Following in the boot-steps of several relatives, U.S. Army Reserve Staff Sergeant Daniel Jensen always knew he would enlist in the Army and continue the tradition of service that his great-grandfather had started.
Ironically, on Sept. 11, 2001, Jensen was in the middle of completing his Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test when he heard the news about the terrorist attacks. As he watched the Twin Towers fall, he recognized that America's freedom was attacked and that it was his time to serve.
"Everyone says you remember what you were doing that day, and for me, I clearly do," he said. "I was surer than ever before that I wanted to join the Army and serve in uniform."
Jensen enlisted immediately after high school and has since deployed twice to Iraq. Most recently, he served with the Military Police as a vehicle logistics coordinator in the motor pool. He was responsible for the Military Police Unit's vehicles, including maintenance, work orders, auto parts and man-hour information. This was important to the Military Police's overall mission because the unit's safe transport to and from the base was imperative. If a vehicle broke down or if a vehicle wasn't ready for transport, it was Jensen's responsibility.
"If a vehicle breaks down, it's not like you can pull off to the side of the road and wait for AAA to come get you," said Jensen. "Ensuring the Military Police's safety as they drove to and from the Iraqi police stations was critical to our mission."
Frequently, Jensen rotated out of his logistics job to serve with the Military Police units, manning the "gunner position" in the first vehicle of a convoy. He used his keen attention to detail to be on the lookout for insurgents and ensure the safety of the entire group.
"Overall, the Military Police have a pretty big task. They make sure all the Iraqi police are trained and can police themselves," said Jensen. "The motor pool's mission was to make sure the Military Police could do their mission."
During the year-long deployment, his company was relocated from Baghdad to the city of Basra - more than 300 miles away. Although Jensen said it was a chaotic time, it provided the opportunity for him to travel through much of the country and see the progress since his previous deployment in 2005...
There is more on SSG Jensen here.
Thank you for your service.