Major LaFlash proudly recognizes Sergeant Marc-Andre Lafontaine as our Arma Soldier of the Quarter, for fourth quarter of 2016. Sergeant Lafontaine enlisted in May, 2016. He has since gone on to serve the unit with 100% dedication, working his way up the ranks, serving as a fireteam leader and eventually taking squad leadership of Roughnecks, Second Squad of Second Platoon, Alpha Company. In addition to his outstanding leadership, he is a driving force in PAO, supervising the Combat Broadcast Journalists. For FIG he also instructs new recruits and trainees through BCT and AIT ensuring those soldiers receive a quality OSUT experience. In BMO he serves as a Roster Maintenance Specialist, keeping personnel files up to date. His leadership and service to the unit set an outstanding example not only for those soldiers under his command, but to all members of 3rdID.
Why did you join 3rdID? I believe that the only way to truly enjoy a game is to play it with other peoples, I would much rather spend 10 hours investing time in a community that will perpetuate to other people also investing their time than to play 10 hours in a single player game where all of that time and progress really amasses to nothing but a save file somewhere on your computer. What I was looking for when I made my initial search was a group of people with an established community that I could partake in, it was also important for me that every member of that community is treated equally.
What is your favorite aspect of the unit? It's leadership, I have been playing Video Games for about 15 years. In all that time I have never seen the type of leaders that I find in this Unit. It literally lit a lightbulb in my head, many people when they become good, or the greatest, they become complacent. It is the first time I have been in a group where a Senior member will work with a Junior member on an equal level and mutually respect each other, in gaming this is a very difficult thing to do. It's really easy to feel superior to someone else through a computer's monitor, what is more difficult is admitting to our faults and working with other people to find solution. This is something that I see happening every day in the 3rd Infantry Division. When I speak with other people I hear a sense of pride and honor in being part of this group and I believe that it falls in the Leadership values that are consistently bestowed upon newly recruited soldiers. I feel pretty confident in saying that I believe this unit has changed several peoples lives over it's 13 years standing, for the better, and this is my favorite thing about it. It has a position impact on people.
In your opinion, what do you do that makes the most positive impact on the unit? I always try to think about junior members. I listen when they need an open ear. I give them tips and trick when they need solution and I do everything I can to guide them towards a successful and meaningful path. I was a Private Trainee once, and I had the pleasure of having great leaders to guide me and provide me with some directions. Every day I try to think of new ways to help both my squad members and any other member of this unit. If someone needs help, I try to do everything I can to provide it.
Any advice to give to your fellow soldiers? Think of a goal, a project or wish you might have. Think about it really hard ... you got it? All right then get up that chair and go accomplish that goal, this project or that wish. It doesn't matter how hard it is, how many time you fail or how much people tell you it's impossible. Put your 200% in, do not stop and do everything you can to accomplish that goal, complete that project or fulfill that wish. At the end, not only will you have accomplished a goal, a project or a wish. But you will also have learn so much along the way your next goal, project or wish will be much more easier to accomplish. You keep on going and going like that for a while you will find yourself to be exactly where YOU want to be, doing what YOU want to do, for the reasons YOU want it to be so. You will have spent sweat, tears and a countless amount of hours exhausting yourself. But no one will be able to take that from you, and when you will look back at the guy that was sitting on his chair in front of his computer thinking about that goal, this project or that wish he wanted to accomplish so much. You will be glad that guy got off it's chair and started doing something instead of thinking about it. If you want to be successful, then be successful, there is simply no other way.
What Army value is the most important to you and why? Personal Courage, everyone in this world will have to go through some hardship in their lives. It doesn't matter how wealthy or poor you are. One way or another, something bad is going to happen. When that happens you will find yourself hitting rock bottom. Doubting everything around you and hating this existence that brought you pain and suffering. It will take a great deal of determination and courage to get back up and do the things that have to be done. Every day we head into the unkown, we face challenges and we try to survive has best we can. Courage will be the asset that will get you through life knowing you did everything you could and never turned your back around.