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Interview with Clinton Maxwell, February 27, 2020

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:16 - Joining the Army

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Partial Transcript: And with that I'd like to ask...

Segment Synopsis: Clinton Maxwell begins by sharing his upbringing as a Georgia native and child of a veteran, his enlistment in the Army immediately after graduating from high school, and his experiences in basic training and Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Fort Benning.

Keywords: Graduation; Infantry; Infantry Blue Cord; Military Occupational Specialty (MOS); One Station Unit Training (OSUT)

00:05:54 - Airborne School

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Partial Transcript: So, Infantry Training's done...

Segment Synopsis: Maxwell discusses being assigned to Airborne School where he received his Parachutist Badge, or "Jump Wings." He talks about moving to Fort Bragg to join the 82nd Airborne Infantry and the last-minute cancellation of his voluntary deployment to Bosnia.

Keywords: Battalion; Bravo Company; Graduation; Jump School; Missing Man Formation; Promotion

00:12:46 - MOS Change

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Partial Transcript: Alright, so, you're there training at Bragg...

Segment Synopsis: Maxwell explains his decision to switch his MOS (job) from Infantry to Signal and his transfer from Fort Bragg to Fort Gordon. He talks about his new role as Microwave Systems Maintainer Operator and his rocky relationship with the leadership there.

Keywords: Army Regulations (AR); Barracks; Permanent Change of Station (PCS); Specialist E4

00:16:55 - Korea

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Partial Transcript: We got my orders...

Segment Synopsis: Maxwell shares stories of his deployment to Camp Humphreys in South Korea. He discusses his role of maintaining the AFN (Armed Force Network) equipment in the areas surrounding the camp.

Keywords: Antenna; Fiber; Osan Air Base; Radio; Seoul; TV; Television; Transmitter; Yongsan Army Base; geographic company area

00:22:58 - Back to Fort Bragg

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Partial Transcript: So after I got my assignment...

Segment Synopsis: Maxwell discusses being assigned back to Fort Bragg after deployment and shares stories of working with new electronic technology. He talks about his reasons for taking the Primary Leadership Development Course (PLDC) and his promotion to Sergeant.

Keywords: 35th Signal Brigade; Battalion Sergeant Major; Delta Com[any 327; James Jordan; Michael Jordan; Noncommissioned Officer (NCO); Routers; Signals; Trucks

00:32:56 - The Aftermath of 9/11

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Partial Transcript: And this is when...

Segment Synopsis: Maxwell shares memories of when he first heard the news of the terrorist attacks on September 11. He discusses the impact it had on his experience in the military, specifically the transition from generic training to real-world scenarios. Maxwell discusses how he prepared himself and his team for war in the Middle East.

Keywords: Peace; Platoon Sergeant; War

00:37:38 - Kuwait

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Partial Transcript: Then I got orders to go to Kuwait...

Segment Synopsis: Maxwell discusses his deployment to Kuwait and his difficulties navigating armed vehicles around Camp Doha. He talks about being in charge of roving maintenance and managing the communications equipment on satellite camps.

Keywords: Airport; Iraq; Noncommissioned Officer (NCO); Shipyard

00:44:23 - Afghanistan

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Partial Transcript: But while I was there...

Segment Synopsis: Maxwell talks about his deployment to Afghanistan with a team whose mission was to build the communications at the U.S. embassy in Kabul. He shares memories of the terrors he experienced the first few nights there and how it set the tone for the rest of his tour. He also discusses his interactions with locals and government officials.

Keywords: Afghan Children; Bagram Air Base; Hamid Karzai; Islam; Land Mines; Taliban

00:52:55 - Preparing for Deployment

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Partial Transcript: So I come back...

Segment Synopsis: Maxwell discusses his time between his deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq. He talks about his work as Section Sergeant, his first experience telling soldiers they were going to be deployed, and his subsequent training and preparation for deployment.

Keywords: Fort Bragg; Promotion

00:56:06 - Iraq

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Partial Transcript: And then finally we get orders...

Segment Synopsis: Maxwell discusses his deployment to Iraq and his experiences as a gunner on a convoy. He shares one particular story of his first time witnessing an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detonate near him. Finally, he talks about being sent around Iraq to help with installing and fixing equipment on various bases.

Keywords: Abrams Tank; Al Asad Air Base; Al Diwaniyah; Anaconda Air Base; Baghdad; Camp Echo; Camp Fallujah; Desert Combat Uniform (DCU); Equipment; Truck Commander (TC)

01:09:07 - NATO

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Partial Transcript: So, I'm on the last flight back...

Segment Synopsis: Maxwell explains his request to be assigned to NATO and being stationed in Brunssum, Netherlands to work on communications for NATO Land Forces. He describes the various training sessions he took part in across Europe and shares stories of his leisurely travels.

Keywords: Air Force; Berlin, Germany; Kaieserslautern ("K Town"); Landstuhl; London, England; Munich, Germany; Noncommissioned Officer (NCO); Oslo, Norway; Ramstein Air Base; Rome, Italy; Routers; Spangdahlum Air Base; Staff Sergeant; Switches; USO (United Service Organizations) Tour; Utrecht, Netherlands

01:22:15 - Special Forces Support Pt. 1

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Partial Transcript: So what brings you back...

Segment Synopsis: Maxwell explains his move to Special Forces (SF) Support. He discusses discovering the differences between what he calls "Big Army" and this smaller, more specialized group. He shares stories of gun training, working on satellites, and being deployed back to Afghanistan to work on communications and monitor Taliban movement.

Keywords: 5th Group; Classified; Equipment; Fort Campbell; Mid-South Institute; Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA); Radios; Unclassified

01:32:01 - Special Forces Support Pt. 2

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Partial Transcript: The second night we were in our location...

Segment Synopsis: Maxwell continues to share stories of his time in Afghanistan, including communication structures working improperly, IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) attacks, and firefights. He also discusses building satellite positions inside villages and retaking mortar training.

Keywords: Children; Observation Post (OP); Patrol

01:45:55 - Bahrain

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Partial Transcript: So, I come back to...

Segment Synopsis: Maxwell talks about being stationed at Fort Campbell and the excitement he experienced when becoming a Jump Master. He then recalls his deployment to Bahrain and his assignment to the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) on a Navy base. He discusses how stressful it was working as the Senior Signal Circuit Officer (SCO) with the Navy and the Air Force.

Keywords: E8; Lieutenant Commander; O4; Senior Chief; Senior Jump Wings

01:51:48 - NSA

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Partial Transcript: So I come back...

Segment Synopsis: Maxwell discusses being assigned to a military intelligence company that works for the National Security Agency (NSA). He talks about his enjoyment working as a project manager and creating an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for the Commander of NASA.

Keywords: 5th Group; Fort Gordon; Noncommissioned Officer (NCO)

01:53:55 - Retirement and Starting School

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Partial Transcript: And this is where I retired...

Segment Synopsis: Maxwell recalls retiring out of Fort Gordon and following through on his promise to his mother to put his GI Bill to use. He talks about immediately beginning his retirement as a full-time student at the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business and studying Economics.

Keywords: Airborne Physical; Senior Jump Wings; Senior Leadership Course (SLC); Veterans Affairs (VA)

02:02:43 - Transition from Military to Student Life

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Partial Transcript: Ted has helped out a lot...

Segment Synopsis: Maxwell asserts the positive impact that the UGA Student Veterans Resource Center (SVRC) had in his transition from military to civilian/student life. He finishes by speaking about the military traditions he kept up when around other veterans on campus.

Keywords: Economics; Education