July 5, 2015 –
SAGAMIHARA, Japan – Pfc. Bronson M. Donald wears the Army Combat Uniform (ACU) part time. His tan boots that complement his fatigues are a size 11 and though that might seem like big shoes to fill, Donald has always envisioned filling much larger ones.
“Soon after my brother joined the military, so did I,” said Donald. “I always wanted to be a cop like my dad and my grandfather. My father and grandfather were both Department of Defense Police officers; I wanted to follow in their footsteps,” he added.
Joining the U.S. Army Reserve at age 19, Donald, now a corrections/detention specialist with the 303rd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 9th Mission Support Command, is forded the opportunity to conduct military police duties and responsibilities at his first ever annual training – Imua Dawn exercise here.
Imua Dawn is a Command Post Exercise (CPX) designed specifically for maneuver enhancement brigades and is a U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) focused, brigade-level CPX for USPACOM and U.S. Army Pacific Command (USARPAC) assigned forces. Brigade and battalion level staffs are required to perform critical collective tasks during the exercise. The exercise covers the fictional island of Tembago and is designed to replicate an area of responsibility and simulated battlefield.
Donald’s duties and responsibilities during the Imua Dawn exercise consists of a variety of tasks related to combating on the battlefield through digital software and communication systems, primarily with the use of Command Post of the Future (CPOF) software.
“He has taken on the role in manning the CPOF as well as map plotting and updates,” says Master Sgt. Steven Webley. “Donald is performing at an E5 [sergeant] level and he is only a PFC [private first class] right now.”
Donald gives credit to his undergraduate studies in computers and digital technology for his ability to adapt to CPOF quickly, but he also believes that anyone can use more training.
“I wouldn’t mind more training,” he adds. “It all feels amazing because it’s [Imua Dawn exercise] something different, I’m learning a lot for my first AT [Annual Training] and the best part is being able to work with my section.”
When asked if he feels if he is on the right path to filling the shoes his father and grandfather once wore, Donald smiles and says that the only thing that matters is that his father tells him he is proud of him every day.