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Face of Defense: Army Reserve Sergeant Stands Out as Leader, Mentor

By Army 1st Lt. Troy Preston, 211th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

FORT HOOD, Texas, Aug. 29, 2016 — The Noncommissioned Officers Creed is a guideline on how to be a good soldier and leader, but to one sergeant in the 340th Quartermaster Company, it is more than that -- it’s a way of life.

Army Reserve Sgt. David Chapa says he has always believed that being the best version of yourself will allow you to go far in life.

Chapa, a native of Laredo, Texas, recently conducted his annual training here in support of Exportable Combat Training Capability 16-05. He is also in the process of becoming an officer through the Army’s direct commission program and hopes to be selected later this year. Chapa said he believes that stepping into the officer ranks is the best way to use his skills and spread his knowledge.

Working Hard to Overcome Challenges

When Chapa joined the Army Reserve in 2000 as a 63H, or tracked vehicle mechanic, he began a journey that would forever change his life. From the start, he always strove to better himself. When Chapa came to a challenge that seemed too daunting to overcome, he worked hard until he figured it out. “I like challenges, and I actively seek them out,” he said. “It’s the only way to better yourself, and I am all about making myself and those around me better.”

After four years as a 63H, Chapa was reassigned as a 92S, or shower, laundry and clothing repair specialist, and deployed in support of the global war on terrorism in 2004. He thrived in his new field, and when he returned home to Laredo, he enrolled in Texas A&M International University. Chapa said he understood that to advance in the Army and in his personal life, he would need to better himself both in and out of uniform. He studied business administration -- he plans to one day own his own business -- and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2013.

Degree in hand, Chapa decided his next challenge would be to become an officer. “I want to become an officer because it’s the next step, the next challenge, and the best way for me to help soldiers,” he said. He also returned to school and is studying for master’s degrees in international business and finance, with the ultimate goal of opening a joint real estate and construction company that flips houses.

Despite his accomplishments, Chapa is still very humble and does not like to accept credit. He always makes it a team effort or about his soldiers. “Sergeant Chapa possesses all the great qualities of a leader and an officer. … I have no doubt that he will succeed,” Army Reserve Capt. Andrew Graham, the 340th Quartermaster Company commander, said.
Distribution channels: Military