Enlistment and Basic Training

Interviewee: Nicholas Dutkiewicz

Born: February 25, 1984 Nicholas Dutkiewicz was born and raised primarily in Bristol, Connecticut. Despite not having any family history of service in the military, he was drawn to the military to fulfill his desire for service and to see the world. His mother convinced him to join the U.S. Army Reserves. He went to Fort Benning and Fort Gordon for basic training and the School of Infantry and quickly grew to like being in the Army. Later he did become dissatisfied with having joined the 405th combat support hospital in West Hartford, Connecticut instead of an infantry unit. In 2003 he was deployed with the 319th Signal Company and was stationed at Camp Bucca in Southern Iraq. Nicholas explains his experiences during this tour and the problems he faced. He ran patrol and guard missions and still felt like he wasn’t getting the combat experience he had desired. When he came back to the States, he decided to go on active duty. After he made the change, he was stationed in Fort Lewis, Washington with the 12th Stryker Calvary regiment. The regiment was originally going to go to Europe and work with NATO forces but instead it diverted to Iraq. Most of the soldiers in his unit were Iraq war veterans. His unit worked closely with helping put down factional resistance in Baghdad. Nicholas describes the various strategies that the US military took against the Mahdi army and the part his unit played in these strategies. On his way home he toured Europe and in 2009 he decided not to reenlist. In retrospect he feels he learned many important things in the military such as a sense of discipline, a good work ethic, both of which he is using now that he is going to school at the University of Utah.