Women of the Military

By Amanda Huffman

Listen to a podcast, please open Podcast Republic app. Available on Google Play Store.


Category: Careers

Open in Apple Podcasts


Open RSS feed


Open Website


Rate for this podcast

Subscribers: 6
Reviews: 0

Description

Amanda Huffman, the creator of Airman to Mom, interviews women who have served in the military or are currently serving in the military. Amanda also shares certain aspects of her military experience as an Air Force Officer, military spouse, veteran and mom.

Episode Date
Military Dad in the Navy
00:34:51

Military Dad in the Navy

David joined the Navy right after high school because he wanted to go to college. He did not have a way to pay for college and saw the military as an opportunity to get his degree paid for. He ended up excelling in the Navy and was able to get accepted to a program to go back to school, earn his degree, and become an officer in the Navy. When he came back in he was Naval Flight Officer as a Tactical Coordinator.

September 11th happened while attending college. The Navy changed from being open with minimal security along with a higher ops tempo than before. He loved the work he was doing and deployed around the world for various missions. One mission that he shared about was when they were off the coast of Libya. There they helped to coordinate with the Libyan military who provided the ground forces and the US Marines provided air support. They were able to help liberate Libya from ISIS control.

He got married and had his first child while in college. And they moved through flight school and training until they arrived in Florida. David was able to spend most of his career in Florida and for the tours outside of Florida, he geo-bached to help his family have stability and not have to move. This is a sacrifice a military dad may make to help support his family. The first time was for a tour he knew that he would be gone most of the time. He ended up being deployed/training approximately twenty out of twenty-four months and it was better for his family not to move.

He would travel home on weekends when he could and got creative so he could spend time with his family. The next assignment wasn't as high ops but his oldest was starting high school and they decided they did not want to make everyone move. He was able to travel home from Virginia for long weekends and used leave time to spend more time at home. He ended his career in Florida and now works for Bank of America.

Transitioning out of the military was not easy. He had a community and knew where he was going to live. But he didn't have a plan on where he was going to work. He attributes his success today to Operation New Uniform. There he was able to learn about figuring out what he wanted to do. He also learned about writing a resume. And it was through networking that he was able to land a job at Bank of America. One piece of advice he shared for transition veterans was to think about timetables. For example, Bank of America starts looking for new hires for the next year in late summer early fall. If you start looking for a job when you leave the military it makes takes more time than you expect before the job openings are filled.

Connect with David:

LinkedIn

Mentioned in this episode:

Ben Killoy - Dads are so important - episode 79

Operation New Uniform

Related episodes:

Weapon System Officers - Episode 71

Check out the full transcript here.  

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe, Lorraine Diaz

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Become a Patreon member today! Click here.   

Jun 15, 2021
Pros and Cons of being a Woman in the Military
00:32:13

This is the second round-up advice so check out episode 100 to see even more advice from military women. 

 

 

Check out the full transcript here.  

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe, Lorraine Diaz

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Become a Patreon member today! Click here.   

Jun 08, 2021
Finding Mental Health Services for Veterans
00:46:57

Thank you to Blue Star Families for supporting the Women of the Military podcast! The Military Family Lifestyle Survey is open until June 6th, 2021. Head over to BlueStarFam.org/survey2021 to take the survey today. You could win one of five $100 gift cards. The stories and information shared become the fuel and information leaders need to help create change that will directly benefit us and our families.

This week I'm interviewing the Steven A Cohen Military Family Clinic at the University of Pennsylvania's Director Leah Blain, PhD. Dr. Blain earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, from the University of Missouri – St. Louis. There she conducted research in the effectiveness of Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  She completed an internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the VA Maryland Healthcare System. There she trained in Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE), Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for depression, anxiety and panic disorder, and chronic pain, and mindfulness-based interventions. She previously served as Director of Behavioral Health at Chase Brexton Health Care’s Columbia Center. Her clinical work focuses on trauma recovery, working with survivors of assault, abuse, and combat, on issues including depression, guilt and shame, anger, dissociation, and PTSD.

