Father and Son with 1163rd ASMC Deploy to Poland

Spc. Samuel King (left) and his father, Col. Brad King, both with the 1163rd Area Support Medical Company train on a medical mannequin as part of the unit’s pre-mobilization training in Louisville, Ky., April 30, 2020. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Pfc. Alexander C. Hellmann)

By Capt. Michael Reinersman, 138th Field Artillery Brigade

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Although going on deployment generally means family separation, for two Soldiers assigned to the 1163rd Area Support Medical Company it means more time together in Europe.

Col. Bradley King, a physician, and his son, Spc. Samuel King, a medic, will be the latest father-son duo to deploy to Poland as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve in support of European allies in June 2020.

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The mission of the 1163rd ASMC is to conduct role one and two medical treatment within their area of operation, with capabilities to deploy all equipment required to be a self-sustaining medical facility.

 “This will be my sixth deployment and second time going with the 1163rd (ASMC),” said the senior King. “I had to ask Sam how old he was the first time I deployed to Iraq, and he said four years old.”

Col. King has deployed state-side and served on three tours to Iraq, spending 30 months away from his family.

“My dad kept deploying until I was seven years old and I thought it was cool he was in the Army,” said Spc. King. “Joining the Army was something that I always wanted to do.”  

Spc. Samuel King, medic, practices sewing up wounds on pigs’ flesh at the Alternate Care Facility in Louisville, KY. April 30, 2020. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Pfc. Alexander C. Hellmann)

It all started for Samuel by joining the Guard in 2016 while attending Daviess County High School and entering the split option program. Now, the 21-year-old college student is looking forward to his first deployment.

“I saw this deployment coming up and I jumped on it,” said the junior King. “The idea of deploying with my dad came up and I thought why not. I actually get to see Europe with my dad and that’s really cool.”

While deployed as combat medic, King will provide role one medical support to NATO forces on missions.  

For the elder King this will not be the first time seeing a family member overseas.

“While serving in another unit, I met my brother (Ret. Lt. Col. Rodney King) on two separate deployments while serving in Baghdad and Camp Anaconda, Iraq,” said King. “Our family has been Army. My father retired an E-8 in signal and my uncle retired as an E-9 in infantry.”

Since attending medical school at the University of Kansas, Col. King has been an Army Reservist or Guardsmen for 34 years while practicing family medicine in Owensboro, Ky., for 30 years.

“I extended for two years. Most likely, this will be my last deployment.” he said. “But I go where I’m sent. Never say never.”

As a general medical officer, Col. King will be working sick call, instructing and providing physicals in Poland.

Although they with have the support of each other during their deployment, they also have the support from their family back home. “I have another son, Spc. John King, serving as a 25 Bravo (Information Technology Specialist) in a signal detachment in Richmond, Ky.,” added King. “He’ll be staying home with his mom.”

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