By Randall BaucomJuly 7, 2017
FORT HUACHUCA, Arizona -- In mid-2015 Spc. Andrew Duncan was looking for a new challenge. Serving in the 82nd Airborne Division as a 11B Infantryman, Duncan had met most of his objectives that led to him wanting to join the Army.
"I had earned the Airborne Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge and the South African Airborne Wings…so I decided I would ETS [End Term of Service] and do something different in the civilian world," Duncan said. "After a year or so as a civilian in Valparaiso, Indiana, I missed the gratification I felt when I was a Soldier."
Duncan said his decision to return to service solidified when his wife, 2nd Lt. Melanie Duncan, was accepted into Officer Candidate School.
"When I got out, my wife decided she wanted to see if she would be accepted into OCS," he said. "When she was accepted and graduated, I knew that I wanted to get back in."
Since Duncan had already completed Basic Training at Fort Benning in 2012, and had not been out of service that long, he was able to go straight to Advanced Individual Training to be a 35G Geospatial Intelligence Imagery Analyst. On June 28, he was recognized as the Honor Graduate from the 35G Course (Class 17-007) during a graduation ceremony at Fort Huachuca.
The Geospatial Intelligence Imagery Analyst Course is just under six months long and is divided into multiple phases. Each phase builds in complexity as Soldiers learn the basics of tactical identification, learn critical thinking, work with complicated imagery, and start to develop briefings and learn what tactical information has value to the commander. The course culminates with a week-long simulated combat exercise where they practice all of the techniques and instruction they received throughout the course. Upon successful completion of the course the Soldiers can qualify for 34 credit hours from Cochise College which make up the bulk of the credits needed to obtain an Associate's Degree in intelligence analysis.
Duncan credits has instructors and fellow classmates for his successful completion of the 35G course and his selection as the course Honor Graduate.
"Here at the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, I received the best instruction I have ever had inside and outside the Army…it really motivated me to do my best," he said. "I am glad I chose this MOS [Military Occupational Specialty] and look forward to what lies ahead."
Duncan will leave Fort Huachuca and head to Fort Bliss to join his wife who just completed the Military Police Basic Officer Leadership Course at Fort Lenard Wood, Missouri.