TARIN KOT, Afghanistan – As part of the Arkansas National Guard’s 1039th “Razorback” Engineer Company, Army Staff Sgt. James B. Duboise is a soldier in high demand at the multinational base here.
The base’s supply specialist said his motto is, “If you name it, I will get it.”
Duboise mobilized June 29 with his team to Fort Bliss, Okla., and deployed here three months later as part of Combined Team Uruzgan, where accounts for more than $42 million worth of property and equipment assigned to his company.
“He is so critical to the Razorbacks’ mission that without him, all day-to-day operations would cease,” said Army 1st Lt. Patrick Byerly, the company’s executive officer.
Duboise’s duties include ordering, receiving, inspecting, and inventorying weapons, ammunition, parts and equipment for his company’s soldiers and helping his Australian and U.S. counterparts with their logistics needs.
“I like helping people,” he said, attributing his work ethic to his parents. “They taught me good morals and values, and every day I strive to live by their example.”
Duboise enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1980 as a food service specialist and served at Camp Pendleton, Calif., until 1983, when he began a break in service. He re-enlisted into the Arkansas Army National Guard in 1988 as a supply specialist.
He liked his new responsibilities so much that in 2005 he applied for full-time duty in the National Guard.
Born and raised in Trumann, Ark., Duboise attended Trumann High School, where he met his wife, Pam. They have been married for over 30 years and have two children and two grandchildren.
His daughter and her 4th grade class at Boone Park Elementary School in Little Rock, Ark., has kept morale high during his deployment by sending letters and cards to Duboise and the Razorback team.
“I always take time to write letters back to the students at Boone Elementary,” Duboise said. Just a few days ago, he noted, the children received several letters from the Arkansas soldier.
“My daughter said the class was so excited that they asked if they could stop what they were doing and read the letters from their soldiers,” Duboise added.
The supply sergeant said he plans to visit the class and thank the students for their support in person when he returns home later this year. He also plans to continue his work as a high school football equipment manager and volunteer firefighter.