Staff Sgt. Ryan Getsie
Joint Multinational Readiness Center
Photos By Spc. Albert Valladares
Staff Sgt. Alex Houston stands in front of a motor pool staging area at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center for Combined Resolve XIV Sept. 13 in Hohenfels, Germany.
HOHENFELS, Germany – A small-town Soldier from rural Nevada plays a crucial role in some of the Army’s largest training exercises in Germany.
Staff Sgt. Alex Houston, 25, of Fallon, Nevada - population 8,000 - assigned to the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, provides vital support in his position as the brigade white cell non-commissioned officer at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center, this month during the Combined Resolve XIV exercise.
Houston explained his duties in his position he’s held for eight months.
“In my white cell role, I focus on logistical support for all national and international forces for this mission. I react to any problems that arise which could inhibit the success of our mission,” Houston said. “It’s been a huge challenge for me because I’m a line [combat] Soldier. This is a whole different ballgame. It’s more mental than physical.”
Combined Resolve XIV promotes regional stability and security, while increasing readiness, strengthening partner capabilities and fostering trust. This combined training opportunity greatly improves interoperability among participating allies and partners.
Houston has traveled to 11 far-flung countries since leaving northern Nevada to begin his Army career seven years ago, including South Korea, Japan, Ireland, Poland, Qatar, Jordan and Germany. It’s been a while since his schedule has allowed him to return to Fallon. He hasn’t been home since 2017.
“I consider Fallon home because that’s where I felt like I grew the most as a person,” Houston said. He was born in Reno, Nevada, but graduated from Churchill County High in 2013. Fallon is the county seat of Churchill County and is about 60 miles southeast of Reno.
Houston enlisted in the Army in 2013 and completed his initial training as a tanker at Fort Benning.
“I shot more than 25 active gunneries, eight as a gunner and two as a tank commander,” Houston said. That was before I was moved over to brigade as the school’s NCO.”
The trooper said he plans to once again become an armor tank commander at his next duty station. After, he plans to move on to his “broadening assignment” such as a combat training instructor or a drill sergeant. Broadening assignments allow Soldiers to gain additional skills to complement their primary military occupation skills and knowledge.
Houston hopes to eventually become a sergeant major.
“My ultimate goal is to become a sergeant major one day,” Houston said. “I want to make an impact and shape positive changes in the Army.”
Houston is focused on his current mission but he looks forward to carving out some time in the near future to see his girlfriend, two dogs and cat waiting for him in Savannah.
During this month’s Combined Resolve exercise, Houston assisted several Nevada Army Guard Soldiers from the 106th Public Affairs Detachment based in Carson City, Nevada.
“I was surprised and happy to see fellow Nevadans in Germany,” he said. “It made me feel closer to home. I was glad to help them while also supporting the mission.”