“My time in the Army was some of the most demanding, challenging and rewarding years of my life,” Maj. Lloyd Slater said. “No matter what courses you took or phase of training you were in, you were constantly learning something new about yourself and how to go beyond what you thought were your mental and physical limitations.”
Born in Brooklyn, New York, at Fort Hamilton, Slater had no interest in joining the military, although his father was a 30 year veteran. Slater grew up in the Red Hook Housing projects before moving into a house in East Flatbush.
After completing high school, it was only by coincidence that one day while looking for a job, he passed an Army recruiting station. He circled the block several times before finally deciding to go in, speak to a recruiter, and enlist.
“It turned out to be one of the best life-altering decisions I have ever made,” Slater said.
He went to basic training at Fort Jackson before attending jump school at Fort Benning. It was there he was recruited for the 1st Ranger Battalion and in July 1974, Lloyd Slater jumped out of a C-130 aircraft and landed in Fort Stewart, Georgia.
During his time in the Army, he traveled to Germany, Panama, Alaska, Puerto Rico, Great Britain, and other countries throughout Europe.
“The military is a great place to start and ultimately, it’s what you make of it. The Army has provided my family and me with benefits, opportunities, adventures, and world travel and has helped many young people to recognize and reach their full potential,” Slater said.
After eight years in the Army, he came back to Georgia and settled in Hinesville. In 1986, he was hired by the Hinesville Police Department and has been there the last 32 years.
“Serving, whether as a soldier or police officer, gives me a sense of purpose,” Slater said. “I don’t wake up and see it as just another day but rather as another opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life.”
Now the assistant chief of police where over half the staff is veterans, Slater has a late brother, a daughter, and two sons-in-law who are active in or retired from the military.“Veterans day is a time for reflection and an opportunity to show appreciation for those who went above and beyond to serve their country,” Slater said.