VILSECK, Germany, –
Name: John Cruz
Job title: Information Technology Radio Logistics Assistance Representative
Unit: Communications-Electronics Command attached to the 405th AFSB
Service: 21 years active duty, 15 years Army civilian (4 years as a LAR)
Pictured here: Cruz shows a tactical communications Soldier assigned to 2nd Cavalry Regiment how to isolate a fault on an AN/VIC-3 vehicular communications system in a Stryker armored fighting vehicle April 3 in Vilseck, Germany.
Q: What is it about your job as a LAR that motivates you?
A: I just want to make sure these warfighters are ready for combat at all times, ensuring their equipment is combat already and they have the confidence to be able to succeed at all their tasks. I tell each Soldier I assist “no communications, failed mission” – it drives home why it's so important to know these systems and their capabilities. The bottom line, for me, it's all about the Soldiers.
Q: Have you seen the importance of communications, firsthand?
A: As a Department of Defense civilian Field Service Representative, which is similar to a LAR at the depot level, I deployed five times to Iraq and once to Afghanistan in a 5-year time period for six months each time. I was able to see successful missions and failed missions due to communications. It just shows how important communications is – it literally equates to lives saved or lives lost.
LAR: Logistics Assistance Representatives are Army civilians serving in motor pools, hangars, maintenance shops, and offices around the world. Highly trained, they bring more than two dozen specialty skills to Army equipment readiness requirements. They are all part of the U.S. Army Sustainment Command’s global network of Army Field Support Brigades and are linked to every echelon of the Army in the field. The 405th AFSB has several LARs with multiple specialties assigned across Europe. (U.S. Army courtesy photo)