News

Face of Defense: Citizen-Soldier Applies Skills to Military, Civilian Jobs

Sept. 19, 2017 | BY Army Sgt. Zane Craig , 109th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Army Spc. Breyonnha Chester, a resident of Philadelphia, serves as a motor transport operator with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard's Detachment 1, 1067th Transportation Company, 213th Regional Support Group here.

Army Spc. Breyonnha Chester, a motor transport operator with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard's Detachment 1, 1067th Transportation Company, 213th Regional Support Group, sits ready at the wheel of her M915 truck, which she drove from Pennsylvania to Texas and back to provide relief supplies and equipment to those affected by Hurricane Harvey, Sept. 10, 2017. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Shane Smith
Army Spc. Breyonnha Chester, a motor transport operator with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard's Detachment 1, 1067th Transportation Company, 213th Regional Support Group, sits ready at the wheel of her M915 truck, which she drove from Pennsylvania to Texas and back to provide relief supplies and equipment to those affected by Hurricane Harvey, Sept. 10, 2017. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Shane Smith
Army Spc. Breyonnha Chester, a motor transport operator with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard's Detachment 1, 1067th Transportation Company, 213th Regional Support Group, sits ready at the wheel of her M915 truck, which she drove from Pennsylvania to Texas and back to provide relief supplies and equipment to those affected by Hurricane Harvey, Sept. 10, 2017. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Shane Smith
Soldier spotlight: Spc. Breyonnha Chester, an exemplary citizen Soldier
Army Spc. Breyonnha Chester, a motor transport operator with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard's Detachment 1, 1067th Transportation Company, 213th Regional Support Group, sits ready at the wheel of her M915 truck, which she drove from Pennsylvania to Texas and back to provide relief supplies and equipment to those affected by Hurricane Harvey, Sept. 10, 2017. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Shane Smith
Photo By: Army National Guard
VIRIN: 170910-Z-AM608-002

Motor transport operators are primarily responsible for supervising or operating wheeled vehicles to transport personnel and cargo. They are a core component of the Army's support and sustainment structure, providing advanced mobility on and off the battlefield.

"The main reason I joined the National Guard was because I come from a military family," Chester said. "My dad and grandad both served, so I always knew growing up that joining the military and helping others was something I wanted to do."

In her civilian life, Chester is a mail carrier and assistant supervisor for the Newtown, Pennsylvania, post office. She credits the National Guard with teaching her the value of being disciplined.

"Having the ability to listen well and follow instructions, but also knowing when to step up to lead is important," she said. "These skills have helped me a lot in the civilian world, especially in my position at the post office."

Each Profession Helps the Other

Though her military occupation differs from her civilian career, Chester said, she uses her experiences from each to better herself in both fields.

"I'm a truck driver in the military and a mail carrier in my civilian capacity," she explained. "Though they're quite different jobs, I've found similarities between the two positions because I serve in a leadership role in both.

"I'm an assistant supervisor at the Newtown post office," she continued, "and I'm a team leader with Detachment 1, 1067th Transportation Company. I have several lower enlisted soldiers in my team I'm responsible for, and I serve as a leader for new soldiers entering the unit. I try to use the skills and lessons I've learned from both aspects of my life, civilian and military, to improve my leadership abilities and performance in each position."

Chester recently was part of a group of soldiers with the 213th Regional Support Group, Pennsylvania Army National Guard who volunteered to respond and assist with Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Within 48 hours of being tasked, these soldiers mobilized and drove 16 Pennsylvania National Guard M915 trucks hauling relief supplies and equipment to Texas.

"I think the Pennsylvania National Guard's response to Hurricane Harvey is an amazing thing, and I'm so happy volunteers from the [Pennsylvania] Guard and other states are stepping up to aid Texas in a time of need," Chester said. "All of the 213th RSG soldiers here today volunteered and mobilized in an extremely short amount of time. As citizen-soldiers, it takes a lot for someone to put their personal life on hold and be ready to assist at a moment's notice, so I'm proud to call these people my battle buddies."