Neel-Schaffer Engineer Intern Kenny Fields Recounts His Nine-Month Deployment with the United States Army
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 14, 2022) – Boots on the ground is a term that describes physical presence in a military operation. Kenny Fields of Neel-Schaffer lived that life the last nine months, with his boots all over the dusty soil of Jordan.
Kenny is an Engineer Intern in the firm’s Nashville office, but he is also a 1st Lieutenant in the United States Army, for the 702nd Engineer Construction Company based out of Johnson City, TN. Deployed to Jordan, Kenny served on the front lines as a Platoon leader for road improvement projects, force protection, and Directorate of Public Works projects for multiple tenant units. We are excited to say Kenny has returned and that he completed many projects while deployed.
Kenny kept us abreast of his projects while away. In recent communications, he said he completed 19 projects, with an estimated cost of $2 million in labor, equipment, and materials, and that he traveled nearly 10,000 miles by the end of his mission.
Kenny said the projects included building towers for c-UAS (unmanned aerial systems), dust mitigation (placing, spreading, and compacting gravel), placing HESCO barriers to cordon off traffic from an airfield, fortifying bunkers, and as support and protection for towers. Two projects completed were the construction of Ammo Holding Areas, also known as AHAs. These were high priority missions that commanded the most focus and attention.
Kenny received an Army Commendation Medal (ARCOM) at the end of the deployment for his coordination and management of his projects while in Jordan. The ARCOM is an award granted for consistent acts of heroism or meritorious service.
In addition to that, Kenny was awarded a rare Commander’s Coin from the 448 Battalion Command Sergeant Major. The commander’s coin is one of the highest-ranking challenge coins, usually awarded for efforts above and beyond the call of duty.
We are excited for Kenny and to hear more about the innovative, and restorative work he was a part of during his deployment. He most certainly led by example by serving when called. We thank him for his service and dedication, and we are glad Kenny is safely back home.