NASHVILLE, Tenn. (September 2, 2021) – Instead of designing paving plans for Middle Tennessee municipalities, Neel-Schaffer Engineer Intern Kenny Fields will soon be leading a road-building crew in Kuwait for the United States Army.
Fields, a 1st Lieutenant with the 702nd Engineer Construction Company based in Johnson City, Tennessee, leaves September 13 for training at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas. In October he will deploy to Kuwait for a nine-month mission, where he will serve as a platoon leader for road improvement projects. 1st Lt. Fields will supervise a crew of 25-30 heavy equipment operators who will shape, mold, and build dirt and gravel access roads.
Kenny joined Neel-Schaffer in 2016 and commissioned in the Army Reserves in 2019. This will be his first deployment.
“I am extremely excited to be doing this,” said Kenny, who is based in Neel-Schaffer’s Nashville office. “I signed up to defend our country, and I am proud to get this chance.”
Military service runs in Kenny’s family.
Lieutenant General Dorothy A. Hogg, the first female Surgeon General for the United States Air Force, is his aunt. She recently retired after 36 years of service.
And his sister, Hannah Fields, enlisted in the Air Force at age 18 and is now an E-4 Senior Airmen who serves as an Aircraft Load Master.
Kenny said he was interested in enlisting while in high school but becoming an engineer appealed to him more, so he chose college instead of the Army. He served as a summer intern for Neel-Schaffer in 2015 before earning a Civil Engineering degree in 2016 at Tennessee Technological University.
“But when my sister joined at age 18, I thought the least I could do was join the Reserves, so that’s what I did,” he said.
The last three years have been a whirlwind for Kenny, mixing multiple training missions with his full-time job at Neel-Schaffer, where he provides engineering support for a variety of disciplines and clients.
Now, he’s ready for his first deployment.
“Kenny is an inspiration to us for what he does for Neel-Schaffer and especially for what he does for our country,” said Joey Hudnall, PE, Neel-Schaffer’s Chief Operations Officer. “We cannot thank him enough for his service and we support him fully. We’ll keep him in our thoughts and prayers while he’s deployed and look forward to the day he comes back to work with us.”