Saluting our Heroes: From Student to Teacher

Tuesday, September 19th 2023, 5:49 PM EDT

FORT GORDON, Ga. - Nearly two decades ago, a soldier got his start in the IT field without a computer to his name. Now, he’s gone from student to teacher - leading soldiers with the skills he’s gained since then.

"Feels like a journey, but I’m proud of my journey because I’ve accomplished a lot and I’ve gotten to see a lot...I mean, I’m just a soldier in the Army, you know? I’m getting after it, I guess!” said Master Sergeant Clarence Durst.

Meet Master Sgt. Durst. He’s a senior instructor at the US Army Signal School serving in a mentor role.

"They come in not knowing anything about the Army, and so my job as senior is to provide that guidance and tell them that it’s okay, that you can do it because I’ve done it...When I looked at that NCO, that young sergeant or that young staff sergeant, I was like, I know I want to be that person. So, for me to be able to be in the position I am now to provide that to the young soldiers, it’s amazing.” said Master Sgt. Durst.

Durst’s Army career spans 17 years. Looking back, he never knew he’d be where he is today. He started as a private working as a fueler then transitioned into IT.

"I didn’t even own a computer at the time!” said Master Sgt. Durst.

Now, Durst has completed a program that allowed him to learn from industry experts.

"Now, I’m helping generate the force and applying the knowledge and training I gained to the soldiers.” said Master Sgt. Durst.

But, it’s not just fellow soldiers he hopes to set an example for.

"What I want my kids to see is that you can accomplish anything that you put yourself to, your mind to and I hope that they look at the sacrifices I have endured was for a good cause.” said Master Sgt. Durst.

FOX54 salutes Master Sergeant Clarence Durst.

"Always challenge your perspective. Always reach for higher goals." said Master Sgt. Durst.

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