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Face of Defense: Soldier Finds Calling in Army

By Army Sgt. Rick Nelson
Special to American Forces Press Service

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla., Aug. 14, 2009 – People join the military for many reasons, some for college assistance, some to stay out of trouble and some to fulfill a patriotic need to serve their country.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Army Staff Sgt. Megan E. Brunty, an intelligence analyst with U.S. Central Command, is honored with a certificate of promotion at a ceremony on MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Aug. 3, 2009. Brunty also was awarded the command’s Noncommissioned Officer of the Year award earlier in the year. U.S Army photo by Sgt. Rick Nelson

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

For Army Staff Sgt. Megan E. Brunty, an intelligence analyst assigned to U.S. Central Command, her reasons were simple: after attending college, coaching soccer and waiting tables, she decided to make a change in her life and join the Army.

"I actually attended college for a year when I began to speak to a recruiter and enlisted in March of 2005," the Huntsville, Ala., native said. "I had a desire to serve my country and be a part of something greater."

Another deciding factor for her enlistment was the Army's ability to provide Brunty with the type of job she was looking for.

"At first, my family was worried and showed concern when I enlisted, but are now very proud and support whatever I do," she said.

Throughout her enlistment, Brunty said, she always had a desire to be a noncommissioned officer, and after researching many jobs in the Army, felt she could be best used in the intelligence community. That proved to be the right path for her as she earned U.S. Central Command's NCO of the Year award in March.

"She is proactive vice reactive," said Navy Chief Petty Officer Lavelle L. Council, operation threat networks noncommissioned officer in charge at Central Command, and Brunty’s supervisor. "She takes the initiative to find out what has to be accomplished instead of waiting to be told."

Council said Brunty, 24, is an absolute professional who is willing to listen and takes constructive criticism in a positive manner.

"She’s always asking me how she can help when she notices that I, or anyone for that matter, has a sizable workload," Council said.

With the quality of soldier that she is and what she has accomplished, Council believes Brunty will go far in her Army career.

"I really wanted this award and worked hard to achieve it," Brunty said. "I always strive to be like any NCO I see that rises above their peers by doing the right thing and living out the Army values."

Brunty says she has a lot more in store for her career including Airborne and Air Assault school, Basic Noncommissioned Officers Course, Staff Noncommissioned Officers Course and being accepted into the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club.

Brunty said she can’t imagine what life would be like if she didn't join the Army, and has no regrets about her career.

"Everyone makes mistakes in life and in their careers, but good NCOs will bounce back with resolve and a stronger character," she said. "To me, it's all about standing alongside of fellow servicemembers that sacrifice to serve this country and to remember those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for us."

(Army Sgt. Rick Nelson serves with U.S. Central Command public affairs office.)

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