Sgt. Anthony Mink, a 22-year-old infantryman with Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC), 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, is one of many young Soldiers who has demonstrated duty, honor, courage and professionalism while representing the United States of America.

Now, Mink hopes to use his experiences to help the next generation of Soldiers. Mink has served two tours in Iraq and earned the Bronze Star.

He is Ranger qualified and serves in the Army Reserves.

He also attends Georgia Military College and says he plans to teach at the U.S. Military Academy someday. Mink, who hails from Hartford, Conn., began his basic training military career in 2006 at Fort Benning.

"I joined the Army because I had a special appreciation for world military history," Mink said. "I enjoyed reading and learning about the leaders of the past whose courage, valor and victories on the battlefield brought about a change in their country's way of life. Because these leaders possessed outstanding values, made life and death decisions in the face of adversity and were loyal to a cause, I was inspired to honor them and my country with my service."

Mink, who graduated from McIntosh High School in Peachtree City in 2006, served one year in Kirkuk and Samarra, Iraq, while working with his unit to train Iraqi police and soldiers.

"We were also responsible for assisting the local government officials with efforts to improve diplomatic relationships and reduce the Al-Qaida threat," said Mink.

"Outstanding work from a superb leader, Soldier and tactician. Your work brought scouts home alive. You are going to make a great officer - a day I look forward to - take arms," wrote Capt. Jonathan Westbrook, company commander, HHC 2-35 Inf., 31 Brigade Combat Team (BCT), when he submitted his recommendation for Mink to receive the Bronze Star.

"A leader of more than 300 patrols and a leader who responded heroically at a decisive moment while conducting combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He (Mink) is an example of a strategic specialist who had a great impact on our missions," wrote Col. Walter Piatt, 31 BCT commander.

Mink said he used his faith to stay focused because he didn't want any unrelated thoughts to creep into his mind at the wrong time.

"I relied on my faith in God to help me maintain my concentration on the missions at hand," he said. Mink, who is working toward a political science degree, says his future goal is to teach at West Point.

"I would like to teach at West Point because it has been said that some people study history and West Point graduates make history," said Mink. "I want to be the kind of leader that helps to shape the history of America."

Mink said he also thinks Soldiers who are entering the Army should use the Army values to guide them in their careers.

"My advice to new Soldiers is to apply yourself, learn your profession, and by all means, learn what the U.S. Constitution is all about and why we fight and die for it," Mink said.