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

Name: Spc. Timothy Stephens

Unit: Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Garrison

MOS: 56M – chaplain’s assistant

Time in service: 21 months

Age: 20

Hometown: Gretna, Va.

Family: parents, George and Gayle Stephens

How you would describe yourself: “Down to earth; I like to smile a lot, laugh and joke. I am easygoing.”

Most recent accomplishment: “My most recent accomplishment would be representing the (U.S. Army) Garrison in the IMCOM-Northeast region Soldier of the Year Competition.”

Worst fear: “Not knowing how I’m going to end up in the future.”

Biggest regret: “My biggest regret would be not going to college right out of high school. Sometimes I look at my friends, and it seems as though they have the upper hand because they went to college. But I also took a big step by joining the military.”

The one person you admire the most:

“My mom. She’s the inspiration in my life, and she always tells me to be the best I can be.”

One life-changing event: “Joining the Army. I’ve always figured I couldn’t do it. I’ve seen other people do it, but once you’re in, you realize there so many things you can do, so much success you can have. It’s a great thing.”

Why did you join the Army?: “I just got tired of not doing anything. I wanted to use it as a stepping stone to my career; whether I get out or retire, something to take me to the next level.”

If you could change the Army, what would be the one thing you’d change?: “PT: maybe do it in the evening rather than the morning.”

The one best thing about the Army?: “The 1st and 15th – payday.”

How you would describe the Soldier of the Year experience?: “It was a great experience because I had never been up before a board before. You’re gaining a lot of knowledge by participating. ”

What did you learn from your Soldier of the Year experience?: “Sometimes it’s not about winning. It’s just giving it your all.”

”You’ve been deployed to Iraq. Talk about your experiences: “It was a big eye-opener for me because I never knew what a Third World country would be like. Being over there, it is not as bad as people made it seem, and you’re doing it for a good cause, supporting your country.”

What do Soldiers expect out of leaders?: “I expect leaders to lead the way. If you’re an NCO, you should set the Soldier up for success. In other words, you should always give Soldiers good advice. You should try to make them better than you.”

What should leaders expect of Soldiers?: “They should not expect them to pick up the slack but be able to accomplish the mission without them being around; take the initiative.”

The most important Army Value: “Respect. Nobody wants to be treated horribly. Regardless of the rank, each person should take the initiative and treat people the way they want to be treated.”

Goals: “To receive my bachelor’s degree in computer technology, to make sergeant, get married, have two or three kids and maybe retire from the Army.”

Compiled by T. Anthony Bell