RI Army National Guard Soldiers Set Their Sights in Puerto Rico

By Sgt. Terry Rajsombath | 110th Public Affairs Detachment | Nov. 26, 2019

Soldiers of A Co 1-182nd Infantry Regiment set their sights, literally and figuratively at Camp Santiago Joint Training Center in Puerto Rico.

“One day, I thought I needed to do something with my life,” said Spc. Jean Rodriguez, an infantryman with A Co 1-182nd Infantry Regiment. “So I thought, what better way to tackle life than to take on new challenges and give the Rhode Island Army National Guard (RING) a try?”

Rodriguez and members of his unit are in Puerto Rico to conduct individual weapons qualification, shoot and move drills and CQB (close quarters battle) training. Rodriguez said that he’s been a member of the 182nd for three years and loves the physical and mental training he and his teammates undergo as infantrymen. He said he loves the challenges the Army National Guard provides and has his sights set for greater challenges.

“I’m going to BLC (Basic Leader Course) in February,” said Rodriguez. “I reenlisted for six years so I have six more years ahead of me and eventually I wanna tackle Ranger school.”

Private Richard Charles, a member of A Co 1-182nd Infantry Regiment said that he enlisted as an infantryman in the Rhode Island Army National Guard to find personal and professional growth as well.

“I wanted something that was going to push me physically and mentally and this is definitely the MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) to do so,” said Charles.

Charles was born and raised in South Africa. Like Charles, Rodriguez was born outside the continental U.S., in Puerto Rico. Both men made their way in to the Rhode Island National Guard in hopes of bettering themselves and their futures.

Charles said that he looks forward to visiting his parents in South Africa and proudly sharing his accomplishments with his family. He said he’s excited to share his stories of being a Soldier, of being an infantryman.