I have enjoyed my 10 years on active duty. My Army career has provided me the opportunity to travel, meet different people, learn the latest technologies, and just have fun. I joined the Army Reserves for training so I could do something different from my civilian job as a clerk. After basic training, I went to Fort Sam Houston, TX, for training as a medical service technician.
For a year, I worked several weekends a month with my Reserve unit; then I volunteered for active duty. I enjoyed my time on duty, and I saw the Army as a place to get ahead. When I joined the Active Army, I asked to receive training as a machinist. I thought the work would be challenging and different and would allow me to prove myself. I went through initial training at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, where I learned the basic skills required of all machinists. My first assignment was at Fort Eustis, VA, where I worked in the maintenance company, helping make repairs to everything from radios to helicopters. I was able to learn my trade quickly and became familiar with some of the other occupations in the maintenance shop.
At Fort Eustis, I also worked for a year in my second specialty as a medical technician. I was then assigned to a maintenance company in Korea for a year where I was promoted to sergeant. I returned to the States as a shop foreman in the services section of an armored division at Fort Knox, KY. In this position, I supervised a crew that repaired jeeps, tanks, and other armored equipment.
I have been assigned to Aberdeen Proving Ground for the past five years as an instructor and noncommissioned officer (NCOIC) in charge of student control. In addition to teaching metalworking courses, I process students entering training and assign them to their various classes. I was recently promoted to staff sergeant and look forward to being one of the top-ranking females in the maintenance field. I like the challenge of being the only female in the unit.