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NEWS | June 23, 2016

Personal Drive of U.S. Army Reserve Soldier Fuels His Success

By Sgt. Krista Rayford 367th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif., June 20, 2016 – The sun is rising high above, rugged mountains and U.S. Army Reserve Pvt. Manuel Morgan, a 26-year-old petroleum supply specialist, 1017th Quartermaster Company, Camp Pendleton, California, anxiously prepares for his day at the office. But instead of paperclips and copy machines, his office is comprised of a flat, dirt surface displaying five M969s, 5,000-gallon semi-trailers filled with thousands of gallons of fuel.  

Morgan, of San Diego, California, is part of the team responsible for supplying fuel to thousands of U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers and their units at Fuel System Supply Point (FSSP) Schoonover during Combat Support Training Exercise 91-16-02, Fort Hunter Liggett, California. As the largest U.S. Army Reserve training exercise, CSTX 91-16-02 provides Soldiers with unique opportunities to sharpen their technical and tactical skills in combat-like conditions. 

“He fuels the trucks, verifies the numbers and provides excellent customer service,” said Sgt. Jiras Carter, team leader, 1017th Quartermaster Company, Camp Pendleton, California.  “He makes my job easy.”  

At CSTX 91-16-02, Morgan has also been charged with managing and confirming fuel delivery amounts from commercial fuel companies.  

“During one delivery, the numbers weren’t adding up to what was requested,” said Carter.  “It was Pvt. Morgan who found the error, allowing us to ensure we had enough fuel to support the day’s missions.”  

Morgan was born in Mexico where his father supported his family by being a doctor. They moved around often, giving Morgan a love for travel. After earning a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science he travelled to the U.S. permanently to seek more opportunities. 

“I love traveling,” said Morgan. “What I love is seeing new things, learning different languages, eating new and different food and just experience different cultures as a whole.”

He travels so much that when he enlisted in the military just last year and attended Basic Combat Training (BCT), a 10-week course where new Soldiers learn basic warrior tasks and combat skills, his parents thought he was just on another excursion with little to no connectivity. They didn’t believe him until he sent a picture of himself donning his new army combat uniform and shaved head.  

After that, and before joining the 1017th, he became certified in his military occupation specialty of petroleum supply specialist after 11 weeks of on-the-job instruction at Fort Lee, Virginia.  

“I wanted to prove that I can do anything that I put my mind to,” said Morgan.

He is also constantly seeking additional leadership and education opportunities.  Morgan said that he would like to research other careers in the military to broaden his skill-set, like finance or human resources, and possibly even become a commissioned officer. He had considered becoming an officer as soon as he enlisted because of his degree but wanted to be part of the organization and start working as quickly as possible.

“He is a leader and there is no limit at how far he can go,” said Spc. Eugene Pedriguez. “He’s very smart and has taught me things I didn’t know.” 

In his cool, collected manner, Morgan said he knows what has made him a better person and that’s being a Soldier.  He credits the U.S. Army Reserve for the traits for which makes him successful in his civilian work. 

“It made me on time, reliable and organized,” said Morgan. “I can’t thank the Army enough for giving me skills that I can apply to my civilian life. It has made me better.”