Blackfoot soldier maintains focus in Iraq

JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq - Spc. Jason Turner, a member of Company Golf, 3rd
Battalion, 116th Cavalry Regiment, 77th Sustainment Brigade, 310th
Expeditionary Sustainment Command, and a Blackfoot native, does not
ponder the merits of a good work ethic very long.
After all, he already knows what the right ingredients are to put in a hard day of work. He learned that work ethic early and then sharpened it while he worked for his father at his shop in Blackfoot.
"You judge success by the quality of work that gets done, not by how much but by how good it is," said the 19-year-old.
Turner conveys more than just a fraction of the ethics honed in the rural
enclaves of Eastern Idaho.
The code of that region is evident when Turner talks: understated, reserved
and hardworking. Turner knows a lot about determination, too. He generally looks at how a task can be completed and how to accomplish the mission.
"I like the frame of mind that if it's accomplishable, it can't be that hard," Turner said.
Turner is the first one to admit he is a long way from Blackfoot here. Yet, he also said a lot of his preconceived notions about Iraq were wrong.
"It wasn't as hot as I thought it would be," he said. "In fact, I've been cold quite a few times."
Turner said he followed in his brother Jeff's steps to enlist in the Army just after he finished high school.
"I look up to my brother, and he joined," he said.
Turner said his deployment to Iraq helped him learn crucial leadership qualities. One of his strengths, he said, is the ability to find balance regarding assignments.
"I'm the kind of person who, I think, is a good follower, but I think I can be a decent leader at the same time," he said.
Part of being a good soldier, Turner said, is knowing when to contribute.
"Any time someone needs a volunteer, I volunteer," he said.
Turner started out as a driver on one of Company G's mine-resistant ambush- protected vehicles but now works in the unit's headquarters cell.
Going from guarding convoys to sitting at the headquarters building could be
a bit of a letdown for some, but Turner said he likes to break up the
routine with different assignments.