By Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Rognstad
1st Space Brigade
Hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, Spc. Byron Wright, the youngest of a family of five brothers, was disillusioned with college and decided to join the Army to get job skills in a field he was interested in – technology.
Now, with five years of experience under his belt as a satellite communications operator and maintainer (25 Sierra military occupational specialty), Wright recently transitioned from active duty to the Army Reserve where he will serve with 2nd Space Battalion - the only space Battalion in the Army Reserve, - from the active duty’s 2nd Space Company, 1st Space Battalion.
Q: What do you like about your job in the Army?
A: There’s a rhyme or reason to everything as you learn more and more about it. Regardless of where I go, as long as there is an antenna attached to something and a terminal behind it, I can always figure it out after learning more and more about each individual piece of equipment.
Q: What is your job in SMDC?
A: I am a member of an Army Space Support Team and we provide space support to the warfighter, which means guiding our host units in whatever direction necessary that their commanding general requires of using space effects.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: Cooking, working on my computer, and arts and crafts. I’m a very hand’s-on type of person. I like baking and grilling, freelance (computer) programming with a variety of different languages, video games, and sewing and needlework like crocheting, embroidery and knitting.
Q: What is it you like about cooking?
A: It’s kind of why I like my job – everything has set rules depending on the different ingredients, so you can always make something new and interesting based on what you know will work, but even if you find something that doesn’t work, you always learn something new along the way, regardless of what you already know.
Q: How does cooking relate to your job?
A: If I want to cook something perfect, I should go with what I already know, like in terms of my job, when say my supervisor says he or she wants a product from my team by a set time, that’s not the time for me to start experimenting. That is the time for me to start following directions, just like cooking. So the better I follow the notes to a T in my job, if I do it right once, then I only have to do it once, just like a good recipe.
Q: What are your long-term career goals?
A: I want to continue my service and retirement in the Army Reserve and am working toward a degree in computer science.
Q: What do you like about Army Space?
A: I’ve had a lot of opportunity to travel, meet and stay in contact with a lot of people along the way. The Army space community is very small, and even though I have been here for only five years, I seem to know just about everyone. It’s nice to be a part of a small-knit community like this, even though it’s a world-wide one.
Q: What is your work philosophy?
A: If I don’t know the answer to a question, I will do my best to either find the answer, or find somebody who knows the answer, that way if I don’t know it, I can at least steer somebody on the right direction. “I don’t know,” is the worst answer I can give somebody, because too many of those and eventually people will stop asking you because they will think you are incompetent. I don’t want to be that guy.
Q: What did you take away the most from your active duty time?
A: Even the junior enlisted Soldiers in a unit can have just as much experience and knowledge as some of the senior enlisted and commissioned officers. I can hold my own in a conversation about the space diatribe with soldiers with a much higher rank than me. We’re not on equal footing in terms of rank and authority, but I pride myself in matching them with overall knowledge as respectfully as I can.