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Commanding general's aide has full schedule
Albert Marckwardt wrote a book, traveled the world and loves to serve
CPT Albert J. Marckwardt, aide-de-camp to Fort Stewart’s commander, Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo, poses for a photo on post Tuesday morning.
Name: Albert J. Marckwardt, captain, U.S. Army

Age: 35

Occupation: Aide-de-camp to Fort Stewart's commander, Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo

Hometown: "It's a very hard question for me to answer. I grew up all my life moving from country to country. I was born in England. I lived in Peru, Boliva, Chile, Chapel Hill, N.C. ... I was used to moving around, but Columbia, Md., was a huge shock."

What is a day of work like for you at Fort Stewart? "Typically, we meet up and go out to PT every morning. And then in the mornings, there're always a series of meetings to start off the day. At the end of the day, he [Cucolo] answers e-mails or does office work. And in between, depending on the day, he interacts with local community members or soldiers. So, my job is to be with him. I write things down and take note of things so he can focus on the task at hand. I'm there to help him out in any way, shape or form."

How did you get the position of aide to the CG? "I was a troop commander for about six years, and then about three months before my time was done, the commanding general was looking for a new aide. I knew he was looking for an aide to start right around the same time I was finishing, so he started taking interviews and I applied."

What have you learned through your service? "In the end, no one really achieves success on their own. They achieve it by helping each other out ... it all comes by everyone helping each other out. Some small considerations, it's the small helping hands that we give each other that make a difference."

What's your favorite part of your job? "It's actually just serving. I love doing what I do. I love soldiers. I love spending time with them. I love training with them. You grab a whole bunch of people from all over the country and put them together, and a lot of times we've never even met each other, but together we can solve some of the most complex problems, complete some of the most difficult missions and it's just because we interact with each other and we all have a sense of duty and serving and being selfless with each other and that's uplifting in itself. That gives me a sense of pride."

What's your least favorite part of the job? "The one thing that I hate, and mind you, I've been doing it for many years, is waking up early. And I curse myself on the weekends when I wake up at 5 or 6; I want to keep sleeping. Waking up at 5 in the morning, I've never quite gotten used to it. I don't know if I ever will. But I do it."

What do you do in your own time? "I wrote a book that's being published. It comes out in April. It's fiction. Me and my buddy we both wrote it. But we didn't write a book to get published; we wrote it to help lieutenants on their way to Iraq. So the book is about a lieutenant who flies to Iraq and on the way over he falls asleep. Throughout the episode he has six dreams and each dream starts the same way, his company commander comes up and gives him a mission. Basically, it's a series of lessons learned."

Do you have any other hobbies? "I really love to travel. I like going to different places. I love meeting new people. That's one of the joys of my life. It's sort of innate in me."

Will you ever consider living in one place for longer than a few years? "Yeah, I love serving, but the one thing I don't do enough of is get more involved in the local community. There's a certain point when you want to establish roots. And for me, Savannah and the whole coastal community, I absolutely love it. If there's a place where I could see myself establishing roots, it'd be here.

Out of all the traveling you have done, what was your favorite trip? "I did a two-part trip to Greece and Australia. I went to Greece for the first week to a little island called Mykonos. ... and I had the time of my life in Greece, and then I went to Australia and I had the time of my life. I lived it up. That was by far the most relaxing, kind of self-serving trip. But it was my time to break away from the stress."

After traveling the world, what do you appreciate about the country you serve? "One of the things that makes the country very, very great, is the genuine concern about how to make everybody's lives, fellow brother and sister and Americans, how do we make each other better? How do we make things better for ourselves - not me - but ourselves?"


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