DECEMBER 5, 2022 – Growing up in the Bronx, New York, U.S. Army Spc. Noa J. Brutsch, an infantry machine-gunner assigned to Chaos Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division (3-1 ABCT) operationally controlled by the 1st Infantry Division (1 ID), made his decision to enlist in the Army after surviving Hurricane Katrina as a young boy in New Orleans.
“I grew up in New York, in the Bronx to a Jewish single mother raising three kids,” said Brutsch. “I worked several jobs after high school and it hit me, the Army is probably the best option I could have for being 18 years old.”
Educational and personal evolution became Brutsch’s driving focus for his life, and the Army provided that for him.
“When you enlist in the Army, it gives you the opportunity to go to school and I don’t think there’s a better decision you can make at a young age,” said Brutsch. “That’s why I primarily joined the Army and I picked the infantry because I wanted to get the full experience of what a Soldier in the Army could offer.”
Even while serving overseas Brutsch has begun the advancement of his education and planning his future career options.
“Currently I’m pursuing my degree online using army tuition assistance for a Bachelor of Science and finance in economics,” said Brutsch. “Hopefully I’ll keep my GPA high, so if or when I get out of the Army I can transfer to New York University and go for their law program to get my law degree and become a corporate attorney.”
Even though it is early in his career, the Army has provided life lessons and experiences that have positively shaped and impacted his life.
“The Army gives you a great opportunity to work with a lot of different people from different backgrounds, with people who grew up entirely differently from you,” said Brutsch. “Through differences and conflict we learn to come together, be part of a team to accomplish a common goal and that’s a very interesting dynamic that I can take with me as I advance in my career, in the Army and into the civilian world.”
The Army has the potential to impact each Soldier on an individual level and each experience shapes a different attribute within.
“The Army teaches a lot of patience, a lot of discipline, and I think it’s great character development because it puts you in very difficult situations,” said Brutsch. “When I was in the workforce prior to the Army, I was a little more stubborn, naïve, self centered, and now I know you can’t think like an individual, I’m a member of something greater than myself, a member of a team.”
Trust and the ability to depend on each other on the battlefield is essential to any successful armed force and as an individual Soldier.
“You have to have trust and I think good relationships and really good organizations are all founded on trust and building that team, which can be very hard, and it’s not always easy,” said Brutsch. “You have to have trust in your team all the way down to the lowest level because you’re not always going to be the one in the front, depending on each other and being able to count on each other is so very important.”
As a Soldier with the enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Poland, being stationed in the European theater has a special meaning for Brutsch.
“I’m very grateful for the chance to see European countries’ armies and learn about their different cultures,” said Brutsch. “I’ve had friends that were from the Ukraine, in the Jewish community growing up with a lot of Ukrainian Jews, and later in my life when I look back, I will be proud to say I was in the enhanced forward presence Battle Group Poland.”
Brutsch embraces values of a Soldier in the United States Army and brings with it a sense of pride and honor, for being in this part of the world. A Soldier supporting the eFP Battle Group Poland, who relentlessly serves the people of Poland and NATO Allies.
“We’re still here to reassure the people of Poland that we’re here, we’re ready to deter and defend, and that’s a great feeling,” said Brutsch. “Our alliance that we are here, we are your allies and we will stay in the fight for you; that’s a great opportunity.”
Story by Staff Sgt. Matthew Foster
117th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment (Hawaii)