Rank, name
Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Dudzienski

Company D,
1st Battalion, 61st Infantry Regiment

Military Occupational
Specialty / Job title
42R, band member / drill sergeant

Years in service

Married, three children

Highest education
Associate degree

Reading nonfiction and contemporary fiction, running half-marathons and marathons, watching baseball

FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Dudzienski has played music since he was a fifth-grader, and now after eight years of being a percussionist in the Army, he will take on a new role in civil affairs in January.

"With this new classification, I am very excited about this new challenge," Dudzienski said.

In his new career, Dudzienski said he will be part of a team of Soldiers who work to secure a positive relationship between the Army and the local community, which will be affected by a mission of the Army.

"A big goal for me is to embrace that," he said.

Dudzienski said he treasures his time as an Army bandsman. His most memorable military experience comes from entertaining others with music.

About two years ago, Dudzienski was deployed to Afghanistan as a member of Fort Bragg's 82nd Airborne Division band. The band played for NATO Soldiers there.
"We gave them a break from their ordinary routine as Soldiers. It was an awesome experience," he said.

Before being assigned to Fort Bragg, N.C, Dudzienski had assignments at Fort Benning, Ga.; the Armed Forces School of Music, Norfolk, Va.; and Fort Sill, Okla.
He said NCOs he met and observed along the way helped him become the leader he is today - they influenced him most as a Soldier.

"They were always prepared ... and had a desire to make the mission succeed while empowering people," he said.

Moreover, Dudzienski said he admires how the NCOs were able to reset and stay motivated through extended training missions.
Dudzienski encourages junior Soldiers to pay close attention to their NCOs.

"Take advantage of the NCOs that you see (who) can inspire you, and (who) can be a good mentor."

We salute you!