Aroutin Hagnazarian dreamed of joining the military since his boyhood days at Washington Elementary School. His mother wasn’t as thrilled with the idea, so when he graduated from Burbank High in 2010, he opted for the Army Reserves instead.
Hagnazarian was assigned to 307th Chemical Company, based in Bell, Calif., and quickly made an impression.
“When I see a soldier come in and I meet people for the first time, I know when we have a great soldier,” company commander 1st Lt. Gregory Nichols said. “Spec. Hagnazarian was one of those soldiers.”
He had standout qualities, even at the age of 18, Nichols said.
“When we went to the range he was, I believe, the only soldier that qualified expert on his weapon, which is just amazing,” Nichols said. “That, and he passed his [physical fitness] test with a high score. For a company commander, this is the kind of soldier I embrace.”