In his senior year of high school, Kevin Kidd enrolled in the Army’s Delayed Entry Program and left for basic training five days after graduation.
“I wanted to go to college to play football, but didn’t want to burden my parents; so I looked at the Army,” said Kidd, who is now a program analyst in U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command G-8 Comptroller Division Execution Branch.
Military service was not new for Kidd’s family – his cousin was a Marine in Vietnam, great-uncles served in the Army during World War II and the Korean War and his brothers were in the Army and Air Force. Serving in the armed forces was something he kept at the back of his mind as a potential career following high school.
“My dad had a plumbing business that he was grooming me to take over since age 9, but I didn’t see myself as a plumber [for] a career,” said the Philadelphia native. “I first wanted to be a UH-60 [helicopter] pilot. As a kid, I would simulate flying a helicopter in my parents’ living room chair.”
After the Army grounded the Black Hawk fleet twice in the ‘80s, Kidd changed his mind and opted to go into the Army communication electronics field.
During the two decades in which he served, Kidd had not one, not two, not three, but four different military occupational specialties: tactical communication electronics mechanic/operator, construction vehicle mechanic, fulltime recruiter and multimedia illustrator.
On top of having multiple MOSs, Kidd was also a paratrooper and qualified in special operations support, so he served with the 82nd Airborne Division, 4th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne) and 18th Aviation Brigade (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
“While assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, [Category] 5 Hurricane Andrew hit South Florida and my airborne artillery battery was deployed to Miami to assist our fellow Americans in the recovery effort,” Kidd said. “It was heartfelt to give back to the community. We never complained about helping our fellow Americans in their time of need.”
He also had stints at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; two recruiting assignments in New York; overseas tours in Germany and Korea; a combat tour in support of Operation Just Cause in Panama and many deployments while in special operations and airborne units.
With almost “too many highlights to mention,” Kidd called his time in uniform “amazing” and singled out two things, in particular: his time in PSYOPS and being the Guerilla Force sergeant major during special forces training.
“I got to experience how special operations warfighters operate,” Kidd said. “Airborne units were the adrenaline rush of my career – jumping out of perfectly good aircraft while in flight at night with a 100-pound rucksack and [an] M-60 machine gun strapped to you. Once you are on the ground, it’s time to accomplish the mission and road march back to base – 12 miles.”
The mantra he lives by is: Adapt, overcome and get the job done! And that, he has done.
In total, Kidd had a total of 20 years and three months when he retired over 15 years ago. His older brother was an instructor on Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, and convinced him to move to Northern Alabama after he left the service.
“I first started working at a Fortune 500 company in Huntsville as a sales representative [and] doing excellent for three years,” he said. “Then the economy tanked and I lost my job.”
Kidd lived solely off his military retirement for several months while he was unemployed. He was hired as a military human resources representative in 2008 on Redstone. (For those keeping track, if he were still in the Army, that would’ve been a fifth MOS.)
Arriving at AMCOM in 2010, in true Kidd fashion, he has worked with AMCOM G-1, G-3, G-8 and AMCOM Logistics Center.
“From the time I was a private to senior [noncommissioned officer], I always believed in the accomplishment of the mission and the welfare of Soldiers – [it] was always foremost with me and it plays the same as an Army civilian and the job I do to this day,” he said.
“As a budget analyst, I know the funding support I provide for AMCOM and its customers will ensure the warfighters have what is needed to accomplish their mission and keep our country safe and secure,” Kidd said. “I was truly blessed to been given the opportunity to serve our great country and I am honored to continue serving as an Army civilian.”