117th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan , May 30, 2012 – From working in offices to working beyond the wire of forward operating bases in combat zones as a driver and a gunner, Army Staff Sgt. Clint Pinson has been there.
But 13 years ago, Pinson chose to make his cooking hobby a career by enlisting in the Army as a cook, and he’s still doing that today.
Yet, Pinson, assigned to Headquarters and Support Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division, doesn't prepare food in a kitchen, nor does his place of work here have a single stove.
The Tulsa, Okla., native works at the NATO Accommodation Barracks, managing and maintaining the site every day.
"I've been known to get up, throw on flip-flops in the middle of the night and take care of what I've got to take care of," Pinson said. "I have pulled stuff off over here that no one else thought I could do."
His current duties don't follow the typical cook's job description, but his work ethic and great attitude have helped Pinson adapt to this and several non-cooking assignments in the past.
"He is like a chameleon, he can blend in [to] any situation and succeed," said Army Staff Sgt. Josue Molina, Pinson's supervisor.
Pinson embraces his positive attitude, and he won’t allow himself to be defined by what people think he does.
"I've seen cooks hang with the best of them, and out-do some other soldiers," he said.
On his previous tour to Iraq, Pinson was tasked to run a dining facility on an outlying post for four months, but spent the remainder of the year doing various other assignments. He views such constant adjustment positively.
"I've had a lot of opportunities in the Army," he said.
Pinson said he plans to make a career out of the Army, whether that means working as a cook, or doing any other job that the Army needs him to do.