COLUMBIA, SC, UNITED STATES
Story by Spc. Chelsea Baker
South Carolina National Guard
Since joining the South Carolina Army National Guard in 1991, Master Sgt. Kristopher Alvey with the Recruiting and Retention Command has felt a strong sense of duty that has carried on through his family.
Originally, he enlisted as a field artillery Soldier but in 2004 he made a decision to take his career in a different direction.
“I decided to become a recruiter because I believe in the Guard,” said Alvey. “I wanted to give other people the same opportunity I was given.”
Alvey says joining the military was one of his greatest accomplishments but he considers the birth of his two children, Jordan and Zachary as his greatest accomplishment. As his children were growing up, Alvey never really pictured them joining the military, but as they got older and started to show more interest in the idea, he did everything he could to help them get to where they wanted to be.
“I never really thought of my children following in my footsteps,” said Alvey. “When they came to me and started asking questions I realized they were becoming more serious about wanting to join and I made sure I did everything I could to help them both reach their goals.”
As a result, Jordan joined the U.S. Air Force June 8, 2018, with the goal of pursuing a career in the medical field. Zachary recently graduated basic training from Fort Jackson on May 31, 2018 and is now attending his advanced individual training (AIT) as a unit supply specialist (92Y) in the South Carolina Army National Guard.
“Growing up I always wanted to join the military,” said Zachary. “The neighborhood kids and I would play Army and I remember dressing up as an Army Soldier more than once for Halloween.”
Although, from a young age, Zachary had a clear idea of wanting to pursue the military, his sister felt differently. Jordan and her father would make fun of the idea of her enlisting into the military and she never thought it would be an option until later in life.
“My dad always joked about me raising my right hand when I turned 18,” said Jordan. “I didn’t really put any thought into it until my senior year of college.”
Even with a break of service from 1997 to 2003 when Alvey followed another path, he has served 21 years in the South Carolina Army National Guard, the last 15 with the Recruiting and Retention Battalion. Alvey plans to continue his military career until retirement in hopes of 30 years of dedicated service. He aspires that his children will have the privilege to serve until retirement and is anxious to see where their careers will take them.
“I am very proud of my children,” said Alvey. “I am overwhelmed with pride and excited to see what their futures hold.”