Luis Campos, a White Sands Missile Range employee who has spent much of the past two years working in Germany in support of the Special Operation Command Forward North and West Africa and the Special Operation Command Africa, was recently recognized for his distinguished work during his six month detail from July 2015 to January 2016.
Campos, a former Marine who was a WSMR management assistant at the time he deployed, served as a budget analyst in Germany and was awarded the Joint Service Civilian Achievement Award during a quarterly awards ceremony held at the Post Theater Dec. 1.
“You’ve invested your time and your family time for the good of the Army and I thank you for that,” said WSMR Commander Brig. Gen. Eric Sanchez during the awards ceremony. “You really need to be proud of what you have done.”
“Going back to the Special Forces was something I was really excited about,” Campos said. “I wanted to make a difference.”
Campos served to manage the General Funds Enterprise Business System accounts for Operation Enduring Freedom – Juniper Shield Mission. In his role Campos helped support operations against terrorist organization. He also helped support humanitarian operations and the annual Flintlock Exercise working with allied NATO and African Partner Nations forces when serving his additional duties.
“The money was tight but the mission had to be executed,” he said. “I can say I worked with Navy Seals and Green Berets. I’m looking forward to going back again.”
Campos initially applied for the position in 2014 to support Special Operations Africa in any capacity. However, when he arrived he learned they did not have a budget analyst so he volunteered to take on that role. For his first year, Campos worked for SOCA then he accepted a six month position with SOCF-NWA. As soon as the six months were over, he went back to SOCA and completed an additional six months.
“When I initially went it was very exciting for me,” he said. “I really got involved with the local community and I got involved in local exercises. I think it will help me later on down the line as well. My main goal was to be involved with the mission and fighting terrorists. When you hear about elephant killings and girls being abducted by Boko Haram, it doesn’t take much to want to volunteer to help.”
Having never served in a budget analyst capacity, he said he quickly learned how to conduct his role at a senior level. During his short time there, Campos also trained three new civilian budget analysts and two military personnel.
“The experience was very challenging at times,” he said. “There was a lot to remember.”
His wife and daughter joined him during his last year in Germany. His wife accepted a position as a budget technician during their stay. Campos’ award narrative describes him as “distinguished…with exceptionally meritorious achievement.” He said if he was able to do a tour in Afghanistan, he would. In the Marines Campos said he was a jack of all trades. He came in as administrative personnel and was reclassified into human intelligence. He separated from the Marines in 2005. Campos’ dad is an Air Force Gulf War veteran and both of his grandparents are World War II veterans.
“I think every civilian should take an overseas assignment to see how what we do here directly supports what’s going on overseas,” he said.
Since his tour and his award, Campos has taken a third assignment in Romania.
As of November 27, 2016, Campos was also reassigned to become a budget analyst at WSMR. He also recently received a master’s in Leadership Studies/Public Administration from the University of Texas of El Paso.