FORT CUSTER, Mich. –
When U.S. Army Reserve Staff Sergeant Edward French joined the Army in 1998 one of his motivating reasons was to help pay for college.
“Initially, I wanted to be a helicopter pilot and my recruiter told me that if I joined the Reserves, I could get a ROTC scholarship and commission, and then I can fly helicopters,” said French. “So that's what I wanted to do. But life never goes according to plan, so it didn't work out that way.”
For the past 21 years French has built a career serving with civil affairs units in South Carolina and Michigan, along with overseas missions and deployments to Honduras, Bosnia, Iraq and Qatar.
“I love the civil affairs mission,” said French. “I enjoy doing all the different things. Going places to meet people and the problem-solving with them, helping people, training soldiers. Everything is all encompassing. It's one of the greatest MOS' in the Army, in my opinion. And it's a lot of fun to come to work and do it.”
French also enjoys serving because of the benefits his family enjoys, from utilizing the G.I. Bill for college, Veterans Affairs home loans, and affordable health care.
After 21 years French is now serving in the 414th Civil Affairs Battalion and is excited to continue serving in the U.S. Army Reserve.