REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- While many members of Team Redstone hail from outside the Tennessee Valley, you will be hard pressed to find anyone who has traveled as far as Kenneth Edland.
Edland, who took over as chief of the Garrison's Plans, Analysis and Integration Office on Oct. 5, is settling into his new position after a year of big changes. With a new job, new home and a new baby, Edland looks forward to putting down roots.
"I feel like I have completed a triad," he said. "I was born in New York, raised in California and by all indications I would like to end up here."
Raised in the Silicon Valley in the days before the technology boom when it was still fields and farms, Edland as a child longed to get out and see the world. Figuring that the Army would take him beyond the confines of California, Edland enlisted and would spend a majority of his military career in the Signal Corps, traveling between assignments at Fort Hood, Texas, and three tours in Korea.
"While I was raised, I was ignorant to foreign language and customs, but when I went there in the military when I was young, it was a revelation to me," he said. "When I got there, I really dove into the culture -- I learned the history of Korea and of the war, and I learned to read and write the language. It was a fascinating journey to learn another culture."
After retiring from the Army, Edland would spend the next decade as a civilian at USAG Daegu, first working in the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security and later moving to PAIO.
"It was logical that I would return to the stomping ground that I was familiar with," Edland said.
After almost a decade in Korea, Edland started looking to the future and thinking about putting down permanent roots. Never quite considering New York or California home, he recognized in North Alabama all of the qualities that he was looking for to raise a family. He met his wife Kyonga, a concert flutist, in Daegu, and this year, they welcomed a little girl, Hannah. Hannah factored greatly into the Edlands' decision to settle in Madison, with the city's top ranked schools and close-knit community a big selling point.
In addition to new changes at home, Edland is excited about his new role at PAIO and the opportunity to be a part of Team Redstone.
"I am looking forward to becoming a Garrison team member but it takes time," he said. "I am looking forward to solidifying my role to where I can make my co-workers jobs easier and where I can contribute."
The Edlands plan to move into their new home in November and with a new baby, the holidays will be especially merry this year.
"In the Army and through the years, people asked where was home and I would not be quick to say California," Edland said. "In a sense, I have always been looking for a home. That is why this is exciting because this place facilitates my definition of what home should be."