Capt. John Sexton was working as a youth pastor in New Jersey on Sept. 11, 2001. The terrorist attacks of that day compelled him to enlist in the Army, and he was 29 years old when he shipped off to basic training in March 2003.
Sexton has seen and done a lot in the Army since then, including eventually graduating from Officer Candidate School and becoming an ordnance officer. He deployed once to Kuwait as an air traffic control equipment repairer, twice to Afghanistan as an EOD officer, and once as a logistics officer with the 1st Armored Division’s Sustainment Brigade.
His Army journey eventually led him to Fort Bliss, Texas, and soon after to the U.S. Army Joint Modernization Command on Fort Bliss, where he is a logistics application officer for the Joint All-Domain Command and Control division.
Sexton had been working with the 1st Armored Division’s Sustainment Brigade on Fort Bliss when he learned of JMC. He said he interviewed with JMC because he wanted to be part of shaping the future of the Army. He was excited to learn that he would be taking part in yearly Joint Warfighting Assessments that demonstrate and assess Multi-Domain Operations concepts, capabilities and formations to prepare the Army for the future.
“It’s exciting to see the development of concepts and capabilities that ensure the Army is ready to win in a complex world,” Sexton said. “As an EOD officer, I was mainly focused on company operations and smaller things. The JMC has broadened me up to strategic-level thinking. Helping me to see the big picture of multinational operations of whole Army problems and not just ‘what does first platoon need to do today.’ It’s really broadened my perspective on the Army and given me a lot of opportunities to be a part of seeing different technologies and possible solutions to Army problems that I wouldn’t even have thought of before.”
Much of Sexton’s work with JMC focuses on NATO Logistics Functional Services, commonly known as LOGFAS. Because any future conflict will be a joint and multinational fight, so is logistics, and Sexton works through problems in an effort to have multinational sustainment officers all share information the same way.
“We still need to work on some of the human and procedural, but LOGFAS shows a lot of promise because it’s an amazing system that gives a vast amount of sustainment data,” Sexton said. “It helps you to see that overall picture of what’s going on as far as personnel, equipment, supplies, where they’re located, time and distance to get them, routes … so much information is in there. We just need to capture that opportunity and use the system.”
One of the main goals of using LOGFAS is to save time and effort by coordinating logistics and sustainment with our multinational partners. Sexton said he has enjoyed working toward solutions.
“There’s the expensive way to solve the problem, which is every country doing their own thing, or there’s the efficient way to do it, which is communicating, so that everyone knows what the plans are and who’s doing what,” Sexton said. “That’s one of the things I enjoy about my work as a logistics applications officer is I’m trying to get that interoperability and build those efficiencies into our operations with multinational partners.”
Sexton has been married to his wife, Amanda, for 21 years, and they have a daughter, 16, and a son, 12. Their son, Zane, sings in the school choir, and their daughter, Anica, is on the Americas High School swim team. The entire family is enjoying their time in El Paso.
“El Paso has a tremendous amount of parks, playgrounds and open spaces,” Sexton said. “There are great hiking opportunities in the Franklin Mountains. The pool here on Fort Bliss is amazing. There’s always stuff to do in El Paso. I took my daughter to Comic Con. We’ve been to several Chihuahuas games, and even if they lose, it’s a fun time at the ballpark.”
Though the events of Sept. 11 first inspired Sexton to join the Army, he said what has kept him in is the opportunities he’s had to continuously learn, do new things and see new places.
“I have jumped from planes and helicopters, trained in explosives and traveled around the world,” he said.
His learning experiences continue at JMC, as he learns big lessons about how the fights of the future will be waged.
“I’m thinking and learning about joint and multinational operations,” Sexton said. “How do we integrate the Navy, Air Force and Marines into operations? Are they going to be able to use this system, or do they have something similar and how can we make them communicate? How can we make sure everybody is working together? JMC is a tremendous learning experience.”