Soldier Changes His Name For Inspiration
By Pfc. Amy M. Lane
Public Affairs Specialist
4th Sustainment Brigade
FORT HOOD, Texas — Whenever he was going through a difficult time either in his personal life or in his professional life, one 4th Sustainment Brigade Soldier relied on his faith to carry him through.
The thing that sets this noncommissioned officer apart from other leaders in the Army is the name that is stitched across his uniform. His first name is Soldier. His last name is 4theLord. Staff Sgt. Soldier 4theLord doesn't have a middle name.
4theLord is a retention NCO for the Wrangler Brigade, and if you hang around him long enough you will notice that a lot of people do a double take when they read the name on his chest.
"I get approached about it every day," he said. "People ask if it's my real name. The answer is yes. The Army doesn't let a person wear a fake name."
He said he used the name for years on the internet, and people had always responded well to it. So, in November 2004 he legally changed his real name, and he said he continues to live up to that name every day.
"I decided to make a change when things were not going well for me," he said. "I wanted to boldly announce that I had a higher protection. It was both a reminder to me and a statement to other people."
4theLord said it was a bold move, and it was difficult for some people to accept. But he said that the name change has always given him strength.
"It inspires me every day. It makes me a target – it's like a banner," he said. "Because of my name, people watch my behavior. So if I behave badly then I fail to live up to my name."
4theLord said he considers himself a people person, and he tries to use the attention his name attracts as an opportunity to connect with people.
"It opens the door and allows me to connect with people," he said. "People even ask me if I am a chaplain."
With more than 26 years in the Army, 4theLord has had many different jobs in the military. At one point he even went to school to be a chaplain's assistant.
"When I was a young Soldier, I didn't have anyone to mentor me or tell me to stick with one thing, he said. "Everything looked exciting, so I wanted to learn about everything."
And 4theLord said he relies on that diverse experience as he gives Soldiers advice about their reenlistment options in his current job with the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary).
"I'm a jack of all trades, but a master of none. My age may have slowed me down physically but I can still be a good example morally," he said. "For me, my spiritual beliefs are my greatest resource. I think once you find spiritual peace, it helps you physically and mentally with everything else."
Staff Sgt. Soldier 4theLord said he hopes he can use his military experiences even after he retires one day.
"I will always be a Soldier," 4theLord said.
Staff Sgt. Soldier 4theLord, a retention noncommissioned officer for the 4th Sustainment Brigade, sits in the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) chapel at Fort Hood, Texas Mar. 22. (U.S. Army photos by Pfc. Amy M. Lane)