NCO: The Army and I go hand in hand
May 19, 2011
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- For Sgt. Jason McKeough, the question was not if he would serve in the military, but what branch he would choose.
"My family has a long history of military service," McKeough said. "It was natural for me. I think it was almost expected of me to (enlist)."
Initially, McKeough planned to join the Marines, but after college, he decided to enlist in the Army - a decision he said he doesn't regret.
"For me, the Army and I go hand in hand," he said. "The kind of lifestyle that I want to live is the lifestyle the Army offers."
The Michigan native said he likes the variety, education and travel opportunities the Army offers. Throughout his time in the service, he has been deployed to Iraq, stationed in Alaska and on a training mission in India. He said his experiences in Iraq and India have increased his appreciation for living in the United States.
McKeough said that among the Army values, "duty" is the one he treasures most.
"Duty is most important to me," he said. "Once you realize that it's your duty to live up to Army values, the rest of them fall in place."
He said it was his sense of duty that led him to lose more than 80 pounds in 2007.
"I couldn't get promoted. I was an E3 and couldn't advance to E4," he said. "I was good at my job. I knew I was stellar at what I was doing as a (human resource specialist), but I could not pass the PT test. ... I knew that if I was going to be some kind of leader or get some kind of rank I had to lose weight. And I did."
Nowadays, he said, physical fitness and healthful eating habits are extremely important to him.
McKeough has served as the personnel noncommissioned officer in charge for the 2nd Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment for five months. He oversees a team of four junior enlisted Soldiers that deals with administrative actions for 1,200 Soldiers in Basic Combat Training and 200 cadre members. In addition to maintaining his regular job, he has also helped the battalion organize family days, graduation events and a military ball.
As an NCO, he said he is most proud of being there for his Soldiers.
"If I go home saying, 'I helped that Soldier ... . I was there step by step, all the way and he was able to overcome (a problem) or accomplish that mission,' then I can say, 'I did my job today,'" he said.
Sgt. Jason McKeough
2nd Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment
Military occupational specialty
42A/Human resource specialist
Years in service
Spending time with family, running, working out, eating, playing video games