The Cohen Veteran Network believes in evidence-based treatment with the goal of working toward finding healing. The program provides timeline-based care with a comprehensive plan created for the member to meet the needs of the member and to help them in their future.

Access to Care

This episode coved how easy access to care through the Cohen Veteran Network is. We also discussed how being in a crisis stage is not the only reason to reach out for care. Those who are looking for treatment for a variety of reasons should consider reaching out to the Cohen network.

Mental health is a spectrum

Mental health is a spectrum and not a straight line. People might often look at mental health and compare where they are in a linear sort of way. But mental health is anything other than linear and each person needs to find a path that works for them. The Cohen Veteran Network helps to ensure veterans and their families are given the proper support with either a long-term care plan or the opportunity for booster or check-in therapy as needed.

Trauma is not always military related

The last main topic we covered is that some trauma that military members have faced comes from childhood or non-military-related events. Sometimes war or military experiences can cause trauma from people's past to exacerbate the experiences faced in the military. The Cohen Veteran Network does not withhold care from veterans or family members for any reason. They work to help people with whatever trauma they are facing.

Connect with Steven A Cohen Military Family Clinic at the University of Pennsylvania:

Steven A Cohen Military Family Clinic at the University of Pennsylvania website

Cohen Veteran Network Website

Mentioned in this episode:

Changing the Conversation about Mental Health

Related episodes:

Mental Health in the Military - Episode 73

Looking at Military Service from a Different Perspective - Episode 125

An Invisible Combat Veterans Story - Episode 90

Check out the full transcript here.  

Thank you to Blue Star Families for supporting the Women of the Military podcast! The Military Family Lifestyle Survey is open until June 6th, 2021. Head over to BlueStarFam.org/survey2021 to take the survey today. You could win one of five $100 gift cards. The stories and information shared become the fuel and information leaders need to help create change that will directly benefit us and our families.

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe, Lorraine Diaz

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Become a Patreon member today! Click here.   

Jun 01, 2021
Losing a team member while deployed
00:45:37

This episode is sponsored by Blue Star Families. The Military Family Lifestyle Survey is open until June 6th, 2021. Head over to BlueStarFam.org/survey2021 to take the survey today. You could win one of five $100 gift cards. The stories and information shared become the fuel and information leaders need to help create change that will directly benefit us and our families.

Stacie's dad saw a flyer about ROTC and that is how she began her military career. She needed a way to pay for college and ROTC gave her that opportunity. She said it was the best decision she ever made. And she made a lot of great friends. She picked the career field of Pubic Affairs because of her degree in Journalism. She started her career by being a Gold Bar recruiter at the Academy. Telling others about the opportunity to join the military through ROTC.

She attended Defense Information School (DINFOS) in Fort Mead, Maryland, and got her first opportunity to learn about the joint environment since all the military branches have their PA training at DINFOS.

Deployment

She deployed multiple times. Serving a year in South Korea, working with NATO in Italy, and multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Most of the interview was focused on her deployment to Afghanistan as part of the Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT). I also deployed as part of a PRT so we talked about the difference between her pre-deployment training and my own.

I did a whole series about what a PRT is and have shared my (email) letters home. You can check out the series here. And read my letters here.

Losing team members

Panjshir was a relatively safe deployment. They could ride around in regular vehicles, but always wore their protective gear and had weapons. But they would need to make trips back to Bagram (the main base in Northern Afghanistan) to gather supplies, mail, and get people out for R&R. On May 26, 2009, four members of her team were killed when in a suicide bomber attacked the convoy. U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Mark Stratton, PRT commander, Army Master Sgt. Blue Rowe, PRT first sergeant, Senior Airman Ashton Goodman, PRT vehicle operator, and Abdul Samad, PRT Afghan legal advisor were killed in the attack.

Stacie had worked directly with Ashton both through the Women Affairs missions and helping her to get her work published. She also was the only woman officer on the team and that gave her the responsibility and the honor to pack up her things and send them home to her family. The event has had a major impact on her life and she has started a scholarship in Ashton's name for her high school.

