CAMP BUEHRING, KUWAIT — Second Lt. John R. Boyd didn’t expect to receive such a fulfilling mission straight out of the Officer’s Basic Course. Luckily for him, his unit was deployed two months after his graduation to Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
When asked about his thoughts on his first deployment, the young Lieutenant focused on the safety of his troops in what he described as a "high threat environment." He further elaborated his leadership style:
"You know, as a second lieutenant straight out of the OBC, I didn’t expect much but now that I’m here I’m glad to be leading these troops. I stress safety at every turn. My guys have been wearing their eye protection for the last eight months every day. They told me at the OBC that I would most likely lose a soldier on my first deployment but I’m happy to say that hasn’t happened and will not happen with me in charge. We’ve had zero scratched corneas while deployed and I’d like to think that it’s my hard stance on safety that’s gotten us here."
When asked about his new Platoon Leader, 22-year Sgt. 1st Class Franklin G. Wright was nothing but praiseful.
"After going to Desert Storm as a young soldier and then doing two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan I wasn’t really sure how everything would turn out on our deployment to Kuwait. Luckily, we’ve got one hell of a Platoon Leader in Lt. Boyd. Without him who knows how many soldiers would have been struck by vehicles while conducting PT if the LT hadn’t stepped in to enforce the reflective belt policy of CENTCOM. I really dodged a bullet on this one."
He continued: "After all my years in the Army it’s nice to have a young LT step up and call all the shots so I can just sit back and wait for retirement."
Spc. Harry L. Murphy, a rifleman in Boyd’s platoon, told Duffel Blog he wouldn’t want to serve under any other officer in his company.
"I volunteered for this deployment because I thought the unit was going to Afghanistan. I didn’t know what to expect upon arriving in Kuwait, but luckily I’ve got one squared away LT. He really looks out for us. One time at the range I was wearing my gloves because he was strictly enforcing the PPE posture, and I accidentally touched the hot barrel of a M249 SAW. Without LT harping on safety all the time, I might have burned my hand. He’s going to go far in the Army."
Despite his success in such a dangerous environment as Kuwait, Boyd is taking all the positive praise in stride.
"I haven’t really let it change me as a person you know. Everywhere I go on Camp Buehring I have higher ranking officers wanting to tell me how great of a job I’m doing keeping my troops safe. I’ve also noticed the lower enlisted whispering and pointing at me whenever I walk by."
"Because I'm wearing my ear-pro most of the day, I'm not sure what they tell each other, but my guess is they're saying, 'There goes that LT that makes his guys wear eye-pro everywhere. Man, he’s a winner.'"