Sgt. Devin Johnson
Years of Service: 5
Current Town: Milton
High School Graduation Year: 2012
Q. Why did you join the National Guard?
A. I joined the Vermont National Guard so I can serve my country while still staying in the state I live in.
Q. What do you do in the Guard?
A. I am a Black Hawk mechanic, so my responsibility is making sure the helicopter is properly maintained so it can fly and carry out the mission.
Q. Is this your first deployment?
A. Yes, this is.
Q. How do you train and prepare for deployment?
A. Every drill is preparation for any kind of deployment whether it’s overseas or we are doing a stateside mission or an emergency. Then we also have our AT (Annual Training) period which is a two to three week period of doing nothing but training for deployment or the stateside mission. We go out to the field where we fly the Black Hawks, we do simulated missions for potential casualties, and as a 15T we have daytime and nighttime maintenance, so we work in shifts to do maintenance on the helicopters so they’re ready to fly.
Q. What drew you to aviation and medevac?
A. I’ve always had a passion for aviation in general and so I always wanted to be in the Army but when I found out we had an aviation unit here in Vermont that drew me to it. When I first decided to join the MOS (military occupational specialty) wasn’t available, but I wanted to join so I asked what they had open, and they told me they had 92F available. Whether I was 92F or 15T, it’s out there helping out, being part of the mission. I switched my MOS because I wanted a change. So instead of being a petroleum supply specialist I wanted to go out and maintain the aircraft, because that has been my passion.
Q. What do you do for civilian work?
A. I work at Hannaford but also I do military funeral honors.
Q. What do you think is the greatest benefit of being in the Guard?
A. The greatest benefit is serving your community. It’s the service you get out of it.
Q. How long have you lived in Vermont?
A. My whole life.
Q. What is your favorite aspect of living or working where you do?
A. Milton is a big wooded area, so it’s nice you can have privacy and go out and shoot, go four-wheeling. It’s kind of wide open for stuff like that.
Q. What has surprised you about the Vermont National Guard?
A. What has surprised me is the flexibility to be able to switch MOS if one becomes open. Originally I thought if you get a job, you get a job and that’s that. If you are willing to work and show the unit what you’re capable of they’re willing to work with you too.
Q. What is your favorite part about serving in the Vermont National Guard?
A. Being able to live in my community still, because I’m in the fire department in Milton, so it’s nice to be able to have the best of both worlds. I can be a firefighter in my hometown and still be in the Army.
Q. How many push-ups did you get on your last physical fitness test?
By Sgt. Avery Cunningham