On May 18, 2001, Iuliana was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Army, where she was assigned to responsibilities in Ordnance.
Iuliana’s first duty assignment was at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. In December 2001, Iuliani was transferred to Camp Casey, in Korea, near Tongduchon, where she is now very close to the front line. Her responsibilities keep her busy, but she is having the opportunity to explore her neck of the Korean “woods,” and she is planning to extend her experience of the Army’s promise to “see the world” with a trip to Thailand or Japan when her first leave comes up.
Dear Dr. Bryant,
I wanted to bring you up to date on what is happening with me. Upon graduating from Mary Baldwin and receiving a commission, I immediately entered the United States Army. I worked for two weeks at the Army ROTC detachment at the Virginia Military Institute, followed by approximately seven weeks at Fort Lewis, Washington, where I served as a Company TAC (Tactical Officer) during 2001 Advanced Camp. In late August of the same year, I headed for Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, where with 31 of my peers, I began the Ordnance Officer Basic Course in Class 09-01. Class 09 graduated from OBC in late December. Two and a half weeks later, I was headed for South Korea.
Since then I’ve been on “Freedom’s Frontier,” serving as part of the most forward deployed unit in the United States Army – the Second Infantry Division, in the Republic of (South) Korea (ROK). Ever since my arrival to 2ID, I’ve held several leadership positions and duties. At the start of January 2002, I took over as the Maintenance Support Platoon Leader in Echo Company, 702d Main Support Battalion, and did all those things that Platoon Leaders do – ensured the personal and professional development, training and accountability of my soldiers and non-commissioned officers, plus a ton of additional duties. Trudging through month after month of a rigorous schedule, I realized that the Army in Korea works at a very quick pace; a “high op tempo,” as it’s called – everything happens faster and with a greater intensity. The Battalion Commander has a favorite saying: “be ready to fight tonight” – a statement which really describes the importance of our readiness, and one with which the current world situation has concurred.
After seven months as a platoon leader, and I found myself very much desiring to move on to something new. The Shop Office position within the maintenance company where I worked, became available and I was offered and willingly accepted the position in mid-July of that same year. I held the job for approximately six months, during which I learned more than I ever imagined possible about the Army’s maintenance and supply systems, standards, policies and procedures. The experience itself proved to be unlike any other in that I was merely a 2LT (the bottom of the officer food chain) directly interacting daily with Captains, Majors, and on occasion Lieutenant Colonels; but usually Captains as I was responsible for answering for the state of the equipment job ordered to a variety of my maintenance shops.
Finally, on December 2nd 2002, I was promoted to 1LT, and shortly after that I was informed that the Battalion Commander was looking to move me out of Shop Office and into the S-1/Adjutant’s position. I was his primary candidate, he said, because I was “aggressive.” For me the New Year has brought with it new challenges, as I take over as primary OIC for the Battalion S-1 on 3 February – a job that offers a lot of challenges, long hours of work and as I have observed, multiple stresses. But, I feel ready for it, and am looking forward to it as well.
That’s my life, as it stands post VWIL.
With high regards for your health and well-being – take care!