OTF Soldier Story for February 1, 2010 - Capt. Kenneth Singleton
Current Unit: 349th Combat Support Hospital
Current Position: S-4 Logistical Officer
Component: Army Reserve
Current Location: Bell, Calif.
Hometown: Lynwood, Calif.
Years of Service: 20
An Army Strong leader on the battlefield, in the workplace and at home, Capt. Kenneth Singleton is committed to being the best Soldier, boss, husband and father he can be. His ability to balance many tasks proved particularly useful during his deployment to Afghanistan last year. Drawing on his experiences as a company commander and from his civilian occupation, the Reservist was able to implement a successful training program for members of the Afghan police force.
During his deployment, the Soldier was tasked with building sustainable healthcare in Afghanistan by providing basic and extensive medical training to members of the Afghan police force. In addition, he worked to create an 11-room health clinic in the capital city of Kabul.
Oftentimes when Soldiers deploy, they don't immediately see or know the full impact of their efforts. However, while Singleton was deployed as a medical mentor, he was able to see the success of the medical training during the course of his time overseas.
"The best part was seeing the Afghan national police that I provided training to treat their own people. I knew my job had been accomplished. They could treat casualties when they suffered a blast, and they were the first to provide medical care. It wasn't us, it was them caring for their own soldiers," he said.
As a result of his successful leadership and training program, Singleton was asked to coordinate medical training procedures throughout the central region of Afghanistan, including Kabul and extending to the eastern border of Pakistan. For his meritorious service, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal.
When Singleton joined the Army more than 20 years ago, he was continuing a family tradition, following in the footsteps of his grandfathers, several uncles and many cousins.
"I knew I didn't want to go directly to college, but I wanted all the things that the Army provided, including the chance to travel and serve my country," he said.
Since then, Singleton, a self-described proponent of "lifelong learning," has received an associate degree from Compton Community College and a bachelor's degree from California State University at Long Beach. He is currently working on a master's in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.
The Reservist is the food service director and emergency disaster coordinator for the Bassett Unified School District in La Puenta, Calif.
"The leadership skills are transferable between my military and civilian careers. I pulled from my civilian skills to accomplish the mission in Afghanistan, and my time overseas made me a better employee," he said, grateful of the support his employer provided him and his family while he was deployed last year.
Singleton currently lives in Lynwood, Calif., with his wife and six children. Continuing the family legacy, three of his children have expressed a desire to follow in their father's footsteps and serve in the military, including his 16-year-old daughter who hopes to attend West Point.