Why I Serve: Lt. Col. Ivan Gonzalez

Story by Spc. Adryen Wallace
13th SC(E) Public Affairs

"I was part of the Junior Army when I was around eight years old," said Lt. Col. Ivan Gonzalez, the Army's newest battalion commander who had just seized the colors of the Special Troops Battalion, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary).

"Junior Army was a community group headed by a retired first sergeant. It was kind of parallel to Boy Scouts," Gonzalez continued, "I liked the structure and discipline that it offered," he added.

This was the humble beginning of an Army career that has stretched across almost two and a half decades.

Gonzalez joined the Army Reserves in 1983 after completing high school, opting to split his initial entry training between the summer of 1984 and 1985.

"I really enjoyed Basic Training," he said, giving his reason for wanting to transition to the Regular Army, and by the end of his Advanced Individual Training he had decided he wanted to get his commission.

Upon his return from A.I.T., he joined the Reserve Officers Training Corps at the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez.

In 1987 he received his commission into the Army Reserves where he worked as a platoon leader in the 246th Grave Registration Battalion in his hometown.

In 1989 after completing his Bachelors of Science degree in Biology and earning a place on the Commandants List while attending the Quartermaster Basic Course, he joined the Regular Army.

"I graduated A.I.T. as a 76V(warehouse specialist), which is the modern day 92A(automated logistical specialist)," reminisced Gonzalez on Tuesday shortly after taking command of the Special Troops Battalion, 13th SC(E).

Although he is the new commander of the Special Troops Battalion, he is no stranger to the battalion.

Gonzalez has served in multiple positions within the SC(E) to include, 289th Quartermaster Company Commander and even as the Executive Officer for the battalion that he has just taken command of.

Gonzalez said that one of the important aspects of having a command is the ability to make decisions that make a difference to Soldiers.

"I'm taking it one step at a time."

"My goal is to prepare this unit and its families to deploy," Gonzalez said, "I at least have the knowledge of deploying with this unit last rotation to help me out," he recounts.


Lt Col Ivan Gonzalez
Lt. Col Ivan Gonzalez, Incoming Commanding Officer of Special Troops Battalion, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), Col. Christin Gayagays, Deuputy Commanding Officer of the SC(E), and Lt. Col. Terry Hildner, outgoing Commanding Officer of the STB, review Headquarters and Headquarters Company, STB, 13th SC(E), during Gonzales' Change of Command Ceremony at the SC(E) Guidon Field here Tuesday. (Photo by Sgt. Joel F. Gibson, 13th SC(E) Public Affairs)

Lt. Col Ivan Gonzalez
Lt. Col Ivan Gonzalez (Photo by Sgt. Joel F. Gibson, 13th SC(E) Public Affairs)