Austin (AJ) Maxwell Becomes 2nd Lieutenant of Tennessee Army National Guard

Austin Maxwell becomes 2nd Lieutenant for the Tennessee Army National Guard

At the University of Tennessee at Martin ROTC Battalion’s Spring 2022 Commission Ceremony, L.I. Smith & Associates’ Austin (AJ) Maxwell, took his oath as a commissioned officer and became a 2nd Lieutenant (2LT) for the Tennessee Army National Guard.

The ceremony took place on May 6, 2022, at the University of Tennessee at Martin (UTM) in Watkins Auditorium. Maxwell’s sons, Jack and Easton, were both in attendance and had the opportunity to pin Maxwell’s 2nd Lieutenant bars on his uniform.

Jan Bass, the Skyhawks Battalion Recruiting Operations Officer for UTM, stated, “AJ is a great soldier and family man. He will make an amazing leader as a Tennessee National Guard 2LT.”

In May of 2022, Maxwell received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee at Martin in Agriculture Engineering and Technology with a concentration in Land Surveying and Geomatics and a minor in Military Science. Upon graduation, Austin became a Field Artillery Officer for the Tennessee Army National Guard, having previously held the position of Combat Engineer before contracting into the Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (ROTC) program at UT Martin in the fall of 2019.

Leadership opportunities and professional growth both played a key role in Maxwell’s decision to become an officer. He stated, “As an officer, you are responsible for the lives of American sons and daughters. I knew I could be that leader that soldiers trusted and counted on.” In his new role, he will now be responsible for equipment, people, and planning.

In January of 2023, Maxwell will begin a Basic Officers Leader Course (BOLC) in Fort Sill, Okla. The training is geared towards Maxwell’s area of emphasis, Field Artillery. The training will span five months, ending in late May.

Maxwell has been working with L.I. Smith & Associates (LIS) for six years, currently in the role of a Survey Technician. While Austin was working at LIS and in the National Guard, he was a full-time college student as well. When talking about the ROTC program, Maxwell said, “The program at UTM is great and I would recommend it to anyone interested in ROTC.”

UT Martin’s ROTC is a four-year leadership development program that prepares college students to succeed in any competitive setting. The program is geared toward students whose career goals require leadership and managerial skills.

Bass stated, “We develop these leaders to become United States Army commissioned officers for active duty, National Guard, and U.S. reserves.” The program also consists of classroom instruction and hands-on activities.

LIS Monthly Staff Photo Competition – June 2022

Staff Photo Competition - June 2022

 The L.I. Smith & Associates (LIS) Staff Photo Competition is a unique opportunity for staff members to share the interesting, behind the scenes aspects of their roles, while also getting creative! Our workforce is comprised of professional surveyors, field crews, professional engineers, and administrative personnel. Our field personnel travel throughout the Central and Southeast regions of the country, while our office staff commute to three separate office locations. Each staff member’s role is different. No two workdays are alike. 

In order to showcase the unique experiences of our staff, we challenged them to submit images that reflect their day in the workplace- wherever that may be. 

Each month, one photo is chosen as the winner. Additional photo(s) are also highlighted as honorable mentions. A grand prize winner will be selected at the end of the year. This month’s winning image and honorable mentions are featured below along with submission descriptions and the photographer’s name. Congratulations to all of our staff members for their incredible, creative images.

Submission Winner: Martha Jane Hooper

Pictured above is Chris Conrad showing Martha Jane Hooper the levy LIS surveyed last fall in the Nashville Metro Center for storm water design. 

Chris has been working for LIS for 21 years and currently serves as Vice President. Martha Jane Hooper is a junior at the University of Tennessee at Martin and currently works as the Communications and Marketing intern for the summer. 

Submission Winner: Tommy Young

Tommy Young submitted a picture of Chris Conrad surveying the elevations of the press box at Neyland Stadium in 2014. Verizon Wireless needed a survey done to place a repeater so fans would have better cell service inside the stadium. Tommy was the manager for the project.

Tommy is a Professional Land Surveyor and has worked with LIS for 21 years.

Honorable Mentions: Frank Burch and mason peale

Frank Burch (left picture) performed a property boundary and topographic survey of the Guinn’s Factory Outlet on East Wood Street in Paris, Tennessee on June 8. A new building is planned to be constructed there. 

Mason Peale (right picture, left side) attended the Westfalia  Farm to Table fundraiser and silent auction presented by the Pairs-Henry County Art Council on June 7. This annual event supports local restaurants and farmers. Mason is pictured with fellow LIS staff members and their spouses enjoying the evening. 

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