By Galen Putnam, Army Sustainment Command Public AffairsJanuary 30, 2018
Hometown: Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea. About 10 miles northwest of Seoul.
Duty Position: Supply Clerk
Duty Station/Section: Central Issue Facility, Logistics Readiness Center-Yongsan, Yongsan Garrison, Seoul, Republic of Korea
How long have you been in this position? 12 months
How long have you been a KATUSA (Korean Augmentation to the United States Army)? 13 months as a KATUSA and 14 months being in the ROK (Republic of Korea) Army
Tell us about your job and what you do: My main job at the CIF is to arrange schedules for issues and turn-ins of TA-50 and JSLIST (NBC protection) gear for Soldiers and civilians in Emergency Essential positions when they arrive or leave their units in the Area II of the Korean Peninsula.
I also provide information on the availability of items for direct exchange such as weather gear for Soldiers in need of such items. An emphasis over the past couple of months has been to provide guidance on how to get the newly introduced Multi-Purpose Personal Hydration System issued to unit logistics personnel and supply rooms.
Additionally, I also maintain the efficiency of the facility by tracking pre-packed items that were not picked up at the right time and returning them to the warehouse.
What is the best part of your job? The best part of my job is that I can meet all different kinds of people coming from different kinds of units and people with different ranks from private to generals. Moreover, I am one of the first KATUSAs that the U.S. Soldiers encounter when they first arrive in Korea because the CIF is one of the first places people visit as soon as they arrive in Korea.
Also, I can learn what different units do by talking with Soldiers from units such as a medical brigade or maintenance company. And I enjoy introducing Soldiers who visit Korea for the first time what they can do in Seoul or elsewhere in the country.
What is your current assignment? I am temporarily assigned to the Yongpyeong Alpine Center, where the alpine giant slalom and slalom skiing events will be taking place at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February. I will be supervising a team of about 30 volunteers managing spectator traffic in the Pedestrian Screening Area.
How did you get this assignment? The Republic of Korea Department of Defense and the 8th U.S. Army ROK Army Support Group, gathered a group of KATUSAs to support the Winter Olympics utilizing our linguistic skills.
Bart Rigg, director, LRC-Yongsan, 403rd Army Field Support Brigade, and his deputy, George Carlson, recommended me to the ROK Army Support Group. After going through the selection process, including comparing language scores, I made it to the final group who were then selected by drawing.
How does it feel to have been selected? I am excited to have the special opportunity participate such a great event. And most importantly, I was happy to have an extraordinary opportunity during the period of my mandatory military service. On the other hand, I was also concerned of my regular duties at the CIF. However, my manager, Clarence Conner was very supportive and assured me that I could leave the office with no worries.
Most people don't know ____ about me: I enjoy working out. Cardio is not my favorite exercise so I dislike running or playing soccer or basketball, but I learned that I like to lift weights and make my body fit after I joined the Army and started doing PT at the gym with my fellow Soldiers.
What do you like to do in your spare time? I study mathematics after going back to my barracks room in the afternoon and I also enjoy reading books. I am currently reading the book "The Courage to Act" by the former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, Ben Bernanke.
I also enjoy watching movies and TV series too. I am currently into the Netflix series called "Narcos." I really love those kind of movies and TV shows.
What is your personal philosophy? My personal philosophy is that perseverance and effort is the main source of the power that makes things happen and make myself a better person. So I like the saying of General Patton, "a pint of sweat saves a gallon of blood," which I think can be applied not only to the military, but also to any fields in the sense that if you put your effort on preparing for something you will face in the future, you can get through the severe circumstances.
Where do you study? I study at Yonsei University in Seoul.
What are you studying? I am studying economics and mathematics.
What are your plans for the future? I plan to study economics further at graduate school in the United States to become an economist. And I hope I could find a place that I can contribute to the world economy as much as I can.