The effects of war

We also coved the PTSD caused not only by the PRT deployment but the other deployments. If you are struggling with any mental health issues or need someone to talk to check out Episode 137 with the Cohen Clinic which talks about resources to help those struggling with mental health challenges.

Mentioned in this Episode:

Girl's Guide to the Military (Free Guide)

Girl's Guide to the Military on YouTube

Related Episodes:

Amanda Huffman, Civil Engineer - Episode 2

When Public Affairs Changed - Episode 67

Civil Engineering in the Air Force - Episode 136

 

May 25, 2021
Serving in the Royal Australian Air Force
00:45:49

This episode is sponsored by Blue Star Families. The Military Family Lifestyle Survey is open until June 6th, 2021. Head over to BlueStarFam.org/survey2021 to take the survey today. You could win one of five $100 gift cards. The stories and information shared become the fuel and information leaders need to help create change that will directly benefit us and our families.

Jodi decided to join the military because she had left school and was looking for something new. Her parents encouraged her to join the Defense Force. She did not know anything about the military and just went to the Recruiter and ended up in the Royal Australian Air Force in supply. She went to recruit training and struggled with fitness. Because she was not prepared, she was getting yelled at for walking something flipped that caused her to decide she was going to be the fittest person. She talks about how embarrassed she was and that driver motivated her. She ended training as one of the fittest people in the group.

While at her first assignment her brother was sent for his training. They were able to bond together. They both loved being in the Air Force. And it was nice to be together after moving away from family. She loved being in the Air Force the challenge of a new job with each assignment gave her purpose and drive. She served for 14 years until the military forced her to leave due to a back injury she had sustained early in her career. While training for a deployment she was unable to wear the body armor and could not deploy. She struggled in her transition out of the military because she was not ready to leave.

Transitioning out of the military

Luckily, she was able to find a job when she interviewed with an Army veteran. Shortly after that she started her family and was a stay-at-home mom while her daughters were young. Once they began school she needed something for herself. She decided to go back to college and studied Nutritional Science. She found a community while studying at the University. And also was led to the path she is on today when a friend recommended she come to Mates4Mates. A program for veterans with physical and psychological injuries. She had struggled with identifying as a veteran since she never deployed. But her friend assured her that she would be welcomed.

Mindfulness and a new career

She was able to learn about Yoga and mindfulness. Mindfulness can help veterans with many different issues and can be used in daily life. It is a powerful practice and something more veterans should look into. When her friend moved to the next assignment she took over her role of teaching classes. She dreamed of creating a program that included mindfulness, yoga, and her nutritional expertise. People said it would never happen but today Jodi now works with Mates4Mates and the Department of Veterans Affairs on well-being programs throughout Australia.

Connect with Jodi:

https://www.jodiallennutrition.com/

Mentioned in this episode:

Women Veteran United

Mates4Mates

Related episodes:

Finding Healing through Mindful Meditation - Episode 133

Finding Healing through Yoga - Episode 81

Joining the Australian Army - Episode 33

Check out the full transcript here.  

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe, Lorraine Diaz

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Become a Patreon member today! Click here.   

May 18, 2021
From Women's Army Corps to Operation Desert Storm
00:46:03

This episode is sponsored by Blue Star Families. The Military Family Lifestyle Survey is open until June 6th, 2021. Head over to BlueStarFam.org/survey2021 to take the survey today. You could win one of five $100 gift cards. 

Penny Lee Deere began her military service in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) and served in Desert Storm/Desert Shield. Her career spans 20 years, from 1975 -1995. It was interesting to hear her experience having begun her service as part of the WAC and then transferring over to the US Army in 1978. She also shared a number of stories of her time during Desert Storm. The interview ended with her sharing about the work she does to give back to Veterans and how it helped her in her healing journey.

Currently, she resides in Albany NY. She credits “the Arts”, as saving her life. She is a multi-media artist, writer, and photographer. You can learn more about her at mindbodysoulbypenny.com.

Add podcast info

From Women's Army Corps to Operation Desert Storm

Penny graduated from a class of thirty-six and was told she was not college material. With the other option of becoming a farmer's wife, she decided to join the military with the plan that if she joined the military she would serve for twenty years. Initially, she looked into the Marine Corps but picked the Army instead. She began her career in the Women's Army Corps and was one of the first women platoons to have a male drill instructor as integration was beginning. In 1978, the Women Army Corps disbanded and she became a member of the US Army.

