OTF Soldier Story for March 30, 2009 - Staff Sgt. Anthony Ocampo
Current Unit: 351st Civil Affairs Command
Current Position: Team Sergeant
Component: Army Reserve
Current Location: Mountain View, Calif.
Hometown: Fairfield, Calif.
Years of Service: 16
Staff Sgt. Anthony Ocampo has always valued his family’s heritage and legacy. So when he graduated from California State University Sacramento nearly 25 years ago, he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and join the military. While proud of their combined service as a family, Staff Sgt. Ocampo and Lt. Col. (Ret.) Antonio Ocampo (Air Force) jokingly tease each other about their individual choice of services.
Ocampo is proud not only of his family’s military legacy, but also its cultural heritage. With a father of Hispanic descent and a Japanese mother, he enjoyed diverse influences throughout his childhood. He believes growing up with a wealth of cultural references has equipped him to better understand racial barriers and to connect with local citizens in the countries he has deployed to. As a newlywed, Ocampo is currently embracing yet another culture in his family. He and his new wife, Teuta, an Albanian interpreter for the Army, met while he was deployed to Kosovo.
Unlike his father, who served consecutively for close to three decades, Ocampo left the Army after serving for eight years to pursue a career in the petroleum industry. However, following the events of September 11th, he felt an overwhelming compulsion to serve again and reenlisted with the Army Reserve. At that time, Ocampo was well-established in his civilian career as a petroleum logistics and management expert. Since reenlisting with the 351st Civil Affairs Command, Ocampo continues to balance his duties as a civilian and Soldier. He has completed two deployments in support of operations in Kosovo and Afghanistan in addition to being promoted to Operations Manager in his civilian job.
During his most recent deployment to Qalat, Afghanistan, Ocampo served as the Noncommissioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC) for the Provincial Reconstruction Team. When his Sergeant 1st Class NCOIC fell ill, Ocampo assumed his responsibilities, which included commanding numerous ground assault convoys, mentoring junior officers, overseeing the distribution of over 70 tons of humanitarian aid, facilitating dozens of medical outreach programs and making initial infrastructure assessments. For his exemplary leadership in bringing all of the Soldiers in his command home safely and for never turning down a mission during his year-long tour, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal.
Ocampo and his wife, who is expecting their first child, currently reside in Mountain View, Calif. She is teaching him to speak the Albanian language.