U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Cedrick Westley, a Cleveland, Mississippi native and electronic warfare senior noncommissioned officer with 1-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord Wash., takes a quick break for a photo while aiding his Soldiers' transition back into garrison life after returning from the National Training Center, Feb. 15, 2022. Along with his Soldiers, Westley recently returned from NTC as well – his eighteenth NTC rotation in his eighteen-year Army career.
“What NTC does is help focus Soldiers for their upcoming mission,” Westley said. “When something goes wrong at NTC, it allows you to home in on deficiencies so you are prepared for anything in the future.”
Westley started out his career as a tanker and transitioned to electronic warfare around 2010. He uses his combat experience as a tanker to support his current profession, something that sets him apart from his peers. However, sometimes Westley does miss being in the action.
“An HHC [Headquarters and Headquarters Company] brigade NTC experience is different from my previous NTC experiences,” Westley said. “Sometimes, I’d rather be on the ground and in the fight along with my Soldiers. However, with a brigade TOC [Tactical Operations Center] you are able to see the overall fight and get the bigger picture of the causes and effects of movement on the battlefield. I am also able to help more subordinate units with our EW assets.”
Westley’s responsibilities as an electronic warfare senior NCO include deconflicting jamming and scheduling EW assets. However, Westley’s primary responsibility, and one he takes to heart, is taking care of his Soldiers. As recovery tasks begin after NTC, Westley leads the way for his team and his Soldiers. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Laurie Ellen Wash)