Written by Staff Sgt. V. Michelle Woods
27th Public Affairs Detachment
Monrovia, Liberia – Pfc. Jacob Anderson, a cargo specialist and Murrieta, California, native with the 372nd Inland Cargo Transfer Company, 129th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, Joint Forces Command – United Assistance, was recognized by Maj. Gen. Gary Volesky, commander of JFC-UA, for his exemplary performance while supporting Operation United Assistance, January 9th, 2015, at the Barclay Training Center, Monrovia, Liberia.
Each week a service member supporting OUA is formally recognized by Volesky, who awards him or her with a division coin, followed by a helicopter ride with the commander around the joint operations area.With one year and four months completed in the Army so far, Anderson said his family legacy of military service inspired him to join the Army. He said every man in his family has served in the U.S. military since World War II.
Currently on on his first deployment, Anderson works as a forklift operator and container handler at the aerial port of debarkation at Roberts International Airport, located on the outskirts of Monrovia. His leadership said he has assisted in the handling, movement and shipment of more than 5.7 million pounds of equipment, supporting entities such as mobile medical units, the World Food Programme and fellow troops.
“He’s one of my hardest working Soldiers and he plays a big part of the support for this mission,” said six-year veteran, Staff Sgt. Jordan Jardiolin, shift noncommissioned officer in charge, 101st Sust. Bde.
Although he was chosen for his dedication and dependability, Anderson said he believes his peers also put in their share of work to accomplish their unit’s mission.
“The only thing that makes me stand out is I’m the youngest of the group and I’m the lowest ranking,” said the 20-year-old veteran. “But we all work equally hard.”
While this deployment placed Anderson in a new albeit austere environment, it is one he says he is grateful to have experienced.
“I’ve always wanted to be deployed,” said Anderson. “I like being in a third-world country because it definitely humbles you. You realize how little some people have and it gives you a different perspective on the world. I look up to the Liberians for their positive outlook on life.”
Jardiolin added that Anderson’s can-do attitude, professionalism and reliability helps distinguish him as a future leader.
“If you give him a task, he’ll get it done to the best of his ability,” he said. “He has a bright future ahead of him.”