Faces From the Front for May 2, 2011 - Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth Doyle
Current Unit: Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 359th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade
Current Position: Senior Telecommunications Noncommissioned Officer
Current Location: Afghanistan
Hometown: Barrington, N.H.
Years of Service: 21
Current technology and innovative communication capabilities are essential for success in Afghanistan and Iraq. Without the proper equipment, Soldiers would have difficulties synchronizing their actions, carrying out their mission effectively and communicating with their loved ones.
Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth Doyle, a senior telecommunications noncommissioned officer with the 359th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade in Afghanistan, is part of the team that ensures war-fighters in combat have the necessary communication resources to accomplish their mission.
“We are responsible for the planning, acquisition, distribution and service for all telecommunications assets in Afghanistan, everything from satellite links to telephones and computers,” Doyle said.
Unlike most Soldiers in the brigade, Doyle’s decision to join the fight in Afghanistan represents a second chance at an Army career that ended over a decade ago. Although retired and well into another career, the Soldier decided to answer the call to duty for a second time after hearing from his past supervisor.
“In December 2009, I got an email from a former supervisor asking if I knew any telecommunications operations chiefs who wanted to go to Afghanistan. I was still in the telecom business and my job skills were current, I didn’t hesitate to say yes,” Doyle said.
For the past 20 years, Doyle put the skills he learned in the Army to good use as he led a team of data analysts for FairPoint Communications, a small communications company in Barrington, N.H. Now his situation is reversed. Doyle is going back to the Army to apply the skills he obtained over the span of his civilian career to his work in Afghanistan.
“I think part of the reason I was able to return to active duty is the fact that my job skills translate directly between the two worlds,” Doyle explained.
Making a smooth transition back into Army life, Doyle has enjoyed returning to active duty.
“Returning to active duty and seeing the changes in the Army, it’s Soldiers and equipment has been the best experience,” Doyle said. “This is probably one of the best jobs I’ve ever had because my responsibilities are a mixture of technical and administrative.”
For the most part, Doyle’s deployment experience is living up to his expectations.
“What has surprised me the most is the friendliness of the few Afghans I have met. They are 100 percent behind the NATO mission here, to provide a better Afghanistan where their children can grow up and be educated in a free country,” he said.
As his time in Afghanistan winds down, Doyle said he’s not ready to give up life as a Soldier and plans to continue serving his country.
“I have applied and been accepted for another year of active duty, with the U.S. Central Command in Florida. If the Army has orders for me when I land in Georgia, I will continue on active duty for another year. If not, I will head home with the hope of getting in some late season spring skiing.”
Doyle looks forward to rejoining his wife, who awaits his return at their home in Barrington, N.H.