DVIDS – News – Chief Paralegal NCO Blue Devil joined the Army Reserve to help his family and found a career


FORT McCOY, Wis. – What started as a hearty belly laugh turned into a 12-year career in the Army Reserve for a non-commissioned officer in the 88th Readiness Division.

Sergeant 1st Class Dexter A. Taylor, chief paralegal NCO, 88th RD, joined the Army Reserve in July 2009 after a conversation with a friend turned from a laughing matter to something seriously.

“I had a job, but I knew I could do other things,” Taylor said, “but no one wanted to give those opportunities. There were other things I wanted to do as well, but I didn’t. I was unable to seize these opportunities.

After that fateful conversation with his friend, who had served in the military, Taylor decided to try the military and see what it had to offer for him. This first step was to have an honest conversation with a recruiter.

“[My recruiter] asked me ‘why are you trying to join the military’ and once I told him what it was, he said these are the things the military can give you,” Taylor said. “A lot of these issues that I had were sorted out pretty quickly, just based on my joining the military.”

Taylor joined as an Army Reserve Soldier from the Traditional Troops Program Unit, intending to drill one weekend a month and complete two weeks of annual training a year while working near his hometown of North Carolina. However, after completing his basic training and advanced individual training, he soon realized he wanted something more from the military.

“I decided that if I had to do this, I wanted to do it. I didn’t feel like coming to train one weekend a month was going to get anything out of it. If I have to be here, I want to learn skills,” Taylor said. “It was all because I couldn’t get any civilian opportunities.”

Through this commitment to the military, Taylor has had postings with the 18th Airborne Corps, US Army Reserve Command, 9th Legal Operations Detachment, and now the 88th RD.

“I had no intention of staying here for an extended period,” he said. “But, 12 years later, here I am and I have no regrets.”

One of the assignments Taylor said he was most proud of was his attendance at the annual paralegal training course at Fort McCoy. He started working on the logistical side of the exercise and now serves as course manager.

“I was quite lucky with the opportunities given to me,” he said.

Taylor said he would continue to serve in the military until his retirement. During this time, he hopes to complete his bachelor’s degree in psychology and then obtain a master’s degree in social work so that he can achieve his ultimate goal of being a licensed clinical social worker.

“That’s another passion of mine, trying to help less fortunate families is ultimately what I want to do,” he said.

With him on this ride with the Army are his wife LaToya and two children, Ariana and Tristan.

“My family is really my heart,” he said. “Even if I’m here in Fort McCoy, it’s because of my family.”

Where does the rest of his Army journey go, Taylor said he will do whatever the Army asks of him.

“At this point, the career goals that I really have have already been exceeded,” he said. “I didn’t expect to be in the army for so long. At this point, I’m doing everything I can for the army that gave me the opportunities to be where I am. Wherever the army needs me to go, that’s where I am.

Date taken: 28.02.2022
Date posted: 28.02.2022 09:06
Story ID: 415396
Location: FORT MCCOY, Wisconsin, USA

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