Tim Akins, Albany, was recently promoted to the rank of master sergeant in the Missouri Army National Guard and now serves as the full-time operations sergeant with the Headquarters Battalion of the 1-129th Field Artillery Battalion in Maryville.
Akins previously served as the readiness noncommissioned officer for the 1-129th's Battery A and has been a Guardsman since 1997. From 1992-1996 he served as a field artilleryman in the U.S. Marine Corps.
In his new position, Akins is charged with helping supervise the battalion's training operations.
"It's a lot more responsibility," Akins said. "Instead of supervising employees in one location as a readiness NCO does, now I supervise employees in five locations."
In addition to the Maryville headquarters, the battalion consists Battery A in Albany, Battery B in Chillicothe, Battery D in Independence and the 1128th Forward Support Company in Marshall and Richmond.
The five units combined make up Missouri's only field artillery unit and comprise more than 500 soldiers.
Currently Akins is working on planning this year's annual training event, which will include a live-fire exercise in June at Fort Riley, Kan., involving the coordination of 18 lightweight 155 mm howitzers.
"That's what I'm working hot and heavy now," said Akins. "Something that is new to me after working at the unit level is that I now request ranges, all of the ammunition, and coordinate all of those little things you have to do to make an operation like that happen."
Akins is a 1992 graduate of Savannah High School.
The 1-129th is notable for its service in World War I, when Battery D was under the command of Capt. Harry S. Truman, later president of the United States. In recognition of this fact, this unit has the official designation "Truman's Own."