Preparation pays off: a sit-down with 210th's KATUSA of the Quarter
Sgt. Oh Young-ho, the senior KATUSA in the 580th Forward Support Company, 1st Battalion, 38th Field Artillery Regiment, briefs his fellow KATUSA soldiers on upcoming missions. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Kim Han-byeol, 210th Fires Brigade Public Affairs Specialist/Released).

Sgt. Oh Young-ho, who hails from Daegu, South Korea, is a poster child for preparation. Recently named the 210th Fires Brigade Korean Augmentation to the U.S. Army Soldier of the Quarter, he exemplifies the traits that earned him the honor.

For one thing, he spent three months preparing for this competition.

"I rehearsed the board [competition] with other NCOs in the company. We studied together," said Oh, assigned to 580th Forward Support Company, 1st Battalion, 38th Field Artillery Regiment, 210th Fires Bde.

He added that the board was a valuable experience for a KATUSA.

"During preparation and the board itself, I was proud of being a KATUSA," said Oh, the senior KATUSA supervisor in his company. "I hope other KATUSAs participate in this board, have good results and feel the same pride that I'm feeling right now."

Oh, doesn't slow down while off-duty, either. He likes music, so he enjoys his free time playing piano, guitar and the jembe -- a goblet drum played with bare hands.

"Jembe is not a popular musical instrument, but when I saw street musicians playing [it], I thought it was interesting," said Oh. "After that, I played jembe in my spare time."

He didn't exempt himself from studying. When he was young, he started to study diligently after meeting a mentor.

"My father was a teacher, and I met one of his students," said Oh. "He became my mentor, and we visited Seoul together, and visited some universities. From then, I became motivated and started to study hard."

Oh's effort paid off when he was admitted to the prestigious Seoul National University, where he chose to study agricultural economics and rural development. Not letting music fall by the wayside, he also began playing the keyboard in a band composed of friends and fellow students; and he organized the acoustic band at Seoul National University.

Joining the Republic of Korea Army in May 2011, Oh said a big change was his improved health.

"I created an athletic club called 'Spark' in my company," he said. "I work out steadily with other Soldiers and that helps my health improve."

After his military service, Oh plans to return to Seoul National University, begin classes in business administration to broaden his career options and perform in his band. After he graduates, he wants to work at an investment bank on Wall Street -- and he expects his experience in the U.S. Army will aid him.

"In the Army, I have met a variety of people," said Oh. "I learned how to communicate and hang out with different people. This will help when I go back to the university and when I get my job, because I learned how to get along with many people."

Page last updated Mon January 7th, 2013 at 00:00