Staff Sgt. Michael DeVaughn: I'm Michael Devaughn. I'm a student and a Soldier in the Army Reserve. My MOS in the Army Reserve is 31 Bravo, which is a military police officer.
The Army Reserve definitely showed me the career path that I wanted to take. If I have any questions about law enforcement, you know I seek those police officers that are in my unit. It's really great to hear feedback from them, and it really motivates me more to be a police officer. Honestly, the people that made me confident have been my leaders in the Army Reserve. In the Army Reserve, they definitely built me to the leader and the NCO that I am now. I was out to prove to everybody that you know this young guy at 20 years old can do it. It's kind of the mentality that the Army Reserve builds into you. You know, you want to let everybody know that you're fully capable of making decisions and then, once I was a leader, you know it rubbed off on me. I give my Soldiers certain tasks, and they'd go out of their way to prove to me they were able to handle these tasks.
Well, I can say I'm a better student because I've seen both teaching and being a student from both sides now. I can understand, you know, what the teacher's trying to do and take it in as a student. My security job is, it's really only a step in my whole law enforcement career. I feel I'm staying refreshed, and I'm staying constant with enforcing rules, and police departments, they have a lot of loss prevention police officers, and I'm just gradually climbing this ladder, you know, to better myself so I can eventually hold the title of a police officer.
When I go in for a job interview, for instance, the employers definitely get right to my military experience. They're interested, and like, well, great, he's in the Military. He's got discipline. He's got all these great things that he can contribute to our company, and it's just like another one of those tick marks about being in the Army Reserve that sets you above everybody else.
The Army Reserve definitely — it keeps me polished because, I mean, you're a professional. With that uniform, you have a lot of weight on your shoulders. You have to think more or less about others than just yourself. I'm going to say I have to maintain my professionalism. It makes me feel, like, you know, there's nothing that I can't handle.
It's given me a better edge at school. You know, I've always looked at school being the hardest thing because of what I did in high school, but it's making me go out there and basically grab the bull by the horns. I actually really do feel like I'm accomplishing a lot. I mean, who can say that you've done all this, you know, deployments, been to all these different places, and then still come back from it all and still look for more to better yourself as an individual and, yeah, I definitely feel that way.
Here I am, 24 years old. I'm a staff sergeant. I came in when I was 18 years old, and my brain has just been this sponge. That made me a better military police officer. It made me a better Soldier, and it made me a better individual. If you want to exceed the standard, then go into the Army Reserve because they'll take your standards, and they'll bring you from here at one level, and they'll bring you up.