Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

An Officer and a Banker: SVP Serves Both His Country and His Customers

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

An Officer and a Banker: SVP Serves Both His Country and His Customers

Article excerpt

This January, John Quails will mark his 17th anniversary as a National Guard member. Qualls, currently battalion executive officer in the Guard, not only has served his country, he also has served his bank customers as senior vice-president/senior loan officer of the $287 million-assets Bank of Eastern Oregon, Heppner.

It's no easy feat to manage a career, the Guard, and a family, but it's a balancing act that Qualls has been performing for years.

It was partly family history (both his father and grandfather served in the military) and partly the desire for a change from the college lifestyle that drove Qualls to join the Guard at the age of 20.

"Frankly, I was getting a little bored with the books and wanted some change that was physically and mentally challenging," he says. "[I] figured that the National Guard would be a way for me to stay in school, make a little money, and provide some challenging work once a month."

A few years later, Qualls was hired by the Bank of Eastern Oregon. He made sure the bank knew up front that he was in the Guard and had duties to fulfill that would take him away from his bank position. At the time, neither the bank nor Quails knew these responsibilities would include two deployments to Iraq.

Qualls' first deployment took place from May 2004 until November 2005 with the 3-116th CAV Battalion from Eastern Oregon. He served as first lieutenant and also as a platoon leader overseeing 24 soldiers. "My platoon performed over 200 missions," says Qualls, "which included route clearance, cordon and searches, personnel escorts, fire missions, and even a few air insertion missions, which involved being flown in with Black Hawk helicopters in the dark to secure a target located in small villages. …

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