Sgt. Tsvira: Growing through the Army

Pfc. Elijah Magana

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – Twelve years after arriving in the United States from Ukraine, U.S. Army Sgt. Dmytro Tsvira, a culinary specialist assigned to 296th Brigade Support Battalion on JBLM, shares how he plans to achieve his personal and career goals.

Sgt. Tsvira maintains operations at Ghost Bistro, First Striker Brigade Combat Team Dining Facility.

“My life is here,” said Tsvira. “My family is here. My wife, she’s here and my kid is here. My parents are here. So basically, here is my home.”

Before Tsvira joined the Army he worked as a restaurant manager, gaining experience working with food and guiding those who make it. When Tsvira was considering his options for enlisting, he decided to go with a familiar Military Occupational Specialty, or MOS.

“I had [some] experience before I joined the Army,” Tsvira said. “I knew how to cook.”

Having recently been promoted to the rank of Sergeant, Tsvira’s responsibilities include more than simply doing what he is told. He is expected not only to fulfill his own job requirements, but also simultaneously to oversee a section of junior enlisted soldiers. For maintaining the flow of a section in the dining facility, Tsvira believes that one has to be “responsible and reliable.”

Tsvira also contributes to the development of the personal and professional lives of his soldiers.

“As a Sergeant, you have to develop your soldiers,” said Tsvira. “You have to develop yourself. You have to show a good example to your soldiers, and you have to help them to develop themselves too.”

Tsvira helps himself by diligently working on goals that he sets for himself. As a non-native English speaker, Tsvira knows that he needs to put more concentration into understanding the language.

“English is not my native language,” Tsvira said. “So, I feel like it’s a disadvantage for me.”

He is especially attentive to each instruction he is given to ensure he does not accidentally misunderstand a word he has been told. Sometimes, Tsvira needs to ask multiple times about his current instruction to ensure success.

“That’s the disadvantage. But I’m still studying. And there’s always a place to improve,” he said.

Tsvira believes his endeavor of language improvement will help him reach his future Army goals. He is currently working toward qualifying to become a human intelligence collector. Tsvira is enrolled to improve his initial test scores that are required to secure a position.

Tsvira admitted that completing school while juggling the work-life balance in the Army can be difficult, but he will prove that it is possible.

“I just finished my first class,” said Tsvira. “Let’s see what’s going to happen.”

Tsvira wants to take a slow and steady approach for achieving his goals rather than to stand still and make no progress.

“I want to stay in the Army,” Tsvira said. “I mean, I know it’s far away from now but I’m trying to become an officer. I’m going to get my bachelor’s degree.”

U.S. Army Sgt. Dmytro Tsvira, a culinary specialist assigned to 296th Brigade Support Battalion, laughs while preparing food for the Ghost Bistro Dining Facility at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington, Jan. 10, 2024. Tsvira prepared corn, meat and rice for soldiers on a field training exercise. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Elijah Magaña) (Pfc. Elijah Magana) 
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