27 August 2014

Jesus Yanez – An Inspiration For All


Military service is a way of life for Jesus Yanez. Hailing from Texas, Yanez, the middle child among four siblings, was raised by a single mother. As soon as he grew up, he began working to support the family. He sold newspapers, worked at a pizzeria and sold greeting cards to keep bread on the table. When we he was a junior in high school, he found the local Marine Recruiter and signed up. People thought he was absolutely crazy for volunteering at such a young age, but he went ahead with it anyway.

Yanez became a part of the Marine Corp. in 1993 and grew to love his occupation. Being in the Marine Corps meant everything to him. But after he got married, Yanez decided to leave the Corps in 1997, up until he got divorced. He missed being in the military, so in 1999 became a part of the Navy Reserve, serving as a master in arms. However, after 9/11, he decided to change tracks. He received a conditional release from the Navy and joined the Army instead. His dream was to be deployed so he could do his part for the country. When he wasn’t deployed, he took another conditional release and became a part of the Air Force this time around.

Over the years in the Army, Yanez kept changing positions, moving jobs. In order to remain in service of the Defense Department, he requested for downrange deployments. Not surprisingly, by the end of 20 years in the military, he possessed a unique resume. 

Yanez raised his two kids in Texas as a single father and served as a part of the 204th Security Forces Squadron of the Texas Air National Guard. After serving in the National Guard, he got deployed to Afghanistan. Over the past decade, the U.S. deployed more than 2 million troops overseas. According to the Defense Department, of those two million, only about 40,385 troops had served in more than one branch of the United States military. Yanez, on the other hand, has rendered his services for the defense of his country in every way possible. He has been a part of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force. His service is exceptional in the sense that it is very rare people get to serve in all four branches. 

In June, Yanez was deployed in the Bagram Airfield. He was contacted last month and interviewed about his unique position in the Army. He laughed and said as big of an honor as it is to serve in all four branches of the Defense Department, he, for one, did not do it intentionally. He said things just panned out for him. He is currently serving in 455th Expeditionary Base Defense Squadron. Yanez claims he did not even realize he had served in four branches.

It is extraordinary how this specific profession turned out to be one of the best choices Yanez made in his life. His unique experience is definitely an inspiration for all. Such an experience not only broadens horizons and exposure, it also brings innovation in the Defense Department. The world could use more people like Jesus Yanez!

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