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This is My Squad

Third Quarter 2020

Meet the 15 Noncommissioned Officers Selected as the TIMS App Development Squad

September 4, 2020

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This is My Squad Third Quarter 2020 Cover
Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael A. Grinston

Member of the Army Team,



In August 2020, the U.S. Army selected 15 noncommissioned officers to serve as the first TIMS App Development Squad. The Squad will assist software developers at Army Futures Command in taking on some of the Army's most high-impact administrative and leadership challenges like sponsorship, training management and counseling.

While more than 1,400 NCOs applied in less than a week, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston approved the final ADS members based on their proven leadership experience and varied perspectives from across the Army's military occupational specialties and components. “I'm counting on the TIMS App Development Squad to deliver an awesome mobile app that changes the game for leaders like you,” Grinston said in a statement to the selectees.

The NCOs will serve as a standing Soldier Touch Point for AFC's software developers. Soldier Touch Points provide developers near real-time feedback on changes to software and equipment resulting in a tool that is shaped by the end user. The leaders who will be providing feedback on behalf of all NCOs are highlighted below. The ADS is just one component of TIMS that is designed to empower the NCO Corps whose members continue to lead Soldiers and manage the day-to-day business of the Army.

People First! Army Strong!

—Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael A. Grinston



Staff Sgt. Cody Ritchison

Staff Sgt. Cody Ritchison

I am from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. I currently serve with Army Recruiting Command, Phoenix, Arizona. I joined the Army as a family tradition. My grandpa, father and now myself have all served in the Army. I view this app as a way to help our junior level leaders succeed. We are asked to know a little bit about everything as squad leaders, and the ability to access crucial information at our finger tips quickly will only make our job easier.


Sgt. 1st Class Denver O. Doran

Sgt. 1st Class Denver O. Doran

I currently serve as an air traffic control equipment repairer with Air Traffic Service Command at Fort Rucker, Alabama. My hobbies are drawing, road biking (bicycle), hanging out with my family and cooking. I enjoy solving problems, and going back to school for software development is a good way for me to apply this need. Being a part of this app development team will enable me to understand how to analyze user needs and implement design. Furthermore, it will assist Army leaders by improving readiness and to be more effective in the field.


Staff Sgt. Justin Smith

Staff Sgt. Justin Smith

I grew up in a small town near Lawrence, Kansas. I currently serve as a musician with the 25th Infantry Division Band at Scholfield Barracks, Hawaii. In addition to music, I enjoyed baseball and football throughout high school. I also worked in construction throughout high school and college at the University of Kansas. The Army paid for my music degree and afforded the opportunity for me to pursue a career as a performer. As an Army musician, I find myself serving as a sort of ambassador between my brothers and sisters in arms and the general public. I see the TiMS app as a chance to build a connection with my Soldiers and model “what right looks like” as a mentor leader.


Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Brazel

Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Brazel

I grew up in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. I currently serve as a cavalry scout with the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas. I enjoy modifying cars and spending time with my family. The Army for me is a large family with great comradery. This app will be a way to give back to the Army for affording me and my family such great opportunities.


Staff Sgt. Marra Haygood

Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Brazel

I grew up in Georgia. I currently serve as a unit supply specialist with 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment at Fort Stewart, Georgia. I enjoy spending time with my family and exercising. The Army was my very first job and hopefully, the career from which I will retire. I know this app will increase awareness, provide an opportunity for Soldiers to seek immediate help and greatly aid in implementing bystander intervention.


Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Hart

Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Hart

I am from Texas. I currently serve as a senior band musician at West Point, New York. I have lived the majority of my life all over the country. I enjoy mental puzzles (chess, computers and a keen fondness for Excel). Soon I will start my doctorate in Strategic Intelligence. After an interesting 20-year career (with three different Military Occupational Specialties), my son is now serving on Active Duty, and if I can make this better for him, it is worth the effort. I feel this is a major opportunity that does not happen very often in our Army. Simply put, this could change service for the better. I look at this app, not as a way for me to leave my mark on the Army, but as a way of leaving it better than I found it.


Staff Sgt. Gabriel Mercado

Staff Sgt. Gabriel Mercado

I am currently an instructor at the 16th Cavalry Regiment's Military Advisor Training Academy at Fort Benning, Georgia. I am married with three beautiful children. I enjoy working out, fishing, grilling steaks and watching movies with my family. I have been stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. I'm currently six classes away from my bachelors.


