A Look at America’s Newest Generation of Fighting Men and Women

Name: Spc. Tiffany Johnson

Unit: 267th Quartermaster Company, 240th QM Battalion, 49th QM Group

MOS: 92F – petroleum supply specialist

Time in service: two years

Age: 20

Hometown: Cumberland

Family: husband, Antoine Johnson Sr.; and son, Antoine Johnson Jr.

Pastimes: “Spending time with my son.”

How would you describe yourself: “A very serious and straightforward person.”

Worst fears: “I haven’t had a fear yet. If a bee comes around, I’ll duck because I’m allergic to them.”

Biggest regret: “I would say my pregnancy, but I love my son to death. I really don’t have any regrets. I really wouldn’t go back and change anything, because if I did, I wouldn’t be where I am now.”

One life-changing event: “My pregnancy. I was 16 years old, in my junior year (of high school). Everything I had planned for the future, I had to readjust, change everything. I wanted to go to West Point military academy, but having a dependent, you couldn’t do it. I had to juggle a job, school, house and dealing with a child.”

The person I admire the most: “My grandmother, Betty Tate. She was the kindest, sweetest person you could ever meet, and she would do anything to help you out.”

Why I joined the Army: “I wanted to join the Army ever since I was in the high school JROTC, when I put the uniform on for the first time. Both of my grandfathers were in the military and I was following them.”

You are due to deploy in the near future. What are your thoughts about leaving Family and going overseas?: “When the Army says go, you have to go. I’m not going to feel pity for myself because I’m going to miss out on things. I’m going to miss out on them regardless, so why not try to make the best out of the situation.”

What do you expect it to be like once you get in country?: “A bunch of sand and hot weather.”

Is the Army a career for you?: “I want it to be. I’ll be 38 when I retire. You can’t beat it.”

If you weren’t in the Army, you’d be … ? : “I have no idea. Like I said, from the ninth grade up, the military was what I wanted.”

Best thing about the Army: “The benefits. They pay for college, you can get the program to pay for books, so I don’t have to come out of my pocket for anything. My spouse and my son are taken care of and I don’t have to worry about them. It’s a guaranteed job. It’s not like they can fire you today. They can, but it takes a while.”

What does it really take to be a Soldier?: “If you want to succeed at any type of career, you have to have discipline. You have to make it to formations on time, you have to be loyal to the people you serve with because they have to be able to trust you just like you need to be able trust them. You basically have to live by the seven Army Values.”

The Army gives you plenty of opportunities to educate yourself. Are you taking advantage of those opportunities?: “Yes. I’m enrolled at Central Texas College now.”

You were slated to appear before the E-5 board. Why do you want to become an NCO? “I want to be able to lead people and help them out like my NCOs help me. Anytime I’ve had questions or concerns I could always go straight to them and they were always willing to help. I’m only an E-4 now, but Soldiers already come to me asking for help and I like being able to help, just like my NCOs helped me.”

Do you consider yourself a role model?: “Yes, to my Family. I probably am to other Soldiers, but I know that I am in my Family. My mom, dad, brother and sister all call me up for advice, asking me what should they do about this relationship or what should they do in this situation.

I’m straightforward with them.”

If you had the opportunity to something that would benefit your fellow Soldiers, what would you do for them?: “I think the Army is good the way it is. I can’t think of any benefit or something that we don’t already have. The Army offers so many great things already.”

Your most important Army Value: “Respect. If you don’t respect anyone, you can’t get anywhere. You have to give respect to get respect, and people don’t like being disrespected.”

Motivations to serve: “My grandfathers. Every time I put this uniform on, I feel closer to them.”

What are your goals: “When I make E-5, and finish my college, I want to go to officer candidate school and eventually retire from the military.”

– Compiled by T. Anthony Bell