Sampson County native and Union High School graduate Ben Wynn has always had an interest in the military. He has spent the last 19 years fulfilling his dream of serving his country.
Wynn, who is a major in the North Carolina National Guard, recently took command of 1st Battalion, 120th Infantry Regiment. Within the next few months, Wynn should also be promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel.
“The military has been a passion of mine since my earliest memories,” Wynn said. “This is exactly what I’ve always wanted to do.”
From Turkey, Wynn graduated from Union High School in 1994. He then attended N.C. State University and earned a degree in history in 2000. In 1999, Wynn said he enlisted in the North Carolina National Guard and received his commission as an infantry officer after graduating Officer Candidate School in 2001.
In the nearly two decades he has spent in the National Guard, Wynn said he has been deployed to combat three times. In 2004, he served as an infantry platoon leader in Iraq. Again, in 2009-2010, while serving in Iraq, Wynn was assigned as infantry company commander. Most recently, he was deployed to Jordan and served as an infantry battalion executive officer.
Now, as commander of the 120th Infantry Regiment, he oversees the 700 soldiers who are members of the battalion.
“Our mission as a combat battalion in the North Carolina National Guard is to conduct domestic response in natural disasters and civil responses and conduct full scale combat operations overseas,” Wynn explained.
Wynn, the son of the late Clarence and Vernie Wynn, attributes his success to his family, but most especially his brother and sister.
“I really could not have made it this far without the love and support of my family,” Wynn said. “My brother Billy and sister Jo Ann have been amazing over the years. I’ve also benefited from several great mentors in the military that have guided me through my military career.”
Having served nearly two decades in the military, Wynn will soon be eligible for retirement. However, he says he isn’t certain what his future plans include.
“I would like to continue to serve in the Army for a few more years,” Wynn said. “I’m not certain yet what I will do after I retire from the Army. I think I would like to find a new career that continues to allow me to serve others in some way.”
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.