Sgt. 1st Class Michael Barin

Sgt. 1st Class Michael Barin

I'm from Kingsport, Tennessee. I currently serve as an infantryman with 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division at Scholfield Barracks, Hawaii. I joined the Army as a personal challenge to myself; seeking physical and mental challenges is a pastime of mine. I never want to grow comfortable with where I'm at. I see this app as a means for all Soldiers and leaders to connect, learn, and develop; providing a tool to enhance esprit de corps, knowledge and communication.


Sgt. 1st Class Jon Schroeder

Sgt. 1st Class Jon Schroeder

I grew up all over the world because my father was also in the Army. I currently serve as an indirect fire infantryman with Headquarters, Headquarters Battalion, I Corps at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. I enjoy everything the outdoors has to provide, but mostly I enjoy time with my family. My wife is also in the Army. We also have a son, Jaxon, who is one awesome 3-year-old. I believe this is more than just an app. It is a way we can bridge the gap in the NCO Corps when it comes to our Squads. I have witnessed firsthand how important it is to have a squad leader who is invested. That is what I hope comes from this app and this initiative, investment and paying it forward to everyone.


Sgt. 1st Class Marie Wright

Sgt. 1st Class Marie Wright

I grew up in San Diego, California enjoying the beach life. I currently serve as a human resource specialist with A Company, Headquarters, Headquarters Battalion at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. The Army provided me a way out of San Diego to travel to various locations. I see this app as a way to build a better cohesive Army Family that is capable of understanding our differences make us better together as everyone brings something to the table.


Staff Sgt. Antonio Regalado

Staff Sgt. Antonio Regalado

I grew up in Fort Worth, Texas. I currently serve as satellite communication systems operator-maintainer with Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 551st Signal Battalion at Fort Gordon, Georgia. I enjoy playing all kinds of sports (basically all of the on post leagues), and I'm also heavily involved with the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Georgia. I'm very excited about the development of this application, and think it will be extremely helpful for leaders of all areas within the Army. Moving towards something that can be easily handled and mobile will allow squad leaders to provide more direct leadership capabilities to their Soldiers. Overall, I'm excited to be on this team!


Sgt. 1st Class Justin Saint-Jacques

Sgt. 1st Class Justin Saint-Jacques

I joined the Army in 2004 as a combat medic. I am currently the first sergeant for I Forward Support Company, 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York. I have had the pleasure to work in a multitude of jobs and am looking forward to the new challenge of being a first sergeant. The TiMS app is a way for an older generation of Soldiers to give back to a younger generation by finding a new way to impart and relate classical and important management/leadership techniques. This app could be the critical point in Army leadership history and I will gladly jump at the chance to be a part of it.


Staff Sgt. Andrew Liss

Staff Sgt. Andrew Liss

I currently serve as an instructor with 1st Battalion, 209th Regimental Training Institute, Ashland, Nebraska. I am from Columbus, Nebraska, and my interests have always centered on the sciences. I view joining the Army as a way to be part of a historically significant and universally respected institution, which has since become much more to me. I envision this app as a means for the Army to instill a stronger, more effective sense of community at the smallest unit levels. I expect this new initiative to positively impact our mission accomplishment and Soldier welfare.


Sgt. 1st Class Natasha Barrett

Sgt. 1st Class Natasha Barrett

I was born and raised in Houston, Texas. I currently serve as a motor transport operator with 8th Theater Sustainment Command at Fort Shafter, Hawaii. I joined the Army because I was attracted to the excitement, adrenaline thrills and challenges, and desired change. Since joining in 2004, the Army has become my chosen lifestyle — my profession. Personally, the app is an opportunity to give back and refuel the force by equipping leaders with the tools necessary to adapt to advancements in technology and maximize productivity, education, and skills of the modern day Warrior.


Staff Sgt. Pommetta Roberts

Staff Sgt. Pommetta Roberts

I grew up in Apple Valley, California. I currently serve as a signal support systems specialist with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Irwin, California. The Army was initially my ticket out of the desert, but surprisingly I reenlisted for an assignment to Fort Irwin, California. From my initial intentions grew my love for down and dirty hands on work, the ability to master a real career field while broadening your horizons with skills from another field, wide range of cultural experiences from around the world, the blessing in travel, and above all, the privileges of influencing many through your leadership. I see this app as a way to give back share knowledge I have obtained throughout my career. Hopefully, this tool helps leaders improve their approach, daily taskings and coachable moments. I say this especially for those who are new to the ranks, new to having subordinates or even just finding it hard to squeeze extra leader professional development sessions in a busy schedule.


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