“Wouldn’t Trade It For The World: Hunter Locke”
Describe to me the moment you decided to join the military.
“I decided to join the military in 4th grade after I saw all of the videos of the planes hitting towers on the news. I didn’t understand it at the time, but that was my motivation 100%”
What was your job in the military? What skill set did you take from it?
“I was an Armor Officer. In Armor, I went to a light unit, so I served as a reconnaissance officer in an airborne unit, about as light as you can get. In training for a reconnaissance role, they teach you to be comfortable with ambiguity and to take action with minimal guidance. The biggest skillset I learned is problem-solving in unfamiliar environments. That skill is widely applicable because unfamiliar problems can be broken into constituent parts and solved with persistence and by asking the right question. I’ve already seen a huge benefit from that.”
What smell, taste, or touch symbolizes the military to you.
“The smell of burning jet exhaust that you get hit with loading into the belly of a C-130 for a jump comes to mind. Either that or the potent stench of my Soldiers’ feet as I checked them multiple times daily for frostbite in the Arctic. Wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
What did you do before the military?
“Since I went straight from high school to college to the Army, the short answer is school. But my summer job was working in construction in Central Florida and I earned my commercial fixed-wing pilots license prior to joining the Army.”
Sum up your service in one sentence.
“Any success I may have had was absolutely solely because of the paratroopers I was honored to lead.”
The service is a time of great learning: what did you learn about yourself, what did you learn about others, and what did you learn about the world?
“I learned responsibility, for starters. Being entrusted with such responsibility at such a young age does some great things. I learned that some young people are totally oblivious to the world and the problems we have. It makes me feel like an old man.”
What advice would you give to a young officer about to take his first Platoon?
“First platoon? First 30 days, be a sponge. Don’t tip your hand, stay calm and professional, don’t break the “awkwardness” by trying to be people’s friend. Trust your platoon sergeant, stay humble, but assertive and aggressiveness when appropriate. You aren’t their first Lieutenant… this is only a first for you!”