From Army brat to officer: Soldier returns to Korea
Capt. Carlos Albaladejo, a logistics officer with Eighth Army and native of Jersey, continues his family's legacy of service in South Korea.
"Almost everybody in my family has been a service member, from my dad, to all of his brothers, and now me," said Albaladejo.
Albaladejo's father served in the U.S. Army and was even stationed in South Korea, and later Camp Humphreys.
"I've been in Korea before, not as a service member, but as a dependent," said Albaladejo. "My father was in the Army and I was actually here at Camp Humphreys when I was very young. I was at Camp Humphreys when I was 10 years old. It has changed a lot; it was only a six mile perimeter at the time and the Super Gym didn't exist. The Fitness Annex was the main fitness center and the only one on post."
Albaladejo, whose mother is from South Korea, has roots planted deeply in what we now know as Camp Humphreys.
"So on Camp Humphreys, where the Senior Leader Quarters and vehicle maintenance facilities are located, that was actually part of my grandfather's rice paddy fields," said Albaladejo. "We would plant rice in the spring for the Chuseok harvest."
With almost eight years of service in the U.S. Army and stationed in Korea for just over three years, Albaladejo had always intended to follow in his father's footsteps. He said he was also compelled to serve because his maternal cousins must complete a mandatory service in the Republic of Korea army.
Though his father chose the enlisted route, Albaladejo said he was encouraged to commission as an officer by his mother. His plan was to enlist in the Army following high school graduation, however, his mother wanted him to further his education. Albaladejo has an undergraduate degree in the field of psychology and a Master of Arts in Human Relations.
Today, most of Albaladejo's extended Korean family reside in Pyeongtaek and some even work at Camp Humphreys.