CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Spc. Garrett Radintz, a motor transport operator with Company F, 334th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Iowa Army National Guard (IANG), feels at home behind the wheel. He maneuvered his vehicle with confidence through Camp Ripley Training Center in Minnesota to resupply ammunition for Soldiers at a 21-day eXportable Combat Training Capability (XCTC) rotation. XCTC is a brigade field training exercise designed to certify platoon proficiency in coordination with First Army.
As a motor transport operator with the IANG, Radintz is provided the opportunity to perform his military occupational specialty for his civilian occupation in his hometown of Albert City, Iowa.
"I'm grateful to the military for the opportunity and making it easier for me to get my [commercial driver's license]," said Radintz. "It was the military that wanted me to pursue the truck driving career. So, being a civilian truck driver was the next step."
Radintz drives for Radintz Farm LLC, owned and operated by him and his father, Jay Radintz. He hauls turkeys and grain from the farm to the market, balancing his time between the National Guard and the family business.
When he's not hauling turkeys, Radintz drives the M1120A Load Handling System vehicle (LHS). Radintz uses the vehicle's crane system to load flat racks onto the back of the vehicle. He then uses ratchet straps to secure ammunition and safely transports the load. The LHS is used to haul necessary supplies such as food and ammunition to Soldiers in the field.
"This year we're actually starting what they call [Ammunitions Handling Area]," said Radintz. "We're storing ammunition right where we set our main camp. For us, it's made life a lot easier. We don't have to go to the [ammo supply point] and draw ammo right away."
Radintz's six-year enlistment with the IANG will come to an end at the end of this year.
"I haven't decided if I'll reenlist yet or not," said Radintz. "The hardest part about leaving would be leaving the group of guys that turned into a real big family."