She spent twelve years of her twenty-year career overseas in Germany and she started her career as a Postmaster and then transferred to become an Army Intel Analyst to help ensure she would get promoted. She ended up getting promoted from her previous job while she was at training to become an Intel Analyst but she was excited about the change in careers.

Desert Storm

She was in Germany when Iraq invaded Kuwait in the summer of 1990 and they began preparing to deploy for Desert Shield. All the paperwork and arrangements were in place. She was a single mom and her children 4 and 7 were set to fly back to the states when she deployed. She ended up leaving for Desert Shield in November and came home in May. One story she told was she remembers getting to talk to her daughter once. Her daughter had seen the announcement on the television that the war was over. And she wanted to know when her mom was coming home. It was a challenge to be separated from her children but she was thankful for her parent's support.

She shared some memories from her deployment as well. She talks about a story of getting lost in the blackout Forward Operating Base and deciding to stop and sleep in the next open tent she found. It happened to be the Dining Facility and the cooks didn't understand why she was there are 4 am. She also talked about an incident in guard duty that almost led to a friendly fire incident.

After the war

The military downsized after Desert Storm and she helped her unit close up the base she was at in Germany and then went to Georgia where her unit had been reassigned. She left the military after twenty years of service in 1995 but did not identify as a veteran. She went to the VA in 2003 to get help for some of the medical/mental issues she was dealing with. And through that slowly became part of the veteran community. She used art to help her find healing and then the VA closed the programs. She went to the local American Legion asking for space to hold an art class. They gave her space and then when they saw she was doing added her program to their chapter.

Giving back through art

She continues to work to help other veterans through Art. With COVID they began working through zoom to share different stories verbally. And this summer Art from her post is going to be displayed at the Women Memorial in DC.

Connect with Penny:

Mindbodysoulbypenny.com

Mentioned in this Episode:

Help Heal Veterans

Related Podcast Episodes:

Advocacy with MOAA

Serving during Desert Storm - Episode 57

The Challenges Faced by Single Moms - Episode 46

Check out the full transcript here.  

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe, Lorraine Diaz

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.   

 

May 11, 2021
Finding Healing through Meditation
00:39:38

Thank you to Gracefully Global Group for sponsoring this week's episode of Women of the Military Podcast

Want to inspire your community with a unique presentation by a woman veteran speaker and author? Air Force veteran Graciela Tiscareno-Sato, Founder of Gracefully Global Group, an educational publishing firm creatively serving communities. Graciela serves audiences in Spanish and English at teacher conferences, schools, and libraries. Bringing the award-winning, bilingual Captain Mama children’s books, and her aviation service story, to life.  Next, Graciela leads AUTHENTIC Personal Branding workshops, helping transitioning service members, spouses, and vets in career transition to CREATE targeted brands. Use BRAND Before Your Resume – as a marketing guidebook. Lastly, corporate Speaker Sponsors make inspirational keynote addresses at their events possible. Surprising attendees with logo-sponsored copies of our books. We’re in the business of inspiration! Call area code (510) 542-9449 to inquire about bringing Graciela to YOUR next event. Learn more here.

The last two weeks of boot camp for Debra were after September 11th. And while she expected the military to be a way for her to pay for college when September 11th happened she felt that she had found her purpose. She completed tech school and went back home to go to school, work, and serve in the National Guard.

In 2003, she was activated to active duty to work at Robins Air Force Base. She enjoyed her time at Robins but struggled to hold her tongue having had leadership experience managing a Mcdonald's and being the rank of E-4 not being able to provide feedback that she wanted to.

From almost done to deploying

She went back home and continued her time in the National Guard and was about to transition out of the Guard when she was tasked with a deployment. Being a military brat, she was able to pick herself up and accept the military changing her life plans. And she headed off to training and then war.

Her deployment was going well. She found comradery and got to work with a lot of people, but in May 2009 she was raped and shut down. The Army knew something was wrong because she stopped talking and eating and they tried to figure out what was happening.

