In honor of Veterans Day on Saturday, Nov. 11, the Independent reached out to the U.S. Army recruiting office in Scottsdale, at 6747 E. Thomas Road, to get to know local community members who have served the country. Sgt. First Class Michael James Browne recently re-located to the Sonoran Desert on assignment for the Army.
Name: Michael James Browne, Sgt. First Class
Where you live: Scottsdale
When & why you moved here: I am originally from Fort Walton Beach, Fla. I moved to Scottsdale in July 2016 on assignment with the United States Army.
Tell me about your military experience: I served in the United States Marine Corps from 1993 to 1997, and the United States Army from 2000 to present. I have served two tours in Iraq (2004, 2009).
What do you do now? I currently serve in the Scottsdale community as a United States Army Reserve Recruiter and Career Counselor.
What is the most important skill you took from your time in the military and how does it translate into other aspects of your life? Goal setting and leading others have been the most important skills that I have developed since joining the military. As a mentor, I have the unique opportunity of assisting young men and women identify their career and educational goals as they begin their own military careers. Leading others has not only become a passion, but a great privilege as well.
Tell me about a lasting memory from your time serving? As a recruiter, I have had the pleasure of working with some great Soldiers and getting to know their families. However, the most memorable experience for me was recruiting my only son, Private First Class Blake Browne, into the Army. He is currently in week three, also known as Jump Week, of the United States Army Airborne School, in Fort Benning, Georgia. I am definitely a proud father of a Soldier.
What is the biggest challenge veterans face? I feel the biggest challenge veterans face when leaving the military is the adjustment they experience once they move onto the next step in their lives. Leaving the military not only means leaving a job, but it also means leaving a team and structured way of life.
Do you have an annual ritual that you do on Veterans Day? What is it? I do my best to play a round of golf with a few of my fellow veterans and enjoy a good barbeque.
What do you like most about living here? The food is great and there are so many challenging golf courses in Scottsdale. Most importantly, the people here are very supportive of the military.
People who are an inspiration to you? My grandfathers and father, who all served in the U.S. military. My wonderful wife for being so supportive and the best mother to our children while I have been away for military duty.
What is your advice to today’s youth? Be your own self and set attainable goals, both short-term and long-term. Don’t ever be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, and lastly, believe in yourself.
Additional information you’d like to tell us about yourself: The Army experience has allowed me to travel the world, pursue a college degree, and serve my country. I hope others venture to take on the same challenge and excitement of serving.