Infantryman (11B) & Paratrooper: Army Careers

SGT Loyd says his Army experience as an infantryman and paratrooper gives him confidence and pride. He talks about the opportunities he’s had and how his skills can be applied in the civilian world.

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I'm Sergeant Justin Devon Loyd, 11 Bravo, 82nd Airborne Paratrooper. From Fayetteville, North Carolina.

When I first told my parents that I was joining the Army they had mixed reactions. I said ‘hey this is my decision, this is what I'm doing'. I was 22, 23 at the time and they were like ‘hey, you're a grown man. We'll support you, do your best.'

And as I've done that, as I've walked in that, they've been there for me. They've been there for my graduations, they came down when I graduated from basic. They were there to see me off when I've been deployed. They're there to see me off when I return from deployment. They've been supportive of me in every step that I've made.

An infantryman learns how to do a little bit of everything. We like to say the infantryman is the jack-of-all-trade. He knows how to do his job extremely well. Because that's very important especially when he goes overseas. But then he learns how to work with every body else. Learns how to work with their jobs so what that translate to in the civilian world is people always work better with you, when you know a little of their lingo. And the better that I know what their job is then the better they're going to be willing to work with me. And we can work together to accomplish the goals.

I think maybe the Army respects the fact that if you're aggressive and you're a go-getter and you have that ‘I want to be the best attitude,' then they're willing to promote you. I do think that the Army provides you with the chance to be as good as you want to be. Surprised things that I've learned about myself since I joined the Army would be that I can take a lot. You will learn that you can go way beyond what you thought you could. I don't need eight hours of sleep on a nice Sealy mattress or Posturepedic or a Sleep Number. Give me a rolled out mattress pad, give me a poncho and some leaves and I will pass out and get up 30 minutes later ready to fight.

When I put on my uniform I feel the pride, the traditions, the legacy of those who passed before me. I also feel that weight of that responsibility to then in turn pass on that pride, that tradition, that legacy to my Soldiers. At the end of the day I'm a veteran but also, I am a Soldier.

And there some confidence that's gonna come with that no matter what I do, no matter where I go.

If you're going to join the Army, have a plan. Don't let the recruiter videos fool you. It takes a lot of work to get to where you're blowing stuff up or running around shooting a whole bunch of guns. But it doesn't mean that the Army is not good for you. Find something that you want to do and it'll be a great experience that's unlike any other that you'll ever have.