History repeats: Son follows father's footsteps into Army service

By Staff Sgt. Neysa CanfieldJune 7, 2018

History repeats: Son follows father's footsteps
Pfc. Trenton Kreuger, an infantryman assigned to Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, poses for photo in Kandahar, Afghanistan, June 1, 2018. Kreuger is in the same battalion a... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- Like many infantrymen, he conducts route clearance, provides security, and acts as part of the quick reaction force.

Assigned to Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment "Lethal Warriors," 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Pfc. Trenton Kreuger is unlike many of his peers, as his last name was already part of the Lethal Warrior Battalion's history, even before his arrival to the unit.

"My father [Michael Krueger] was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment as an infantryman," said the Wheeling, West Virginia native. "Being in the same battalion as my father feels like it has a deep meaning; it honestly feels like I was destined to be assigned (to this unit)."

"The (2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment) can only be described as top notch," said Michael, who spent his entire six years of service as a Lethal Warrior. "It's pretty surreal to know that my son is now a Lethal Warrior, but I couldn't be prouder as a father to know he is in a great unit."

During his time with the battalion, Michael served one tour to Iraq in 2005 and one to Afghanistan in 2010 as a sergeant and squad leader.

Both father and son serving in Afghanistan is testament that a generation has passed since the NATO mission started here in 2001. While Michael said he remembers assisting in the development of infrastructure and providing a leadership role during engagements with the Afghanistan National Army, the country has changed significantly in the past generation.

The World Bank reports that since 2010 Afghan's access to drinking water has increased from 46 percent to 65 percent, life expectancy has increased from an average of 60 to 63 years, and literacy has grown from 31 percent to 38 percent.

Now eight years later, Kreuger is witnessing a slightly different Afghanistan than his father.

As part of Train Advise and Assist Command-South, which is composed of Soldiers from the 40th Infantry Division, California National Guard and 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Kreuger's battalion is part of the "assist" portion of counter-terrorism operations.

Aside from the country's economic change, the ANA has also experienced growth since Michael's tour. In early 2010, the ANA was composed of approximately 130,000 soldiers, which has now expanded to almost 195,000.

"We are here to help train and assist the ANA in order to help the country of Afghanistan keep their people safe and get full control of country," said Kreuger. "I love my job and a lot of my motivation comes from wanting to continue making my family proud."

Although Kreuger has just started his military career, he said he plans to reenlist, attain the rank of sergeant, and eventually attend the U.S Army Ranger School.

"My plan is to do everything I can to be as good of a Soldier [as] my father was," said Kreuger. "I don't believe in quitting because my dad and (grandfather) were infantrymen and I want to show them what their son and grandson is capable of doing."