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Covington soldier promoted to Sgt.
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KABUL, Afghanistan - Covington resident Ju Bobby Xiong was promoted from specialist to sergeant April 5 at Camp Phoenix during his deployment to Afghanistan with the 648th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, "Task Force Hydra," an Army National Guard unit out of Columbus.

Army National Guard Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Burch promoted Xiong while visiting Camp Phoenix.

Xiong has been in the military for nearly four years as an information technology specialist. During deployment, he works as a network administrator ensuring all three groups of networks are properly maintained.

He works with network issues, including ensuring each user has the proper permission to access files.

Before being deployed, Xiong worked at Affordable Cars in Covington, which has supported his service.

Xiong graduated from Newton High School in 2003 and received an associate's degree from Lincoln Tech in 2007.

Xiong's grandfather and uncles served in the military during the Vietnam War, and his younger brother is a Marine.

In his spare time, he enjoys auto-crossing, which is a timed competition where drivers navigate one at a time through a defined course on either sealed or unsealed surfaces.