OTF Soldier Story for June 20, 2011 - Capt. Roderick Vinson
Current Unit: 359th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade
Current Position: Project Manager
Component: Army Reserve
Current Location: Charlotte, N.C.
Hometown: Augusta, Ga.
Years of Service: 23
Capt. Roderick Vinson wears many hats as a Soldier in the Army Reserve, a devoted husband and father of young twins, and a dedicated community member. Yet regardless of his role, Vinson brings the same core values of leadership and excellence to his work–both on and off the battlefield.
During his deployment to Afghanistan last year, Vinson served with the 359th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade and worked with the Joint Network Operations Control Center, the central hub of all communications in Afghanistan. Especially overseas, it is crucial that Soldiers have the right information at the right time in order to complete missions and outmaneuver the enemy. This critical task falls to Soldiers such as Vinson, who ensure that data, equipment and personnel are constantly delivered to the right locations.
As project manager, Vinson was responsible for the supply, maintenance and transportation of personnel and equipment, a role which required ongoing communication with other military personnel. When it came to this task, time was of the essence and Vinson and his comrades took it upon themselves to make operations as efficient as possible. Over the course of his deployment, he was able to help streamline efforts and reduce the transfer of equipment from three weeks to three days—further enabling the Army’s success in Afghanistan.
This achievement was incredibly rewarding for Vinson, yet being apart from his family was a challenge. His wife gave birth to premature twin boys in 2006 while he was deployed to Iraq, and although, his sons are now four years old and show no signs of earlier complications, their health and wellbeing is always on his mind.
“My boys benefited from the advances in technology in treating premature babies, largely thanks to the efforts of the March of Dimes,” he said.
The stress of his absence and the inability to monitor his sons as they grew and developed motivated Vinson to act on behalf of the organization that saved their lives. While overseas last year, he organized a five-kilometer race, and along with other Soldiers and together, they raised nearly $1,000 for the organization. Vinson plans to continue to support the March of Dimes in the future by organizing similar events, whether stateside or deployed.
The Soldier is also passionate about helping to support other families while their loved ones are deployed.
“We couldn’t do our jobs without the support of our family, our loved ones and our friends,” Vinson said. “If we are going to fight for our country, we should take advantage of the help that is offered.”
Having returned stateside in early April, Vinson is now home in Charlotte, N.C., where he is dedicated to making up for lost time with his family. He currently works as an operations supervisor for a transportation and logistics company and hopes to eventually return to the classroom to earn a master’s degree in project management.