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Face of Defense: Guardsman Serves in the Classroom

By Army Sgt. Blake Pittman
224th Sustainment Brigade

CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq, Oct. 1, 2010 – Georgia National Guard Spc. Doug Lane didn’t quit his day teaching job when he deployed earlier this year to Iraq.

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Georgia National Guard Spc. Doug Lane teaches college-level algebra at the education center when he's off duty on Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq. Courtesy photo

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An intelligence analyst by night, Lane, who hails from Jacksonville, Fla., spends his days at the education center here teaching college algebra to service members for the University of Maryland.

Lane has worked for 20 years as an educator, having earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the University of South Florida as well as a Master’s degree in administration.

“I love working with soldiers and helping students,” he said. “I’m really in my element when I’m teaching.”

Here in Iraq, Lane serves with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 110th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 224th Sustainment Brigade, 103rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary).

Besides teaching his scheduled classes, Lane spends much of his free time at the education center offering extra tutoring for students. He also teaches an online course for Strayer University.

Some of Lane’s students at the education center are fellow soldiers from his company. Spc. Alexandria Dean, a transportation coordination manager from Valdosta, Ga., is taking her first college course with Lane. When she heard that he was going to be her professor, she was a little apprehensive.

“He seemed boring and drawn out,” Dean said. But she noted her opinion of Lane has since changed.

“He’s a really good teacher,” Dean said of Lane’s ability and classroom demeanor. “His stories are funny and he’s smart. He likes to communicate a lot.”

Dean said she is “not good with math,” but added that Lane’s teaching ability and personality have made the class easier for her to understand. Compared to other math teachers she’s had, Dean said she has had to ask fewer questions than in the past.

Though his teaching career spans two decades, Lane also has been a lifelong student. In addition to his degrees in education, he also has earned a Masters of Divinity degree, which he plans to put to good use by becoming a military chaplain candidate upon redeployment.

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