Faces From the Front for June 1, 2009 - Sgt. Ryan Kindhart
Current Unit: 46th Engineer Combat Battalion (Heavy)
Current Position: Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Noncommissioned Officer
Component: Active Army
Current Location: Camp Liberty, Iraq
Hometown: Iowa City, Iowa
Years of Service: 6
As the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Noncommissioned Officer (CBRN NCO) for the 46th Engineer Combat Battalion (Heavy) at Camp Liberty, Iraq, Sgt. Ryan Kindhart is responsible for maintaining the protective gear that Soldiers use in response to chemical attacks. A highly technical position, the CBRN NCO undergoes extensive training and education on a variety of fronts, and is expected to play the roles of expert, leader and trainer in the areas of avoidance, protection and decontamination.
Now on his third deployment in his six-year career with the Army, the Iowa City native believes that knowledge is one of his greatest weapons. Kindhart believes his strength and readiness as a Soldier are directly reliant on continuing to learn everything he can from those around him.
"Even though I’m the CBRN NCO, I'm always willing to jump in and learn from the other Soldiers in the company," Kindhart said. "I've assisted the maintenance/wrecker support team with fixing vehicles during Company Security Team missions, and I’ve pulled electrical wire to help out the electricians on one mission."
Always looking for new challenges, Kindhart has pushed himself throughout his Army career to take on whatever assignment he has been handed with vigor and learn every lesson he could.
"When we're out on convoys, if something happens to someone, I can jump in and do his job," Kindhart said of the importance of learning more than just the required skills. "It also helps me to teach my Soldiers information. Soldiers look up to NCOs that have a broader range of skills and knowledge is power."
On his first two deployments to Iraq, Kindhart served with the infantry. He participated in the largest combat jump since the Vietnam War with the 173rd Airborne Brigade. On his second tour, he served as a scout sniper. Each skill has added to his expertise and leadership roles, and now on his third deployment, Kindhart serves as a member of the Company Security Team, also performing duties as the Company Commander's driver/gunner.
As a result of his performance as a leader and expert in his area of specialty, Kindhart was recently promoted into the Army’s Noncommissioned Officer Corps as a sergeant. It is a proud moment for a Soldier whose family has a strong tradition of service. Kindhart’s wife is also a CBRN expert. His father-in-law, mother-in-law and grandfather have also all served in the military.
Kindhart is slated to return from his deployment in the late summer.