Major LaFlash proudly recognizes Staff Sergeant Ethan Hermanson as our ArmA Soldier of the Quarter, for third quarter of 2016. Staff Sergeant Hermanson sets a fine example of what it is to live up to the Army Values. In everything he does, be it leading soldiers in combat, or performing his DMOS work, He always brings 100%. He is a valued member of the leadership team and we expect many more great things to come in his future career here at Third ID!
Tell us a little about yourself. At school I am the geeky theater type, I do theater a lot. Right now I am stage managing a show which is a big deal because I usually get to act. This time around I picked up a leadership role, other than that it is dabbling in sports and playing computer games.
What is your favorite aspect of the unit? The realism aspect of the unit. I mentioned joining the military previously when I become of age. Whether it is before college or after college depending on I like the colleges. This is the closest unit that gets the realism part. I stayed because of the community. You make genuine connections and relationships with the people here. I feel closer to people in this unit more so than real life people.
Any favorite memory that has stuck with you? About a month ago, second to last mission when we attacked an airfield, we had to attack the town with the bridges and the airport. The roughnecks are going over a ridge to engage all the targets there. We got to the airfield with 2-3 mags per person. We shot down all the planes on the Tarmac, we had about 12 bullets between us. All of a sudden this anti-aircraft starts raining bullets on us, we run to the hang ar. There are about 5 of them, we get inside. There are 4 BMPs there we thought were inactive, turns out they were not inactive. So we run outside and find out there are 5 more BMPs we end up killing the guys inside of the hangar. Taking 1 casualty per 15 seconds. We are getting hammered and the building is falling down, everyone goes down, I take over Platoon command. I pick up an A24 and shouted “If you can still walk, follow me!” we kick open the door, run outside, still taking bullets and somehow I blow up 5 BMPs. First platoon comes over the ridge to reinforce us.
Tell us a little about your DMOS work. Currently I am the NCOIC of FIG. Which is probably the big one within this unit. Working along CPT Cantu, trying to see what we can do to make the training better in the unit. We are working on a medical course, we are working on a radio/telephone operator course as well. I am in PAO and RRO as well. In RRO I am a SDC and in PAO I am a journalist.
What Army value is the most important to you and why? Loyalty. The most important thing to me is never turning your back on people. It is ok if you are not the best soldier. I never want to see anybody not doing their job, badmouthing their friends, not coming on for events. Even in real life, if someone needs help with homework, needs advice, the most disgusting thing that a person can do is turn their back on the people that need you most.
In your opinion, what do you do that makes the most positive impact on the unit? I think there are two things. The number one thing I do is run my squad and do not take failure as an answer. I think that the most important thing to do as a squad leader is make sure everything you are doing is squared away. If you let that slip in your squad, it teaches your soldiers that they can take a bad attitude and laziness to another squad. I make sure that my guys know everything they need to know. We do not play around in squad drills. I always keep in contact with my soldiers to make sure that everyone is on top of things.
I am a bit of a perfectionist. If someone gives me a job, I will not half ass it. I give it 110%. I care about this unit, I am not going to let this unit collapse because I am not doing my job.
Any advice to give to your fellow soldiers? I think I would say, do your job as best as you can. Do not worry about your position or your role or how much responsibility you take on. I think the one mistake that people make is assuming that they are not in a position of leadership, it is ok to slack off. We all are in the same boat, we need to do 150%. If everyone in the unit excelled and tried, we would be the best one out there.