Valvoline American Heroes: Q&A with Army Veteran Luke Alford

Jul 2, 2019

Here at Valvoline, we’re grateful for our military and first responders who serve our country and we’re proud to have several heroes under own roof. Luke Alford, a Valvoline account support rep, served in the Army for eight years which included a tour in Iraq. He served as an ammunition specialist and issued rockets and hellfire missiles to apache helicopters. Luke sat down with us to share about his time in the Army and what life is like now.

Photo credit: Luke Alford

Why did you choose to serve?

I remember exactly where I was on September 11th, 2001. Ever since that day, I knew the military was something I wanted to do. I wanted to do my part in keeping our country free.

If you feel comfortable sharing, what’s one thing about your service that most people don’t know?

I was in Iraq the day the US killed Osama Bin Laden. Afterward, it got out that he had been killed, a terrorist group shot 54 mortars at us that night. At that moment it finally set in that I was in a war and people were trying to take my life. To this day, that is the largest mortar attack in Iraqi history. 

What was your most rewarding experience while serving as a sergeant in the United States Army?

The most rewarding part was being able to lead a group of soldiers and seeing those soldiers get promoted and be successful.

Photo credit: Luke Alford

How did you achieve your ranking as a sergeant?

Time in service. You have to be in the army for at least three years before you can qualify for sergeant. Once I had the time, I filled out a promotion packet with my qualifications and PT and rifle score and submitted it for approval. Once it was approved, I sat down with my sergeant first class and explained to him why I was ready. 

Photo credit: Luke Alford

Tell us more about your role as an ammunition specialist.

My role as an ammunition specialist was to inventory and issue all ammunition to the apache helicopters. This included flares, 30mm rounds, 2.75mm rockets, and hellfire missiles.  Before pilots would go on a mission, they would come see us to load their aircraft with the required ammunition.

Who are your American heroes?

I think the main American hero for me is Pat Tillman. Pat Tillman left behind an NFL career to join the Army. He turned down a contract worth almost $4 million to serve his country.  Pat Tillman lost his life while serving in Iraq in 2004.

Photo credit: Luke Alford

Did you have any first responders or military in your family growing up? And did they inspire you to serve?

My grandfather served in the Navy. Although I am proud of his service, I can’t say it inspired me to serve. 

Do you utilize the skills you learned during service in your role at Valvoline?

I utilize my skills every day. My attention to detail, ability to stay calm under pressure and ability to not get rattled just to name a few. Being able to multitask and have respect for my workplace and co-workers are also among those skills.

When you’re not serving or working at Valvoline, what do you do to for fun? Do you have any hobbies?

I am married with two beautiful children so being a good husband and father is what I live for. I am also a huge sports fan and love to play sports when I can. 

Since you work for Valvoline, we have to ask, what's your dream car?

My dream car is a 1967 Shelby G.T. 500.

Photo credit: Luke Alford

Join us in giving back to our American Heroes this summer. Purchase 5 quarts of any Valvoline motor oil now through July 31st at participating retailers and you can choose to donate a $5 rebate to select charitable organizations. Visit for more information.

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Tags: Culture