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Turlock native pursues Army, sports career dreams
turlock army pic
Turlock native Spc. Chad Laughton, a logistics/supply specialist for the 249th Quartermaster Company, uses a pallet jack to move supplies that will be loaded onto an awaiting truck July 25 at Fort Bragg, N.C. - photo by SGT. 1ST CLASS JON CUPP

FORT BRAGG, N.C. — As an avid baseball fan growing up in Turlock, Spc. Chad Laughton, a logistics/supply specialist for the 249th Quartermaster Company, would often daydream of a career in the major leagues and scoring big wins as part of a team.

Although he hasn’t given up on a career in sports yet, either playing or managing after he gets out of the Army, Laughton said he’s found plenty of teamwork and exhilaration getting supplies to troops and accomplishing a mission that “comes with its own big wins.”

“I love logistics, and it means a lot to know that we’re making a difference in the lives of soldiers who are out there relying on us to distribute parts out to them as fast as possible so they can continue their mission,” said the 23-year-old, who has served two-and-a-half years in the Army. “Even on rough days when it’s extremely hot in our warehouse, heat isn’t really a factor. For us, it’s all about dedication to duty and to other soldiers.” 

When he’s not working in his company’s warehouse, moving heavy supplies on a pallet jack to load onto trucks or doing stock control, Laughton can often be found driving a military truck on supply runs to Fort Lee, Va.

“It’s exciting. When you drive your own civilian car, it can be a little boring but there’s nothing like the feeling when you get behind the wheel of a big military vehicle and drive in a convoy down the highway,” he said. “When I was growing up, I didn’t see military trucks that often where I lived, and so I know it’s interesting for people to see us driving down the road and they notice we’re military and give us a wave, showing their support.”

Laughton, who said his wife, Deidre, is supportive of his goals, hopes to pursue a long military career before moving on to a sports career.  

“For both of us, the military has provided a sense of security, something to depend on,” said Laughton, who recently won both the 189th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion Soldier of the Quarter Board and the 82nd Sustainment Brigade Soldier of the Quarter Board. “I really want to stay in and by going through all the soldier boards, I’ve really learned a lot about the military and military education.”

“I’d like to get a degree and go as far as I can in the military — maybe even go green to gold,” he added.

During his down time, Laughton continues to pursue his love of baseball and also indulges in another interest — racing cars.

“I’m a big NASCAR fan and love everything from dirt racing to go-karts and sprint cars - anything with four wheels,” he said, explaining that racing might be another of his professional pursuits.

As he looks toward his future, Laughton remarked that whatever sports-related field he chooses as a post military career, he will have his experiences in Army logistics to thank for “a wealth of knowledge” and allowing him to become “a well-rounded professional.”