ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND JUNE 4-5 2016 AND THEREAFTER - In this May 26, 2016 photo, Spc. Brittany Cobb-Lyttle stands in front of a Black Hawk helicopter on Ladd Army Airfield at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska. (Erin Corneliussen/Fairbanks Daily News-Miner via AP)

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND JUNE 4-5 2016 AND THEREAFTER - In this May 26, 2016 photo, Spc. Brittany Cobb-Lyttle stands in front of a Black Hawk helicopter on Ladd Army Airfield at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska. (Erin Corneliussen/Fairbanks Daily News-Miner via AP)

Fort Wainwright soldier works to live up to her dad

FAIRBANKS — When U.S. Army Spc. Brittany Cobb-Lyttle was in school, her dad would often come home to find parts of his U.S. Navy uniform missing. Without fail, he would find them in her laundry hamper.

“I watched my dad put on his uniform every morning so whenever there would be an event at school, I would always dress up in his camos,” she said, speaking fondly of her father, James Flowers Jr. “He finally went and got me a uniform that was my size so I didn’t have to pull it all the way up past my stomach to wear it.”

When asked if it was the style or something else that urged her to don his battle dress uniform for school, her answer is quick and simple, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

“Because my dad wore it,” she said.

Her father’s service and the respect it earned inspired the now-25-year-old soldier from Kingsland, Georgia, to enlist in the armed services.

“Of course he wanted me to go into the Navy, but I went into the Army because I felt it would be more challenging,” she said.

She currently is stationed at Fort Wainwright, where she’s not only met the challenge but excelled.

Cobb-Lyttle was named Soldier of the Year for U.S. Army Aviation Task Force for 2015, an award that came after winning brigade Soldier of the Month and Quarter. She has her sights set on even higher awards, too, such as U.S. Army Alaska Soldier of the Year.

The Soldier of the Year distinction is essentially recognition of model soldiers, including everything from physical fitness to military bearing and knowledge of her job.

She serves as an aviation operations specialist, working with directing Army helicopters. She’s been deployed in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Outside of the Army, Cobb-Lyttle volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and mentors youth. It’s an extra level of service to her community that not all soldiers perform while stationed away from home.

She said much of her work is based on her faith.

“I feel I have a purpose on Earth,” she said. “I feel that I found my purpose three years ago when I was coaching. I really enjoy helping others, mainly helping youth because a lot of youth make destructive decisions.”

And to that end, Cobb-Lyttle has personal experience. Even though she graduated homecoming queen in high school and did well in classes, she found herself in trouble with alcohol and academics in college.

It’s an experience that has helped her connect with teenagers going through the same challenges and encourage them.

“When you’re a teenager, you go through a lot, you see a lot,” she said. “When they have somebody who can relate to them and say, ‘Hey, I made it out of this. This happened to me, you can do it,’ they’ll listen.”

Her father’s 21 years in the Navy has given her something to live up to and her younger siblings have given her someone to be a role model for. To put it lightly, Cobb-Lyttle is highly motivated to be the best.

“It gets boring when you’re just a plain soldier just walking around, just living, just doing your job,” she said. “If there’s something out there that I can do better to better myself, I’m going to do it, and I’m going to be better than you.”

More in News

Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File
The Aurora Borealis glows over the Mendenhall Glacier in 2014.
Aurora Forecast

Forecasts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute for the week of March. 19

Hoonah’s Masters Bracket team poses for a group photo on Saturday after being crowned this year’s champs for the M bracket in the Gold Medal Basketball Tournament at JDHS. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Hoonah crowned Gold Medal Masters Bracket champs

Hoonah’s Albert Hinchman named MVP.

President Joe Biden speaks during an event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, March 23, 2023, celebrating the 13th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. Recent moves by President Joe Biden to pressure TikTok over its Chinese ownership and approve oil drilling in an untapped area of Alaska are testing the loyalty of young voters, a group that’s been largely in his corner. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
Biden’s moves on Willow, TikTok test young voters

A potential TikTok ban and the Alaska drilling could weigh down reelection bid.

Students dance their way toward exiting the Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé gymnasium near the end of a performance held before a Gold Medal Basketball Tournament game between Juneau and Hydaburg. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Over $2,500 raised for Tlingit language and culture program during Gold Medal performance

A flurry of regionwide generosity generated the funds in a matter of minutes.

Legislative fiscal analysts Alexei Painter, right, and Conor Bell explain the state’s financial outlook during the next decade to the Senate Finance Committee on Friday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Legislators eye oil and sales taxes due to fiscal woes

Bills to collect more from North Slope producers, enact new sales taxes get hearings next week.

The FBI Anchorage Field Office is seeking information about this man in relation to a Wednesday bank robbery in Anchorage, the agency announced Thursday afternoon. Anyone with information regarding the bank robbery can contact the FBI Anchorage Field Office at 907-276-4441 or Tips can be submitted anonymously.  (FBI)
FBI seeks info in Anchorage bank robbery

The robbery took place at 1:24 p.m. on Wednesday.

Kevin Maier
Sustainable Alaska: Climate stories, climate futures

The UAS Sustainability Committee is hosting a series of public events in April…

Reps. Tom McKay, R-Anchorage, and Andi Story, D-Juneau, offering competing amendments to a bill increasing the per-student funding formula for public schools by $1,250 during a House Education Committee meeting Wednesday morning. McKay’s proposal to lower the increase to $150 was defeated. Story’s proposal to implement an increase during the next two years was approved, after her proposed amounts totalling about $1,500 were reduced to $800.
Battle lines for education funding boost get clearer

$800 increase over two years OKd by House committee, Senate proposing $1,348 two-year increase

C Bracket champions Filcom pose with their trophy. (left to right) Charlie Herrington, Alex Heumann, Tom Gizler, Adam Brown, Mike Lim, Andrew Malacas, Nino Bohulano, Ray Zimmer, Larry Cooper, Ronin Tagsip and Jason Haskell at the Gold Medal Basketball Tournament, Saturday, March 25, at Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé. (Klas Stolpe/For the Juneau Empire)
Juneau’s Filcom wins Gold Medal C Bracket Championship

Filcom caps undefeated tournament run with 73-49 win over Klukwan

Most Read