On a normal day Pfc. Isaiah Tilley is performing maintenance or recovering vehicles in his fleet, but on this particular cold and misty morning in Germany, Tilley had just finished a six-hour security shift in which he safeguarded the frontlines of his area of operation.
Tilley, a 91B, wheeled vehicle mechanic with the 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade is currently supporting Combined Resolve XIII, an exercise at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany. The exercise involves military members from 17 countries who train together in order to increase readiness and enhance interoperability between allied and partner nations.
“Our mission here is to make sure OPFOR (Opposing Forces) or any other personnel who are a danger to us doesn’t touch our perimeter,” Tilley said. “We all try and set up different positions in which OPFOR won’t hit us.”
Since starting the exercise Tilley has enjoyed being able to have time in the field. This is his first field exercise and his first time in Germany, so it’s been a great learning experience so far.
“Before I became a Soldier I was a correctional officer. So coming out here has been a new experience learning about the field environment,” Tilley said. “One thing I have definitely learned and experienced here has been brotherhood. We all have to have each other’s backs no matter what.”
Brotherhood and service run deep in his family. Tilley’s father is a retired first sergeant, his mother was a staff sergeant, his two sisters are captains, and his little sister is about to finish basic combat training. Tilley joined the U.S. Army because he wanted to be a part of that lineage.
Although Tilley is enjoying his field experience, he says he’s excited to get back home to his wife and kids.
“This has been a great experience so far,” said Tilley. “I’m gaining a lot of new knowledge and even though it’s been cold and wet I love it.”
This article by Sgt. Fiona Berndt was originally published by the U.S. Army News Service on January 27.
Feature image courtesy of U.S. Army National Guard Sgt. Fiona Berndt