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NEWS | May 18, 2023

Army Sgt. 1st Class goes above and beyond to help Soldier

By U.S. Cyber Command Public Affairs

UNITED STATES CYBER COMMAND – Ft. Meade, MD – Members assigned to U.S. Cyber Command, National Security Agency, and liaison officers from various U.S. interagency partners were awarded command coins from Gen. Paul Nakasone, commander of U.S. Cyber Command and Director of the National Security Agency.  

The coins were presented for the quick actions and leadership to a U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class, and his team for their effort in assisting a service member receives the mental health support needed.

“Each person involved embodies the values of CYBERCOM,” said Nakasone. “It only took one alert for an NCO to start a chain reaction, to identify and trigger the processes to support a fellow service member in crisis.”

Nakasone added, that our most valuable asset is the strength of our people; we all have a responsibility to help and support each other through struggles and take action when necessary.

That’s exactly what members of the CYBERCOM team did and they saved a life.  

While on duty at CYBERCOM’s Integrated Cyber Center’s Joint Operations Center, the Sgt. 1st Class monitoring and scanning various news/social aggregation and information-sharing sites frequented by military personnel; the he came across a message board and specific post that made his blood run cold.

A Soldier had just posted a concerning message saying they had taken some pills and was waiting to die.

What had been an otherwise routine Thursday suddenly became a matter of life and death. The Sgt. 1st Class alerted the watch officer, and the JOC team sprang into action without hesitation, triggering a series of actions.

“I felt it was my duty as a non-commissioned officer to do whatever I could to find this service member and get them the help they need,” said the Sgt. 1st Class. “The team in the joint operations center had the right skills and knew it was their responsibility to locate this Soldier and intervene before something terrible could happen.”

Using their collective skills, they found enough information in the account profile and previous posts to perform a global directory search for the Soldier. The watch team narrowed down the location and unit of a Soldier located in Germany. The JOC team passed information over to the command’s liaisons at the U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Division, who alerted local CID’s agents.

After validating the information from the CYBERCOM JOC team, local agents engaged the Soldier's units and dispatched and conducted a health and welfare check to the Soldier’s home, arriving just in time. arriving just in time.

The Soldier answered the door but was not far from being unconscious. The Soldier was immediately transported to the hospital, where they could receive much-needed medical treatment and support.

“This is a great example of teams from multiple organizations coming together to help a fellow service member in crisis,” said Nakasone. I am proud of their initiative to use their skills to track down this person and alert their chain-of-command.”

Nakasone added, our people should never be afraid or ashamed when seeking assistance from a mental health professional or their teammates and colleagues. Your resiliency and safety are our most important priority; we all are responsible for supporting each other through struggles and taking action when necessary.

If you or if you know someone struggling with mental health, personal or a family crisis, the Military Crisis Line is a free, confidential resource for all service members, including members of the National Guard and Reserve, and Veterans, even if they’re not enrolled in VA benefits or health care.

The Veterans Crisis Line in the continental U.S. by dialing 988, then press 1 or online at Calling from overseas, in Europe, call 00800 1273 8255 or DSN 118; in Korea, call 080-855-5118 or DSN 118; in the Philippines, dial #MYVA or 02-8550-3888 and press 7.