OMAHA, Neb. — Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Jason Hitchcock plans to update his official Department of the Army photo as soon as he loses 10 pounds, members of the 134th Cavalry Regiment report.
“You see, uh, the holidays kind of got away from me,” Hitchcock reportedly told fellow soldiers. “This spring I’m going to work out, eat right, and get back to fighting weight. If I took a DA photo right now, I’d just look like the stereotypical overweight Guard guy.”
Hitchcock, who would be a great selection for promotion due to his three combat tours, marksmanship skills, and deep commitment to his soldiers, will not have his promotion packet go to the state board until he updates his DA photo.
Hitchcock’s unit is designated as a high-priority unit, needed for deterrence missions in Europe as well as being slated for an upcoming National Training Center rotation. His unit has a critical shortage of NCOs, officials say.
“I don’t want to change my current DA photo,” said Hitchcock. “I took it right after I got back from Iraq the last time, and I look like a stud in it.”
Hitchcock has earned six additional ribbons since the last photo, a fact one would not know by his board file, which hasn’t been updated since his last deployment.
Hitchcock, who works 12-hour shifts at the feedlot in Valentine, Neb., has been unable to schedule a DA photo at the state photo lab in Lincoln during the week due to the five- hour commute time each way. The state photographer has declined to take the photo on the drill weekend, since he’ll be drilling with his unit in Papillion.
“Anyway, I’d have to find my ASU jacket,” reported Hitchcock. “It might be at the cleaners, or I think I loaned it to Jenkins when he had to go to a funeral.”
Those who are close to Hitchcock reported that chances are, he will not bring up the DA photo thing, nor consider acting on the desire to lose 10 pounds, for another six months or so.