War on Terrorism

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Face of Defense: Soldier Works to Keep Others Safe

By Army Sgt. Mike MacLeod
1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division

FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARRIOR, Afghanistan, July 3, 2012 – From a small town in Montana to a small base in Afghanistan, Army Spc. Nathaniel Rose feels at home -- to a degree -- here in Afghanistan’s mountainous Ghazni province.

The attraction of college and post-service employment opportunities and the Army’s health care benefits led the lanky Montanan to enlist three years ago to become an unmanned aerial vehicle operator.

Rose is assigned to 82nd Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, based stateside at Fort Bragg, N.C.

“My dad showed me an article in a Guard magazine with a Predator on it,” Rose said. “It looked like a fun thing to do while doing some good for the guys on the ground. The guys on the ground have told me that they feel more secure with the Shadow flying overhead. It’s good to feel like you’re doing something useful.”

Rose’s father, Army Lt. Col. Collin Rose, is an infantry officer in command of the Montana National Guard’s 190th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion. As a former Marine parachutist, he said, he is glad his son was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division. “I am very proud of my son’s decision to enlist, and of his service,” he said.

The father and son enjoy hunting, hiking and mountain biking in the mountains surrounding Huson, Mont., when they can. The two are close and talk on the phone a few times a week.

“I enjoy the rugged mountains and arid climate here [in Ghazni],” Nathaniel said. “It reminds me a little bit of home.”

The 21-year-old specialist said he believes his choice to join the Army was a good one, particularly for the employment opportunities he will have as an unmanned aerial vehicle operator when he finishes his service. With a new family, he added, he is considering civilian employment related to the aircraft he and his teammates fly to observe the battlefield and inform the troops on the ground of what they see.

Rose said he may attend college before getting a job, but has yet to decide.

“Honestly, I want to go back to Montana for a while and just be there,” he said.

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