Sgt. 1st Class Brian A. Hines is the newest (USADT).
Upon being accepted into The Old Guard a year ago, Hines immediately considered joining either the USADT or being a Sentinel at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The prominence of the USADT interested him, Hines said.
Originally from Orlando, Fl, Hines grew up in Athens, Ga.
Hines said he had always had aspirations to join the military. His parents always assumed he would join directly out of high school, but he tried college first instead.
At 21, Hines found the pace of a college student wasn’t quite what he was looking for.
“I was working a few different jobs at the time,” said Hines. “My best friend at the time said ‘Hey, I just talked to a recruiter.’”
Joining the Army was something Hines had always dreamed of.
Hines joined the U.S. Army in 2003 as the military occupational specialty (MOS) 11b, Infantryman, with a friend as part of the now defunct “Buddy Program.”
Hines and his friend went through basic training together and were first assigned to the 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hi, before their paths finally diverged.
Hines has deployed to Iraq three times, in 2004-05, 2007-09 and 2010-11.
The next stop in his Army career was in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado at Fort Carson.
Soon after that Hines was assigned nearby near Denver as an Army recruiter.
Recruiting was based largely on telling his own story, and his personal experience in the military, said Hines.
The audience Hines was use to speaking in front of, Soldiers, was much different than the audience he was forced to speak in front of as a recruiter, civilians.
Hines considered himself an excellent public speaker, but having to relate to this new audience was more difficult than he anticipated. “It was a very eye opening experience,” said Hines.
Arriving at The Old Guard in 2015, Hines was first assigned to a less visible position in Alpha Company.
His time as a recruiter helped him build a comfort in front of the public that serves him well in the USADT.
“Its like any skill really, its very perishable,” said Hines. “It was more or less just a matter of knocking the rust off, and getting your face out there. Just know that stress itself is self-induced. What is stressing you out is public speaking. Once you do it, it becomes second nature.”
Finally circumstances were right, as the USADT Senior Drill Master position opened and Hines submitted his name for consideration.
His new role as the Senior Drill Master has been a smooth transition with the help of the lower enlisted of the USADT.
“At no point in time have they made me feel unwelcome,” said Hines. “They’ve always been very quick to help me fix the timing piece or the deficiency itself in the drill. They all have been more than willing to help me get to where I am now, actually getting in charge of the platoon.”
Though he finds himself adjusting to life in the DC, Maryland, Virginia (DMV) area, he is excited for his new position.
The traffic is the biggest transition to the DC area, but despite the longer commute times, Hines said he’s happy about this new phase of his career.
The main goal for Hines is to improve the USADT. That‘s been his goal in any assignment, to leave the organization better than before he arrived, he said.
A more tedious aspect to life in The Old Guard is uniform prep, and Hines embraces and even enjoys the dedication to making the uniform his own, he said.
“For me coming in and having to do the uniforms, for me its kind of a soothing feeling again,” said Hines. “Kind of like I’m making that uniform mine again, down to pressing it, stitching it, putting on the accolades I’ve received since being in the military.”
“Its not a hassle, it’s not a burden for me at all,” said Hines. “It’s more or less allowing me to take ownership and pride.”
“I’m just really excited to be here,” said Hines. “There’s only one Drill Team Master in the United States Army, and I’m privileged to be the only one.”