They decided to send her to Bagdad and she began to get help, but a soldier came in and killed her psychiatrist and four other members and she was hidden in her room hoping she wouldn’t die. These two incidents happened within a week of each other and her body couldn’t cope.

The Army can't help

The Army struggled to help her and eventually, she was separated from the military with PTSD. She was using destructive coping methods (parting and drinking) and was spiraling, but then she found out she was pregnant. When she found out she was pregnant she stopped drinking and began to find healing through the love she had for her child.

Finding healing through meditation

A few years later she felt her life was spiraling and started to get help through counseling. One of the recommendations was to start a daily meditation practice. And through that journey, she found healing and now wants to pass on the healing she has found through meditation through her nonprofit, Enlightened Veterans. They are having their first all-women four-day retreat in Denver in May Add dates and link. You can learn more about it here.

Connect with Debra:

www.enlightenedveterans.org

www.facebook.com/enlightenedveterans

Mentioned in this episode:

Ten Percent

Related Episodes:

Looking at Military Transition from a Different Perspective - Episode 125

Flawed but still worthy - Episode 116

A Military Sexual Trauma Survivors Story – Episode 26

Check out the full transcript here.  

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe, Lorraine Diaz

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.   

 

May 04, 2021
Understanding Female Veterans Statistics with Kate Hendricks
00:31:58

This episode was sponsored by Gracefully Global Group:

Do you LOVE audiobooks? Wish they were available for children’s picture books? Well, you’re going to LOVE this! At woman-veteran-owned educational publishing firm Gracefully Global Group, we’ve created an innovative VIDEO audiobook of Captain Mama's Surprise, book 2 in the award-winning Captain Mama series. Read by author Graciela Tiscanero-Sato, with cool sound effects! As little Marco and classmates tour the flying gas station where his Captain Mama works, you'll see all of Linda Lens' illustrations. The award-winning series was inspired by Graciela'ss decade of aviation service. Have the book at home? Your child can follow along as I read! Buy the video audiobook for only $7.07 today. Click here. There you’ll find books and companion patches too!

The Marine Corps was in Kate's blood. As a Marine Corps brat, she decided to join the military and originally picked the Air Force. But after a year as part of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Program she wanted to switch to the Marine Corps. The Marine Corps felt like home. So she switched from AF ROTC to Marine Corps ROTC which is run under the Navy ROTC program.

When she picked her career field she knew she wanted to help people so she picked Military Police or Public Affairs. She was excited when she was selected for military police. But found the work challenging because she found herself helping people on their worst day or in some really hard circumstances. She decided not to continue to serve in the military but before leaving she deployed to Iraq. She loved her job overseas in Iraq. There she found a sense of purpose and felt she was contributing to the mission of the military. She also made really good friends.

A change in direction

When she came home from her deployment her brother had been injured in Iraq and she spent most of her 30 days of post-deployment leave with him at the hospital. It began a spark to led her to where she is today. She also decided to serve another tour of service.

When she left the military originally she began working at a fitness center but found the job more focused on meeting quotas and the people who could afford the help of one on one coaching didn't really need this. This led her on a path of holistic medicine and healing. She began a career in health science. She eventually received her Ph.D. And today she studies evidence-based mental physical and peak performance. She has put her work in her books. Her latest book is called Stopping Military Veteran Suicides and is told through stories and research.

Female Veterans Statistics

She is also currently working with the University of Alabama and other women veterans and women veterans advocates for a study on accessing the needs of  US women who have served in the Armed Forces. Over 3,000 women veterans have taken the survey so far. If you would like to provide your thoughts click here.

There is already evidence for higher cancer rates in women for breast cancer and reproduction. So it is important to take care of your health and begin regular health screenings even earlier than recommended. Kate's doctor recommended a mammogram when she was 38 and is now fighting stage four cancer. She said that doctor added years to her life and encourages women to take their health seriously.

