May 19, 2017 –
JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. – Wearing an improved outer tactical vest almost as big as she is, Spc. Allison Clevenger almost disappears into all the computers and equipment in the back of the Stryker M1135 Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicle that she rides in.
Listening intently to voice communication from the range tower and locked into a monitor just inches from her face, she seems at home despite being a five-hour car ride away from where she lives.
Clevenger is a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear specialist with the U.S. Army Reserve’s 300th Chemical Company. The unit out of Morgantown, West Virginia, has been here at the base for the last several days completing live-fire qualifications with a M2 .50 caliber machine gun. The exercise at JBMDL is an extension of the recently concluded Cold Steel, which took place at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin in April.
Clevenger, a full-time college student studying psychology at West Virginia University, lights up and laughs when asked about picking her military occupational specialty.
“I picked the MOS because my recruiter showed me a video and it looked really interesting,” she said.
She hopes to get a job with the U.S. Department Of Veteran Affairs following graduation.
“Anything to do with helping Soldiers,” she said of her anticipated career.
For now, Clevenger goes about diligently doing her job in the Army Reserve. On the crew of three, she works as the assistant surveyor.
“Every time we drop a marker, anytime that we’d hit contamination, it would all get logged, and that’s what the assistant surveyor does,” she explained about her military job.
Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear specialists are primarily responsible for defending the country against the threat of CBRN weapons and weapons of mass destruction. Some of the skills taught are preparation for CBRN defense actions and procedures, wear and use of protective equipment, hazardous material certification and exposure to toxic agents while wearing CBRN protective equipment.