Military Profile - Keith Allen
In what branch of the military did you or do you serve and during what years?
U.S. Army, Infantry, 2001-2008.
What is/was your rank?
I left the Army as a captain.
What led you to join the military?
I was raised with the ideal (from my parents) that it was my duty to serve the United States in some fashion. As a kid, I thought doing something adventurous like jumping out of planes and rappelling from helicopters was very appealing. The two ideas meshed and that's what I set out to do.
Along the way, my father gave me the best piece of advice I've ever received. He told me, why not use the military experience to also get a degree and become an officer, so I have marketable skills when I leave the Army. I took that piece of advice, and that is the entire reason why I am able to be in my current job today.
What is the most valuable lesson you've gained from your military service?
The best things the Army taught me was how to solve problems and how to be an effective organizational leader. As an infantry officer, we got ingrained from day one on what effective vs. non-effective leadership was, then were thrown into those leadership roles right off the bat. The thing that the Army does well I believe is forcing officers at a young age to solve real-world problems in real-life dangerous situations. When you get experience doing that, it really helps you deal with stress and obligations for the rest of your life.
What are some medals, commendations, citations or other military honors you are proud of having earned?
Very proud of my Ranger tab, and other military schools I have graduated from. Sometimes when I get stressed out during my current profession, I look at the Ranger tab I have on the wall at my desk above my computer, and I remind myself that if I can deal with that, then I can do anything.
What would be your advice to someone considering or planning a career in the military?
I would definitely support any and all Americans who want to serve, and I always provide input and advice to those that seek it from me. However, I would say that you should do it for the right reasons. Many people I see join the military to make money or to escape from something. The military is a life style, not just a job, and it has to be about something more than making a pay check. Because that “job” could result in your death. Therefore, you have to be motivated by something more than personal gain to be able put your life on the line.
What are your hobbies and interests?
I love house projects (i.e. landscaping) and physical fitness.
Immediate family members?
I am married (no kids). We have two dogs (Elvis and Shelie). My parents live part-time in Yuma and also in San Diego, and my wife's mother and aunt also live in Yuma.