TWO UNIFORMS, ONE MISSION

02/22/2020  |  By Virginia Riddle
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Photos by Memories by Melissa

Similarities in the two jobs abound. “I get to positively motivate, educate and interact with people from different areas.” Trooper Grauzer said, “Every experience is a learning opportunity, and I go to places I never thought I would go. Both jobs have a chain of command with rules and regulations to follow. I have to multitask, be proactive and physically and mentally ready for the unexpected.”

A DPS trooper for nine years, he investigates vehicular crashes and works traffic enforcement and criminal investigations anywhere in Texas.

 

Some people don’t have to worry about what they will wear to work tomorrow, but at the end of the day, William Grauzer wears the Texas Tan in his role as a Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol trooper assigned to Navarro County and wears U.S. Army camouflage when he’s in his role as an Army drill sergeant. “Both jobs provide protection and service to Texans, çors and all Americans,” he said. “I’m proud to serve.

Trooper Grauzer also serves as DPS’ North Texas Region law enforcement physical fitness specialist, traveling throughout the region helping officers stay mentally and physically fit through proper nutrition and exercise. “I get to communicate with other troopers, find helpful resources and make physical fitness a blast,” he explained. In addition to his duties as a physical fitness specialist, he also writes, edits and publishes a monthly fitness newsletter.

A native of Michigan who has called Texas home since 1979, Grauzer started his military career in the U.S. Navy in 1988. He served on the USS Sacramento, USS Abraham Lincoln and USS Constellation and is a veteran of Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. During his Navy career, he took advantage of educational opportunities, earning his B.A. degree from Fort Hays State University in Kansas and a master’s degree from Touro University (now Trident University) in Cypress, California.

After leaving full-time service in the Navy, he transferred to the U.S. Army Reserve and joined Texas DPS. “One of my greatest honors was being selected to attend drill sergeant school,” he recalled. “As a drill sergeant, I motivate both positively and negatively as necessary to assist troops in preparing for war and other assignments we might be called to do at any time. It includes a lot of hands- on training, helping military candidates become prepared, but like everything else in life, documentation and paperwork also are required. Both being a drill sergeant and trooper require being self-motivated.” His Army training is conducted at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, with monthly military drills in Grand Prairie, Texas.

Staying safe and alert always and missing important family time and events are challenges in both jobs. Trooper Grauzer cited several unique DPS challenges — working fatal collisions, doing the job in varying weather and working during holidays. “It’s very important that Texas drivers remember that it is the law to move over or slow down to at least 20 mph under the posted speed limit if unable to move over when they see law enforcement or emergency responder vehicles with their lights on, sitting on the side of the road,” he noted. “Army challenges include the unknown also, since we’re reactive to world events. I have to balance my time in the military with my job in DPS.”

Performing his two jobs well takes faith, along with a flexible and supportive family: wife, Elizabeth; daughter, Philadelphia; and son, Ezekiel, who currently resides out of state. “When I’m not wearing a uniform, my family gets my full attention,” Trooper Grauzer said.

“My wife and I enjoyed our first date at a theme park and enjoy theme parks to this day. We enjoy any family time we are afforded and absolutely love going on cruises together! We are currently preparing for a family cruise in February.” He feels at home in Corsicana. “We bought a home in the country a few years ago, and we love it. Faith, family and service are what keeps our family grounded.”

His advice to young men and women who wish to serve in either job is become and stay physically fit for duty. “Don’t wait for the recruiter to get you there. Also, study history,” he stated. “Service in the military is good prior experience in the DPS hiring process but isn’t required. If you’re interested in either job, talk to a recruiter. A DPS recruiter can also arrange a ride-along experience.”

Awards have come his way through his DPS and military service. Both of his uniforms are decorated with appropriate service ribbons earned in the military and DPS. Trooper Grauzer earned a Lifesaving Award in 2015 for having rendered first aid until the Corsicana Fire Department and EMTs arrived after he responded to a Corsicana home fire. He’s received four DPS commander awards for leadership, physical fitness, motivation and attitude and crash investigation. The Kiwanis Club also voted him the 2015 Trooper of the Year. The Army proudly awarded Sgt. Grauzer the 2017 Regional Drill Sergeant of the Year honors. He holds both a peace officer and a drill sergeant certification.

“The people I work with in the DPS are what I enjoy most about my job as a trooper. It’s such an honor to serve the people of this great state by being a trooper and getting to carry on the DPS heritage and wear the Texas Tan uniform,” Trooper Grauzer stated. “I keep learning and training. It’s such a pleasure knowing I can help protect the rights and lives of Texans and visitors to this great state. My service in the DPS and the military is more than a career for me.”

(Courtesy of CorsicanaNOW Magazine, a NOW Magazines, L.L.C. publication, www.nowmagazines.com.)
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