I decided to start something new on my InstaGram. Every friday I’m going to post a fun and interesting fact about myself. Todays fact is:
I am a retired Army Master Sergeant. Yes, ME!
If I had a dollar for every time someone said “you were in the Army? You don’t look old enough to be retired!” I’d be rich!!!!
I signed up for the army in 1997, when I was 17. They were offering to pay for my college education. I wasn’t concerned about the possibility of going to war; I just kept thinking, I’m going to a bad ass soldier.
My first MOS (military occupational specialty ) was 92Y Unit Supply Specialist, which is logistics and small arms. My duties were pretty simple, I would receive, inspect, conduct inventories, load, issue, deliver and turn-in organization and installation supplies and equipment. I would also issue and receive small arms. Secure and control weapons and ammunition in security areas. Schedule and perform preventive and organizational maintenance on weapons.
I then transitioned over to 46Q Public Affairs Specialist. I was taking photography in college at the time so it just made sense to get some experience. I did a lot of research, prepared and disseminated news releases, articles, web-based material and photographs on Army personnel and activities.
I loved being an Army photographer but my true calling came on that dreadful day that no american will ever forget, 9/11. I’ll never forget that phone call I got from my unit commander that morning just moments after the first tower was struck. I was 5 months pregnant with my daughter Jaedon. He needed me to report immediately because the media was already hounding and we needed to start researching all the facts in order to give accurate information out to our troops. I was then tasked to cover any training and or responses by our State WMD-CST (Weapons of Mass Destruction- Civil Support Team). I guess you could say that I became infatuated with how our nation wanted to do more to protect its citizens against the growing threat of chemical and biological terrorism. I kept saying to myself, this is what I want to do. Five months after my daughter was born I was tasked to the 64th WMD-CST and do a unit history story. I won’t lie, I was so excited! I spent the next two weeks photographing their training and exercises. By the end of my assignment I was convinced that this was my calling. I immediately requested a transfer and off to Chemical school I went. I spent the next nine years with an amazing team that provided DoD’s unique expertise and capabilities to assist state governors in preparing for and responding to chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) incidents as part of a state’s emergency response structure.
In addition to working with the WMD team, I was also assigned to our State’s Counter Narcotics unit working with law enforcement agencies and community based organizations, has performed interdiction and anti-drug activities in the fight against illicit drugs.
My final years were spent as a Senior Human Resources Sergeant / platoon sergeant and Joint Substance abuse coordinator. I guess you could say I had a successful career and I will forever be grateful for the education, travel, friendships and benefits that the Army has provided me with.