By Matthew J. Wilson
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. - James Senft, who lives in St. Robert, was recently promoted from the rank of first lieutenant to captain in the Missouri Army National Guard.
Senft has been with the National Guard for almost four years. He is a project engineer with the 235th Engineer Team of Fort Leonard Wood.
Earning the promotion to captain represented the completion of a Family-related milestone for Senft. His father, Rodger Senft, was an officer with the Missouri Guard's 1138th Engineer Battalion when it was located at Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis. But Rodger, who lived in St. Charles prior to his death in August of 2011, got out of the Guard before he was pinned as a captain.
"We always talked about how much it would mean to him to see me get the rank of captain and eventually become a company commander because he got out right before he got that opportunity," James Senft said. "When I received the rank, I was thinking about him and I know he was looking out after me and he was proud. That was one big thing he was always looking forward to."
Senft said he wanted to follow in his father's footsteps by joining the military, but decided to join the Missouri Guard on his own while he was in ROTC.
"I just happened to come to the Guard and I definitely like it," he said.
Senft earned the promotion through his hard work and diligence, restoring some of the 35th Engineer Brigade's programs, said Maj. Christopher Ratcliff, Senft's commanding officer with the brigade.
"Capt. Senft has done a great job for us," Ratcliff said. "He came in here and picked up the role. His work will provide some good training opportunities for a lot of our engineer Soldiers. He's definitely a mature officer who has a lot of potential and we are expecting great things out of him."
During the week, Senft is a technician for the Missouri Guard where he works as the training and operations officer for the 35th Engineer Brigade, also of Fort Leonard Wood.
A 2003 graduate of Duchesne High School, in St. Charles, Senft earned a Bachelor's of Science Degree in civil engineering in 2008 from Missouri University of Science and Technology, in Rolla.
Senft is supported in his military career by his girlfriend, Tanya Eichkorn, and her son Tre, 3, of St. Robert, his mother, Pat Senft, of St. Charles, and sister, Patty Senft, of St. Charles.
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