DUNKIRK — CSEA members who work at the Dunkirk Armory play an important role in supporting the U.S. Army National Guard in its mission.
The armory, which sits just outside the small city’s downtown area, resembles an old school, if the school had a giant tank out front next to the flagpole. Along with the tank, the armory’s yard is lined with rows of military vehicles ready for when soldiers will need them.
While the Dunkirk Armory has housed and provided training facilities to the Army National Guard since it was built in 1948, the structure is kept pristine by the CSEA Buffalo State Employees Local members Brad Pyle and Scott Wilson. Both are employed by the state Division of Military and Naval Affairs (DMNA).
When Pyle finished his four years with the U.S. Army and the Army Reserves, he found a different way to serve his country. Today, Pyle maintains the Dunkirk Armory. His job includes everything from overseeing the upkeep of the building’s structure to maintaining the cleanliness inside it.
“I do everything from take care of the heating system for the entire building to scrubbing toilets,” said Pyle. “It’s not the most glamorous work, but it needs to get done.”
Pyle downplays his job at times, but to each soldier and co-worker at the facility, Pyle is indispensable.
Wilson, the superintendent of the Dunkirk and three other armories in Jamestown, Olean and Hornell, said Pyle’s work is vital to the success of DMNA.
“This place wouldn’t operate without people like Brad [Pyle],” said Wilson. “He single-handedly keeps this armory immaculate so that the soldiers here can execute their jobs properly.”
Wilson is also a veteran, serving in the U.S. Air Force for 27 years before making his way to the DMNA. Pyle and Wilson’s military experience isn’t an anomaly amongst DMNA employees. In fact, CSEA members currently employed at the four armories have totaled more than 100 years of military experience before starting their CSEA-represented jobs.
“It’s no wonder they have the passion they do for the armories they are assigned,” said Wilson about the members’ military tenures.
Wilson noted that Pyle and his co-workers who maintain the other armories that Wilson oversees also do outstanding work.
“CSEA members provide invaluable services on a daily basis everything from plumping, electrical, carpentry, HVAC, landscaping, cleaning, and more,” said Wilson.
Wilson isn’t the only one to notice the outstanding work that Pyle and his colleagues do. He said every time the U.S. Army National Guard commander is at the Dunkirk Armory, he praises Pyle’s work. This praise reinforces the importance of CSEA members’ work to the Army National Guard’s ability to execute their missions successfully.
“Commanders of the units often comment on how professional the state CSEA members carry themselves,” said Wilson. “I just can’t say enough about everything Pyle and his fellow members do to continue serving their country.”
— Madison Ruffo