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NEWS | May 15, 2024

Army Reserve Soldier finds unlimited opportunity through service

By Alun Thomas 653rd Regional Support Group

These are the types of adventures Sgt. Triston Cody envisioned when he enlisted in 2021 – traveling across the world and representing his nation in a foreign country, being part of the mission and excelling in his profession.

Cody, 22, signal operations support specialist, 653rd Regional Support Group, finds himself overseas with the Army Reserve for the first time as part of African Lion 24 – U.S. AFRICOM’s largest and premier joint exercise on the continent every year.

Despite only three years of service, Cody has risen up the ranks quickly, going from private to sergeant in that time, his drive and determination to achieve readily apparent.

Missions such as African Lion provide Cody the purpose he needs to propel himself further.

With a lineage of military service running through his family it was not always a certainty Cody would serve, however.

A Phoenix native, Cody recalled his childhood as sometimes difficult, yet fulfilling.

“My family was originally from Iceland. My great-great grandmother wanted to have her child born in the United States, so she migrated through Canada to the U.S. to have her son,” Cody said.

“My parents divorced when I was three, so I bounced back and forth with them for a while. Things were alright, there wasn’t a lot of money, but as I got older things improved,” he said. “My mother remarried and I attended Mountain Ridge High School in Glendale. I had a great education and I’m thankful for that.”

Following high school Cody had ambitions of attending college, but due to costs had to find an alternative method – the U.S. Army.

“I had an idea to go to college – I wanted to be a creative writing teacher for English. Unfortunately, there was no way I could afford college,” Cody explained. “That’s when I decided to join the Army; It didn’t take me long to fall in love with it.”

Looking through his options for a military occupational specialty, Cody decided on a career in the Signal Corps.

“I enlisted through the Glendale Recruiting Station as part of the Delayed Entry Program. I joined as a radio operator maintainer, which was a more combat arms affiliated job. I had hopes of being in an infantry unit as part of a fire team,” Cody recalled. “Near the end of my AIT (Advanced Individual Training) at Fort Gordon (now Fort Eisenhower) the Army phased my job out and I had an extended stay to convert to a signal operations support specialist.”

Cody persevered with the change of MOS and was placed with the 653rd RSG in Mesa, Ariz., looking to rapidly promote, something he’s achieved to great effect.

“I had a goal when I first enlisted of becoming a corporal – I didn’t know what it meant but I wanted to get there. By the time I joined the 653rd RSG I made sure I completed all the prerequisites for the next rank,” he continued. “I volunteered for everything I could, was dependable, and did the best Soldier work I’m capable of.”

Indeed, Cody made corporal and was promoted in Sept. 2023, with his mother present to pin on his new rank.

“It was a very proud moment for me when I was promoted to corporal. Originally, my mother didn’t want me to join – now she recognizes this is what I like doing and I’m able to be in an environment that gives me opportunities to excel,” Cody said.

Just a month later Cody was promoted to sergeant, and continues to put forth his best effort, currently relishing the opportunity to work abroad at African Lion 24.

“It’s fantastic to be here and see new places. I’ve always had a fascination with languages and culture,” Cody said. “So far, it’s been an absolute blast being overseas and helping the unit accomplish the mission.”

Cody looks forward to eventually going on active duty to maximize his potential,
“Active duty is definitely something I aspire to. Typically I work as an electrician or doing technician work, but when I’m not doing that I’m on extended orders and doing as much for the Army as possible,” Cody said. “I’m looking to take my career as far as I can, whether that be as an NCO (noncommissioned officer) or warrant officer.”

“Even after the worst day in the Army, I go home happy,” Cody said. “There isn’t much you can say that about.”