Michigan Guard artilleryman trains to carry on life-saving family tradition

Pfc. Brent Kearns, a Soldier with the 1171st Area Support Medical Company, performs chest compressions on a training mannequin, Aug. 10, 2016, at the Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center’s North Forward Operating Base during annual training. Lt. Col. Laura Svinarich, a physician’s assistant with the 127th Medical Group from Selfridge Air National Guard Base, coaches Kearns. The 1171st ASMC operates an aid station during Exercise Northern Strike 2016. (Michigan National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Nicholas Oposnow/Released)

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Story written by Staff Sgt. Nicholas Oposnow, JFHQ Public Affairs

CAMP GRAYLING JOINT MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER, Mich.– A Michigan Army National Guard Soldier recently transferred to the 1171st Area Support Medical Company of Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Pfc. Brent Kearns trains this week at the North Forward Operating Base at Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center, Michigan, with the 1171st ASMC during the unit’s annual training.

Kearns, whose drives a tow-truck for a civilian career while pursuing a degree in elementary education from Central Michigan University, has been in field artillery for the first six years of his career in the Michigan Army National Guard.

Kearns says that his family inspired his decision to enter a new career field in the National Guard.

“My father was a paramedic for 30 years and my mother was a nurse for 30 years,” said Kearns, “So it seemed only natural.”

Kearns has been with the 1171st ASMC for six months and trains with the unit during Exercise Northern Strike 2016.

Northern Strike 16 is a National Guard Bureau-sponsored exercise uniting approximately 5,000 Army, Air Force, Marine, and Special Forces service members from 20 states and three coalition countries during the first three weeks of August 2016 at the Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center and the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, both located in northern Michigan.

The exercise strives to provide accessible, readiness-building opportunities for military units from all service branches to achieve and sustain proficiency in conducting mission command, air, sea, and ground maneuver integration, and the synchronization of fires in a joint, multinational, decisive action environment.

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