Written by Sgt. Neysa Canfield
101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (AA) Public Affairs
Fort Campbell, KY – Brand new to the U.S. Army, 19-year-old Josh Joseph, then Pfc. Joseph, went on his first temporary duty trip as a member of the Fort Rucker, Alabama, Ten Miler team to represent his installation at the Army Ten Miler race in Washington, D.C.
Thirteen years later, now Capt. Joseph, the commander for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 101st Special Troops Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Sustainment Brigade, 101st Abn. Div., has found himself back on the Ten Miler team, but this time to represent Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
Before being selected for the team, Joseph said he wasn’t running more than three to four miles.
‘I wasn’t sure if I was even going to finish ten miles,” said the Pensacola, Florida native. “But once I finished [the ten miles] and made that initial cut to make the trail team, I knew what I had to do.”
Joseph, now also a husband and father of two children, began to run with the Fort Campbell Ten Miler team from Monday to Friday to prepare himself for the final race to make the team.
“I wanted to prove to myself that although I have a lot of things working against me, I had it in myself to make it possible,” he said.
After finding out he made the team, Joseph immediately called his wife.
“I was ecstatic,” said Joseph. “It felt more gratifying [being selected for the team] now that I have a family, and I can share this experience with them.”
Apart from the satisfaction of meeting his goals and overcoming his obstacles, being part of the team for Joseph was a way to give back.
“When I was Pfc. Joseph, I didn’t even know what a voucher or [government travel card] was,” said Joseph. “The officers in the team really helped me out, so now I want to pay that forward to those enlisted members on the team that might be in the same place I was thirteen years ago.”
The news of his selection to represent the installation in Washington, D.C., and desire to help Soldiers, was quickly noticed by his leaders, including Lt. Col. Wally Vives-Ocasio, the commander of the 101st STB.
“As a new commander trying to establish his leadership style in his new company and unit, this sends a positive message to the Soldiers to also push themselves and excel,” said Vives-Ocasio.
Joseph being selected as member of the team not only showed his physical agility, but his mental agility as well, according to Vives-Ocasio.
“You are a [noncommissioned officer], officer, and Soldier twenty-four-seven; it’s not just about what you do between [physical training] and [close of business],” said Vives. “It’s about pushing yourself and setting yourself apart from your peers to make you a better leader, even when it seems difficult.”
Joseph said he hopes to motivate Soldiers across the brigade to push themselves to exceed above the standard and to never settle for anything less.
“A calm sea doesn’t make a good sailor; you go through tough times, but you set goals and consistently work on them,” said Joseph. “If you fall short, make improvements just don’t give up on yourself.”