidates School), but to go to OCS you needed to have college credits. I had my schooling in the Philippines, so I had to find a way to transfer my credits," Arroyo recalled.
Twenty-five years of service is no small feat, and Arroyo said he is proud of his service.
"I've always wanted to be a Soldier, so I just kept continuing on. If the Army didn't want me, they would have told me to pack my bags and leave," he said. "Being in the Army is a lot like being a marketing major: you have to sell the Army to your Family."
At the end of the day, Arroyo said he doesn't serve for the money; he serves for his Family.
"The Army doesn't make you rich, but at the same time, it makes life comfortable for you. The Family being supported enough helps; there are a lot of good benefits that come with it," he said.