CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait, - Rochester native with the Indiana National Guard's 38th Infantry Division assists in managing approximately 11,000 U.S. service members supporting Task Force Spartan in the Middle East.

Maj. Dan Taylor, the division's deputy personnel officer, along with approximately 600 Cyclone Division Soldiers, departed the Hoosier State in May to deploy to the Middle East to support Task Force Spartan, which helps strengthen defense relationships, build partner capacity and deter aggression in the region.

"The National Guard has also allowed me to meet interesting people and go to different places," said Taylor, who joined the military in 1995. "Our missions, whether at home or abroad, have far-reaching impacts."

Taylor first joined the active-duty Army as a light wheel vehicle mechanic.

"Enlisting provided me with a trade and a lot of personal development," said Taylor. "My time on active duty gave me the confidence needed to attend college. In 2001, I decided to get out of the Army to attend college."

Taylor earned his undergraduate degree in business and human resource management from Indiana University Kokomo, his master's in business administration from Purdue Fort Wayne and his graduate in human resources and employment relations from Penn State University.

"Once I finished grad school in 2006, I decided to join the National Guard to continue to serve," said Taylor. "I was fortunate to branch adjutant general corps, which aligned with my civilian goals."

Adjutant general corps soldiers focus on personnel, human resources and strength management for the U.S. Army.

"Through the National Guard, I was able to be formally trained in human resources, which eventually helped me secure a civilian HR role," said Taylor. "Since then, my Army HR training has augmented my development as an HR professional."

When not serving in the Army National Guard, Taylor works as a benefits representative at Allison Transmission in Speedway.

While the Army training helped Taylor procure his civilian job, he said he also sees other altruistic benefits to being in the military and serving in the National Guard.

"It is important for me to be part of something bigger than just myself," said Taylor. "I am privileged to be able to serve both the state and the country. My family and my work are both very supportive of my service."

Taylor commissioned in 2008 through Indiana's officer candidate school at Camp Atterbury, and he previously deployed to Afghanistan with the division from 2009 to 2010.