KSLA Salutes: Sgt. Chris Alford
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Sgt. Chris Alford works at the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office, primarily in recruitment. He’s been with BPSO for the past eight years. But before that, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps.
“I joined the Marine Corps when I was 18 back in 1991,” Alford said. “I served in the Marine Corps for 22 years. My primary job was a grunt or what we call the infantry. I retired in 2013 and I started working for the sheriff immediately after that.”
Alford was born in central Louisiana. “I grew up in Carver Village, the projects in Alexandra.
“Then my mother met my father, the man who adopted me, and he was in the Air Force and traveled all around the world,” Alford explained. “That really got me into wanting to serve my country.”
Throughout his service, Alford was stationed around the world in Japan, Italy, Germany, Australia and Singapore.
He was in Japan for the Dallas Cowboys vs. Houston Oilers pre-season game held at Tokyo Dome on Aug. 2, 1992.
“I was on the Marine Corps Silent Drill Team,” Alford said. “There are two different Silent Drill Teams, the 8th and I and depending on where you are, there’s the local drill team.
“The one thing that stands out to me is when I was on the drill team we did a halftime show when the Houston Oilers and Dallas Cowboys played each other,” he continued. “Troy Aikman was just coming into the league, and Warren Moon was going out. So that was kind of fun to see those stars and perform to such a large crowd.”
Camaraderie is his biggest takeaway from his service; an unspoken understanding that has followed him to his job now.
“I met a lot of good friends. I also lost a lot of them,” Alford said. “But the closeness, we were a team. You didn’t see black, you didn’t see white. You saw one and we looked after each other. That was something I was not only able to bring from the Marine Corps, but I also found it at the Sheriff’s Office. A lot of the deputies within the Sheriff’s Office are veterans themselves.”
While at Camp Pendleton in California in 2010, Alford received orders out of the 1st Battalion, 23rd Marines infantry in Bossier City.
“So I come out here, I do my tour with them and we deploy to Afghanistan,” he said. “We come back and one day a gentleman by the name of Norman Craig and a sergeant within the Sheriff’s Office named Sgt. Hoff knew some of the people who worked in the Marine Corps in the office.
“I happened to come out, saw some men in uniform and I knew it was close to time for me to retire. Norman Craig put the challenge out, and I think around that time he was in his late 60s, and told me ‘if I could put you on the ground, would you consider joining the Sheriff’s Office?’ I didn’t think he could do it, so I said sure. Sure enough, he put me on the ground and I ended up joining the Sheriff’s Office about four months afterwards.”
On top of camaraderie, Alford said, several things he learned in his service he has carried with him to the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office. “The initiative, the discipline, being able to look at things from a different perspective.
“Seeing if you can see a roadblock and being able to work through it,” Alford said. “That’s one thing that being in the Marine Corps for 22 years has taught me that I have brought over to the Sheriff’s Office. It’s worked out well for me. I was also a recruiter in the Marine Corps. And because of doing that, I am able to use some of the tricks of the trade as far as being a recruiter here at BPSO.”
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