Spc. Sydney Oliver

Unit: Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 59th Ordnance Brigade

Military occupational specialty: 42A – human resources specialist

Hometown: Orlando, Fla.

Age: 21

Time in service: 30 months

Volunteer activity: Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers participant

Describe your personality strengths: “I am kind, quiet – I’ve always been told there are reasons you have two ears and one mouth – and observant.”

Personality weaknesses: “I am kind of hotheaded, and I can be blunt and assertive.”

Pastimes: “With me being a BOSS rep, I help them set up volunteer events, and I contribute to our plans of action. I also attend college, and I decompress by watching TV shows or listening to music.”

Worst fear: “Spiders and failure when it comes to anything. (In reference to the latter), I feel as though – like anyone else – putting forth an effort should result in success.”

Favorite saying: “‘I didn’t come this far only to come this far.’”

Dream car: “A BMW 3 Series, all black.”

Pet peeve: “When I don’t have someone’s undivided attention. I’ll halt whatever I have to say until you get it together, or I’ll get your attention.”

Your greatest achievement: “Joining the Army and sticking with it. It’s given me an opportunity to make a name for myself and set the tone for the rest of my life, whether I choose to reenlist or not. It also taught me many valuable lessons I can carry on.”

When and where you were the happiest: “I was happiest at the age of 6 or 7 around Christmastime – just being around my family (who lived in close proximity) and excited over seeing them on a daily basis. Now that I’m separated from them, I’m more appreciative of the happy times we shared.”

A talent you would most like to have: “I would say drawing; reason being I could become a tattoo artist, which is something I want to do. I could also use drawing as an outlet to express my inner emotions. I think that would be cool.”

The celebrity or historical figure you would like to meet: “I would want to meet (poet) Maya Angelou. She seems very knowledgeable and is an advocate and inspiration for women.”

The person you most admire: “My great-grandmother because she was able to attain three different degrees while being a single mother to six children. She’s proof women can do the same things as men – with even more stress.”

A life-changing moment: “When my grandfather passed. He was the backbone of our entire family. When he died, it was like we were really lost for a period of time. When I found out, I felt there was no hope for me. I thought about my high school graduation, my future wedding, having kids and the fact he wouldn’t be there. I also thought it wasn’t fair.”

Talk about your childhood: “We relocated three times (between Texas and Florida). I had to leave a myriad of friends … I’ve had a job since I was 15. I paid for my prom dress and my cap and gown. I’ve always been independent, I guess, and that’s why joining the Army wasn’t anything out of the ordinary because I’ve always done things on my own.”

Why you joined the Army: “I knew I didn’t want to dive right back into schoolwork (college). I needed a break, and at the same time, I didn’t want to stay at my mom’s house because I was 18 and didn’t want to take up space. Our relationship was always great, but I just wanted to branch out on my own … to travel and discover new things. I was a great candidate for the Army.”

Your duties as a human resources specialist: “First and foremost, my duty is to be a good example to the trainees (frequenting the building for various reasons). Aside from that, my duties are providing administrative support and assistance for cadre and students. This includes setting up packets for retirements and compassionate reassignments, and processing applications for naturalization.”

What you love about the MOS you chose: “The opportunities I’m afforded while working with the higher-ups.”

What you dislike about your MOS: “The occasional bouts of stress that come with it.”

What you expect from leaders: “To provide me with the mentorship I need as a Soldier. I also expect them to be professional and uphold the same standards, customs and courtesies they expect of me.”

One best thing about the Army: “You can learn things from your job you can use in the civilian world.”

Worst thing about the Army: “From time to time, things are disorganized.”

Where you see yourself in five years: “Out of the Army working in the medical field.”