By Story by Spc. Dakota Vanidestine
103rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)
One Fort Knox Soldier’s servant leadership and passion for excellence has raised the maintenance standards in Qatar exponentially.
Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Watson, maintenance management noncommissioned officer in charge (NCOIC), Area Support Group – Qatar (ASG-QA), took over his position and has completely reformed the maintenance program and drastically improved maintenance readiness at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar.
Watson enlisted in the Army in 2004 – without many expectations for his career.
“I was only 18 years old when I joined the Army, and I figured I would just do my three years and get out,” said Watson. “I had a strong urge to provide for and take care of my family, so when I was offered a maintenance position I accepted it – even though it was not something I was passionate about at the time.”
Everything changed for Watson during his first deployment to Iraq soon after he finished Advanced Individual Training (AIT).
“My mindset completely changed during my deployment to Iraq in 2004,” said Watson. “Not only did I find my passion for maintenance, but that is when I decided that I would make a career in the Army.’
Watson has held numerous leadership positions that have prepared him for his current role as maintenance management NCOIC.
“One of my first leadership positions was as a squad leader and senior construction equipment mechanic when I was assigned to the 574th Quartermaster Combat Service Support Company in Graffenwhoer, Germany,” said Watson. “Since then, I have served as an AIT instructor, senior mechanic, company operations sergeant, and headquarters platoon sergeant.”
As maintenance management NCOIC, Watson’s servant leadership abilities have allowed his team to thrive.
“I hit the ground running when I arrived at Camp As Sayliyah, and I have been directly involved and engaged with my team in everything that they do,” said Watson. “My team and I have drastically improved the maintenance program here – bringing maintenance readiness from less than 50 percent to consistently over 90 percent. All of my prior experience has played a huge role in everything that I have been able to accomplish here.”
As much as Watson has given to the Army, the Army has given something so much more meaningful to him.
“There is nothing that compares to the brotherhood in the Army,” said Watson. “Some of the most meaningful friendships that I have made have been because of the Army, and I am extremely thankful for that.”
One thing has continues to motivate Watson throughout his career – his family back at Fort Knox, Ky.
“My beautiful wife of 15 years, Rachel, and children: Mea, Amaiya, and Izaiah, are what motivate me to do what I do every day,” said Watson. “Family always comes first, and my career in the Army has allowed me to take care of them while doing something that I love to do.”
As a result of Watson’s recent accomplishments, he was selected as Maintainer of the Month. Although unexpected by Watson, it is well-deserved and only a small token of gratitude for his 16 years of military service.
Watson is set to arrive back at Fort Knox, Ky., in July 2020, where he will be assigned to the 19th Engineer Battalion and continue leading from the front and setting the example for the Army’s future leaders.
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