Mancil, Gabriel (Interview transcript and video), 2019


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Mancil, Gabriel (Interview transcript and video), 2019



Smither, James (Interviewer)


Gabriel Mancil was born on July 16, 1990 in Valdosta, Georgia. He was homeschooled and acquired a GED in March of 2008. After an Army recruiter requested he acquire some college education to qualify for the service, Mancil attended two semesters at a local community college before enlisting. From there, he was sent to Fort Benning, Georgia, for sixteen weeks of Basic Training. In Basic, Mancil attended One Station Unit Training (OSUT) for his first eight weeks before graduating onto Advanced Infantry Training. Mancil was then transferred into Hometown Recruiting before going to Fort Riley, Kansas, where he was assigned to C Company, 28th Infantry Regiment, 1st Battalion, 1st Division and prepared for deployment. In May of 2012, his unit was deployed to Afghanistan and was flown from Kansas to Germany and then Manas, Kyrgyzstan, before transferring to a military aircraft for the final flight into FOB (forward operating base) Sharana, Afghanistan. His unit was stationed at a Command Operating Post (COP) and was tasked with supporting the Afghan National Army (ANA) in addition to patrolling. After six months, his unit was relocated to another nearby, larger COP where it conducted armored and security patrols. Since it was a larger Post, the Taliban fired a greater quantity of mortar rounds at his position, but now, his unit could return fire more effectively since they had field artillery and radar at the Post. At the end of his tour in February of 2013, Mancil was flown back to Manas, then to Germany, and then back to the United States. Back at Fort Riley, he was promoted to Private First Class and then Specialist, but never applied to become a Sergeant because of a foot injury he sustained from the strain of his gear. Due to the severity of the injury, he was deemed medically unfit for service and started the long process of medical discharge in March of 2014. Once discharged in 2017, Mancil returned to college in August and spent more time with his wife and newborn daughter. When he and his family moved to Michigan, Mancil believed he was ready to leave the service lifestyle and enjoy civilian life. He attended Ferris State University for its heavy equipment program and graduated in May of 2019. He then acquired a job with Hewitt Construction near Washington D.C. which, ironically, followed a similar work mentality to that of the Army.




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Grand Valley State University Libraries, Special Collections & University Archives, 1 Campus Drive, Allendale, MI, 49401.


Veterans History Project (U.S.)






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Mancil, Gabriel, “Mancil, Gabriel (Interview transcript and video), 2019,” Digital Collections, accessed May 20, 2024,
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