February 7, 2013
Many Soldiers accept jobs in the military that have nothing to do with their former civilian careers.
However, Sgt. Kenneth Gaunt, a native of Colorado Springs, Colo., knew exactly what he had to offer when he enlisted.
"Before joining the Army, I was a certified welder in the civilian sector," said Gaunt, a wheel vehicle mechanic who fills in as an allied trade specialist and machinist for Bravo Field Maintenance Company, 70th Brigade Support Battalion, 210th Fires Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.
According to Gaunt, a skilled machinist can fix anything from a small door latch on a wheeled vehicle to a giant hole in a tank.
Uniquely, Gaunt got his job the way most civilians do -- an interview. He sat down with the chief warrant officer in his section and outlined his experience and qualifications. There was no contest.
Gaunt operates, among other tools, a plasma cutting torch -- a tool that can cut through metal almost an inch thick. His schedule varies widely, but Gaunt operates on a number of projects monthly. He works on everything from repairing multiple launch rocket systems to creating static structures.
"It depends on what's broken and what [the] brigade needs fixed," he said.
The best part about Gaunt's job, according to him, is that he gets to work with his hands the majority of the time and he gets to build and create things.
He has been doing the job, on and off, since he was 15 years old.
"It's not something you can just pick up and learn; it takes time and effort to be able to get the calibrations down on each piece of welding equipment," said Gaunt. "Then, [to] take that knowledge and … perform the job successfully."