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Feature Stories

NEWS | May 26, 2016

US Army Central Soldier reenlists at Shaw Air Expo

By Maj. Angel Jackson U.S. Army Central

A U.S. Army Central Soldier recommitted to serve during a reenlistment ceremony May 20, during the Shaw Air Expo.


Sgt. Quenisha Gonzales, a Dudley, N.C. native, took the oath with three members of the U.S. Air Force. Standing beside an F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft, Lt. Col. Christopher Hammond, commander of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, issued the oath of enlistment.

Soldiers often find unique ways to commemorate their reenlistment, and having the commander of the U.S. Air Force precision-flying demonstration team is rare. Master Sgt. Edward Orsted, USARCENT senior career counselor, said it is not very often a Soldier has the opportunity to reenlist in such a major way.

"This was very unique," said Orsted. "This is something that just doesn’t happen very often and she was very appreciative to have the opportunity."

Gonzales, a supply sergeant with USARCENT’s Headquarters Support Company, joined the military upon graduating high school in 2008. Following in her parents footsteps, she enlisted in the U.S. Army as a unit supply specialist.

"I really do enjoy my job," said Gonzales on why she chose to reenlist. "The Army is a great way to see the world, a great way to support my family, and just something I am very proud of."

Gonzales said her best military experience was being inducted into the noncommissioned officer corps and getting a chance to mold young Soldiers and watch them grow. She also has plans to become a drill sergeant.

"Being able to watch people come from the civilian world or straight out of high school to become a Soldier would be an awesome experience," said Gonzales.

Gonzales said reenlisting at the air expo was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

"I enjoyed it," said Gonzales. "It was fun. If I had the opportunity to do it again, I would."