J’can ap­pointed as bat­tal­ion com­man­der in US Army

Jamaica Gleaner - - SOMETHING EXTRA - An­dre.poyser@glean­erjm.com

hon­our be­stowed upon me. As bat­tal­ion com­man­der, I am re­spon­si­ble for the health, wel­fare and train­ing of ap­prox­i­mately 450 sol­diers, civil­ians and their fam­i­lies. As such, it is my job to pro­vide guid­ance and di­rect all ac­tiv­i­ties for my bat­tal­ion to ac­com­plish its mis­sion. The mis­sion of my bat­tal­ion is to train, develop and ed­u­cate sol­diers to con­duct and lead coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence, hu­man in­tel­li­gence and sup­port op­er­a­tions,” he said.

GROW­ING UP IN JA­MAICA

A na­tive of Dum­fries in St James, Denton was un­abashed in declar­ing that he uses his foun­da­tion and up­bring­ing as a Ja­maican to as­sist him in the way he leads his unit.

“I would of­ten run through the streets of Dum­fries bare­foot with no shirt on. So much so, it con­trib­uted to my nick­name. I could be seen ev­ery day af­ter school chas­ing be­hind the sugar cane trail­ers en route to the cane fac­tory. I loved to pull strands of cane off the trucks. I would eat so much cane that my stom­ach would be cov­ered with the sugar from the cane juices, and I be­came known as ‘Sugar Belly’ to all the neigh­bours,” he said, as he shared rec­ol­lec­tions with The Gleaner.

The com­man­der also shared fond mem­o­ries of help­ing his grand­fa­ther in his butcher shop.

“I would of­ten as­sist him with prep­ping and skin­ning the goats, pigs, chick­ens and other meats. The best part was cre­at­ing an im­promptu, makeshift wood, out­door fire and cook­ing por­tions of the meat.”

The jour­ney from Dum­fries has in­deed been a long one for Denton, who joined the US mil­i­tary in high school af­ter his fam­ily mi­grated in search of bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“Look­ing back, I think this way of liv­ing helped me to con­stantly be a prob­lem solver. It helped me be hum­ble, know­ing where I came from and the hard­ship we en­dured as young kids. Al­though to­day I con­sider it hard, back then, I thought it was fun and just our way of life. I have a can-do at­ti­tude be­cause of the foun­da­tion I re­ceived in Ja­maica,” he said.

Al­though it is very ad­ven­tur­ous to move around and travel the globe ev­ery two years, I do not get an op­por­tu­nity to see my fam ily very of­ten.

DENTON

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