LTC Brooks, Commanding from the Front - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

LTC Brooks, Commanding from the Front

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(KCEN) -- He may be the most well-known person in Bagram, Afghanistan. This is his third deployment, he's been serving for 20 years, and he shows no sign of slowing down.

"It's a challenge to keep up with him. He has a lot of energy, so I have to take my vitamins and stay in the gym to keep up with him," Battalion Command Sergeant Major Theodore Durand said.

Phil Brooks is the commander of the 3rd Red Dragon Batallion. He's not afraid to join soldiers four to five times a week outside the base.

"If my soldiers are going to be put at risk, then I should be there with them, because I'm ultimately responsible for them and their families," LTC Brooks said.

First Lieutenant Michael Tafone works closely with Commander Brooks. Tafone calls his leadership unique. Like when he calls cadence during PT, something he doesn't have to do.

"As far as the dangers go, he's willing to accept risks and we're willing to do the same thing," Tafone said. "He's not going to ask us to do anything we wouldn't do."

The jobs Brooks does with his soldiers are not always safe.

As a commander, one does not have to go beyond the wire. Brooks does it anyway, putting himself in the boots of almost everyone around him.

"I do. And I enjoy it. I enjoy getting out of this environment. I feel more natural, I'm from the south, I enjoy getting outside," he said. "I understand the culture here, and the demeanor. And frankly I love being with soldiers."

Lieutenant Colonel Brooks says a big reason why he joins his soldiers outside is because he wants to make sure the decisions he makes are something he would do if he was in their boots.

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