Continuing the Legacy: Former Korean Service Corps Battalion Commander Emphasizes Making a Difference in the ROK-U.S. Alliance

By Javon Starnes, 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command public affairs officerJune 14, 2023

Continuing the legacy
Lt. Col. Nunez and Mrs. Nunez during an alliance building ceremony in the Republic of Korea. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

DAEGU, Republic of Korea – The eerie silence following a barrage of artillery was only broken by level heads in the heat of battle. Blood stained faces painted with earthen residue added to the thankful, yet broken spirits of opposing forces. The once dreadful battleground traded deaths for diplomacy – and a pen for a pistol.

As we turn through the pages of time, we find ourselves on the seventieth chapter: The Signing of the Korean War Armistice. Soul-piercing illustrations of brave warriors paint the pages of a book, shelved in the memories of veterans. As the Republic of Korea and the United States pay homage to those who fought and sacrificed, we celebrate the long-lasting commitment to the ROK-U.S. alliance, which emerged stronger from the trials of war.

The ROK-U.S. alliance, forged in the crucible of war, has since grown into a steadfast bond of mutual respect and the pursuit of common goals. Recently, Lt. Col Alejandro Nunez, former commander of the Korean Service Corps (KSC) battalion, shared his perspective on the importance of maintaining strong relationships with the Republic of Korea, leadership, and "Making a difference." His words resonate with the spirit of camaraderie and unity that define the ROK-U.S. alliance.

Lt. Col. Nunez, former KSC battalion commander displays the Korean Service Corps coin as a token of appreciation.
Lt. Col. Nunez, former KSC battalion commander displays the Korean Service Corps coin as a token of appreciation. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

"I remember, as battalion commander of the Korean Service Corps, we contributed to the Army's mission of making a difference in deep and pragmatic ways from the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) to Busan," Nunez emphasized. The Korean Service Corps, composed of dedicated local nationals and part of the United States Forces Korea (USFK) as U.S. Army employees play a vital role in enhancing the interoperability and effectiveness of the alliance,” he added.

KSC company representation
KSC company representation (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Spread across the peninsula, the 18 KSC companies, overseen by Nunez, play a vital role in the ROK-U.S. alliance. Additionally, collaboration with various units and agencies were a daily occurrence for Nunez and his battalion.

Interoperability (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

"KSC Corps members serve as interpreters to key leaders at USFK, Combined Forces Command (CFC), and Eighth Army. The KSC’s 7th Company is filled with Heavy Equipment Transporters and traverses the peninsula safely and constantly to ensure the 2nd Infantry Division trains like it fights. This includes ranges and training areas in Area I. The KSC Ambulance drivers in all areas ensure the fastest support to points of injury (POIs) and seamless patient transfer to Republic of Korea hospitals,” Nunez highlighted. “KSC Hot Refuelers at Camp Stanley and Camp Humphreys enable the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) to fly and train on a daily basis; KSC planners, interpreters, and carpenters support the Joint Security Area battalion. In short, the KSC provides direct support in armistice throughout USFK to make certain the Alliance is ready,” he explained.

In addition to collaborative efforts – unit cohesion and mission success are key priorities for each company.

"Although skillsets range widely from linguists to painters, to planners, to rescue divers, to bus drivers – we foster a sense of camaraderie and teamwork within the KSC by reminding them of their rich history to promote strong unit cohesion and ensure mission success," said Nunez.

These attributes enable the KSC battalion to lead with efficiency and build a winning team that can stand the test of time. A team that is always ready to “Fight Tonight!”

Aligning the battalion's training and readiness efforts with the larger strategic goals of the Army in South Korea is a top priority for Nunez.

"I ensure the KSC’s training and readiness efforts align with the larger strategic goals of the Army in South Korea by always keeping sight of USFK, Eighth Army, and 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command’s (ESC) top priority in Korea: to be ready to win the fight tonight. Everything we do in training and posture has to be tied to that end," Nunez explained.

Kimchi Making class
Making Kimchi can be fun, but it tastes even better. Here Lt. Col. Nunez practices the art of Kimchi making with local members of the community. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Nunez's dedication to making a difference extends beyond his primary responsibilities. "I personally strive to make a difference in the lives of my Corpsmembers and the local community in the Republic of Korea beyond my primary military responsibilities by giving back to the community through community service," he stated. Every KSC company participates in the USFK Good Neighbor Program, engaging in activities such as visiting the elderly, providing food for the malnourished and poor, assisting orphans, and environmental conservation efforts.

                               Opportunities to contribute within the community
Opportunities to contribute within the community (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

During his change of command speech, held on June 13,  Nunez ensured to share guiding words of wisdom to Lt. Col. Jung S. Soh, incoming KSC battalion commander and the host of attendees.

Lt. Col. Nunez change of command speech
Lt. Col. Nunez, outgoing KSC battalion commander, speaks to attendees during his change of command ceremony held June 13 on Camp Humphreys, Republic of Korea. (Photo Credit: KSC battalion) VIEW ORIGINAL

“The main reason we are here today, at this date – at this hour, is to ensure the readiness of the ROK-U.S. alliance. Our overall purpose is the defense of two nations – the Republic of Korea and the United States of America,” he stated.

Nunez has served honorably as an inspiration, embodying the values of selfless service, sacrifice, and fostering strong relationships between the United States and the Republic of Korea. His humble approach to challenges and energetic style has made the KSC battalion stand out as true professionals within the 19th ESC.

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