Soldier Spotlight: Meet Sgt. Timothy Mahanes

Sgt. Timothy Mahanes, a team leader in the 180th Engineer Company, 276th Engineer Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group, tests his knowledge during the core evaluation portion of the Extractor 1 Course Aug. 17, 2018, at Camp Dawson, West Virginia. (U.S. National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Terra C. Gatti)

RICHMOND, Va. — Sgt. Timothy Mahanes grew up around heavy equipment so, when he decided to join the Virginia National Guard, enlisting as a 12N, a horizontal construction engineer, was a natural fit.

“I love construction, I love heavy equipment, I love seeing a finished product when the project is done,” Mahanes said. He’s currently assigned to the Powhatan-based 180th Engineer Company, 276th Engineer Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group as a team leader.

“I grew up around construction,” he explained. “That’s what my father did for a living and I was very interested in that field growing up and followed in his footsteps.”

Mahanes’ career in construction started before his career in the National Guard and he credits his civilian experience with helping him earn the honor graduate distinction at Advanced Individual Training.

“I think that was a direct result of my civilian work experience,” Mahanes said. “It was a big benefit.”

The 180th Engineer Company serves as the search and extraction element of the Virginia National Guard’s CERFP, a specialized CBRNE response force that helps support civil authorities in the event of a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or explosive incident. Mahanes recently completed a 12-day search and extraction course in West Virginia.

“Before I came to the training, I was not excited at all,” he said. “I would much rather have a bulldozer than a bunch of ropes; however, after going through the training, it’s been fun and I found some practical uses for some of the training that I can take home with me and that’s what makes it good.”

Mahanes said anyone interested in his career field should, “be a person who wants to work outside, work with your hands, be comfortable operating large equipment and who enjoys building things.”

Plus, he added, there’s a $20,000 bonus available for individuals who join the Virginia National Guard as 12Ns.

As a kid, Sgt. Timothy Mahanes, shown here at one of his father’s work sites, grew up around construction and later started first a civilian career in the construction business and later joined the Virginia National Guard as a 12N, a horizontal construction engineer. (Courtesy Photo)