Meet Your Army: Marvin Key, a proud, well-traveled transporter with 597th Trans. Bde.

By Zack Shelby, 597 Transportation BrigadeNovember 10, 2016

Meet Your Army: Marvin Key, a proud, well-traveled transporter with 597th Trans. Bde.
(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Marvin Key is a traffic management specialist supervisor with the 597th Transportation Brigade and the mission of working with transportation is something he holds in high regard.

"You can't fight until you move," Key said. "Transportation has to move you so you can fight. The Transportation Corps moves all of the Army's pieces."

However, Key was already doing a lot of moving around prior to becoming a transporter. He joined the Army as an indirect infantryman in 1977 and was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He later became an airborne instructor at Fort Benning, Georgia, and served as a weapons gunnery maintenance infantry school instructor.

"I enjoyed the infantry," Key said.

He also served in Germany and PCS'd (Permanent Change of Station) to Italy six times as a Soldier and once as a civilian -- mamma mia!

"I spent the majority of my time overseas," Key said. "I enjoyed being overseas."

He said he enjoyed all five of his deployments, which included serving as both an infantryman and a transporter.

Key, who served 22 years, doesn't make a distinction between his time as an infantryman and a transporter.

"To me it's all the same," Key said. "I like being a transporter because it's like working on a puzzle. You have to get the pieces to fit. As an infantryman, you push forward, backward, to the left or right, and that's it."

Key has only been on board with the 597th for about 45 days so learn a little more about his background below.

Q: Where were you born, and where did you grow up?

A: I was born and grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. I spent my summers in a place called Hawkinsville, Georgia.

Q: What inspired you to join the Army?

A: I joined the Army because of my uncles and cousins, including some that served in Vietnam. They were airborne (82nd at Fort Bragg and 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky) and I was always impressed by those guys. I wanted to jump out of planes just like they did.

Q: What was important to you as an NCO?

A: As an infantryman and as a transporter, I always gave it 200 percent. If you don't take charge as an NCO, and something goes bad, it's your fault. I believe in taking charge and making sure everyone is successful.

Q: What do you consider to be your greatest personal achievement?

A: My four kids and my wife, Sonia. I have two sons (Nicholas, 19, and Fabian, 3) and two daughters (Viola, 10, Diana, 6). It makes me happy to see them grow. All four of my kids were born in Italy and my wife is Italian.

Q: What is your favorite song or artist that if you were alone, you might get caught singing along?

A: I don't really sing songs, but when I hear certain songs, such as Michael Jackson's "Off the Wall," it motivates me. I remember when I was at Fort Bragg that was our song for a group of us in the mortar platoon. Whenever we were doing something, we'd play that song and get motivated and end up doing more work because we were listening to the song.

Q: What hobbies do you enjoy when you are not at work?

A: I used to teach the motorcycle safety course in Italy so one of my hobbies was riding motorcycles although my wife has cut me down on how much I ride. I went from riding a Ducati, which was a very fast motorcycle to a Harley Davidson. I tell kids to be safe, but it's fun riding a motorcycle.

Q: What's something people might not know about you?

A: I'm the type of person that loves to joke around. I like having fun, smiling, and helping people. I think we need to get back to gentleman being gentlemen.