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U.S. Army Spc. Richard Sciascia, Jr.
Soldier Makes Career Move to Make a Difference
By Spc. William Jones
133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
SAMARRA, Iraq, June 22, 2006 — There are more than 150 enlisted jobs in the Army and, for one enlisted soldier in the 101st Airborne Division, it’s time to make a potentially explosive career change. 

Inspiration for a career change may come from all sorts of places and sometimes it comes by simply asking the right people the right questions.

Spc. Richard Sciascia, Jr., is a cavalry scout for the “Iron Rakkasans” of Forward Support Company, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division. He and his unit are deployed to Forward Operating Base Brassfield-Mora near Samarra, Iraq.

During Sciascia’s time in Iraq, he met soldiers on the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team and said he was impressed with their skills doing this very important job. It didn’t take long to decide that he wanted to do what they did. He passed his initial exams and now plans to attend Explosive Ordnance Disposal School when his unit returns to Fort Campbell, Ky.

“When I got here and I saw EOD, I instantly knew that was what I wanted to do,” said Sciascia. “They actively go out and disengage the enemy’s main threat. People see a bomb and they run. (The EOD) sees a bomb and they say, ‘hey, we got to take this out… we got to take care of this… we got to make sure that it doesn’t affect any civilian or military lives.’”

The specialist said he enlisted in the Army at age 26 to make a difference and being from a military family, he understood what he was doing. Sciascia has been in the Army for 19 months and has spent almost half of that time serving in Iraq. He currently works in his unit’s arms room, answers the radio and is his commander’s driver. Several people have asked him why he wants to make this career change and his answer is simple; he wants to continue to make a difference.

Sgt. 1st Class Darrin Watson, team leader from the 748th EOD from Fort Jackson, S.C., is part of the three-man team currently assigned to the Iron Rakkasans and is partly responsible for Sciascia’s desired job change. Watson says Sciascia already has some of the basic skills someone in EOD needs in order to be successful.
U.S. Army Spc. Richard Sciascia, Jr. of Forward Support Company, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division cradles a defused mortar. Sciascia plans to attend the Explosive Ordnance Disposal School when his unit returns to Fort Campbell, Ky. U.S. Army photo by Spc. William Jones
“We are looking for people who can operate without intense supervision because we usually work in two- or three-man teams away from our whole company,” said Watson. “We need motivated people who can take initiative and are free-thinkers who think outside the box.”

Changing from being a cavalry scout to an explosive ordnance disposal technician was not a decision that Sciascia made by himself. He said his wife and three children back at Fort Campbell support his decision whole-heartedly, but his father, who retired from the Army, was a little harder to convince.

“He’s always stood behind me in everything I’ve done, but he’s also tried to preach that I need to take it mellow,” admitted Sciascia.

There is little doubt that some job fields in the military are riskier than others. That is why Sciascia’s decision is wrought with mixed emotions. But at the end of the day, it is his desire to continually challenge himself and do things that motivate him.  “(Working in EOD) is hard work, and on top of being physically challenging, it’s got a mental aspect to it as well and that’s what draws me to (it),” said Sciascia.
Last Updated:
06/22/2006, Eastern Daylight Time
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