Connect with Kate:

www.DocKate.com

@thedrkate

Mentioned in this episode:

Women veteran study

Books (affiliate links):

Stopping Military Suicides

Brave Strong True

Related episodes:

Looking at Military Transition from a Different Perspective - Episode 125

An Invisible Combat Veteran's Story - Episode 90

The Pressure to Proove Yourself in the Marines - Episode 94

Check out the full transcript here.  

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe, Lorraine Diaz

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.   

Apr 27, 2021
Becoming a JAG Corps Officer
00:44:29

Becoming a JAG Corps Officer

Aniela's time in the military-led her to do a number of things she would have never done on the civilian side. She first began her career in Barstow, California. As the only JAG at the base, she gave advice to the leadership on various cases. Military JAG officers also have the opportunity to be on various trials early in their careers. She believes being JAG Corps Officer can open many doors to your future. Her next assignment took her to Quantico. There she managed the Marines across the world and had the opportunity to travel. Her favorite location to visit was Thailand.

Transitioning to the Reserves

As she approached the ten-year point in the military she decided she wanted to continue her service through the years but also focus on her career as a civilian lawyer. The only problem is she didn't know what she wanted to do. Luckily, she had worked to help her dad as he worked through the VA claims process and was able to find a career helping veterans. This career opportunity led to the work she continues to do today.

Deploying to Afghanistan

When she transferred to the Reserves she also switched careers from JAG Corps officer to Civil Affairs. She began to work as a Civil Affairs Officer. The Reserve office needed Civil Affairs Officers for an upcoming deployment and they trained her for the career field and the deployment. She went to Afghanistan in 2011. She led a Civil Affairs team at the Company level. It was before women were formally allowed to serve in combat. And at first, the leadership worried if she would fit the role. But her team excelled. And she believes her personality led to a positive and the Afghans seeing the Marines in a more positive light. She also was able to collaborate with the Female Engagement Teams.

The flexibility of the Reserves

Aniela continues to serve in the Reserves today. The Reserves gives military members the flexibility to continue serving in the military without having to make all the sacrifices required with active duty. It is an especially great career for new moms. Moms who desire to be a homemaker, with a part-time career. Reservists also have the option to serve on active duty again if they desire later on in their career.

Connect with Aniela:

Twitter @akszymanski

https://www.linkedin.com/in/akszymanski/

Mentioned in this episode:

Military Officers Association of America

Veteran Affairs

Related Episodes:

Advocacy with MOAA

Check out the full transcript here.  

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe, Lorraine Diaz

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.   

Apr 20, 2021
Boss Lady Bio
00:43:22

Jen decided to attend the Academy after going to a few seminars with her friend who was interested in attending. Her friend didn't end up applying for the Academy but Jen saw it as her ticket out of her small town. And out of Montana. The Academy was tough but Jen learned a lot from those experiences and made great friends. She became a Maintenance officer and loved being able to work with people.

Active duty to Reserves to IMA

She decided to transition from active duty to Reserves at the end of her five-year commitment. She and her husband were ready to start a family and she knew that it would be challenging to have a family with both of them working active duty. It was still complicated being a reservist, mom, and military spouse. Especially when her husband deployed and she was given a deployment as well. It was hard to leave her son with her parents but in hindsight, it was the best choice for her.

She finished her last twelve years in the Reserves as an Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) because she only had to meet the requirement of 24 days of service per year. This was what worked best for her family. She retired from the Air Force last year.

Stay at Home Mom to Entrepreneur

After being a stay-at-home mom for three years she started looking for a job, but did not want to work full time and instead started her own business where she could have the flexibility to work her own hours and take her kids with her as needed. Her parents were entrepreneurs and she learned a lot from watching their business go through various stages. She first was an interior designer, but sold that business and began working with Rodan and Fields when they first began. Today she is a team lead for 9,000 ladies and loves helping empower women.

Through her work at Rodan and Fields, she wanted to find a way to give back to support the military spouse community that has an unemployment or under-employment rate of 90%. She wrote Mission Entrepreneur and used the skills she learned from military life and how she translated them to business. Once the book was complete she felt that she needed to provide resources to help women in their own entrepreneurial journey. And she created Mission Entrepreneur.

Boss Lady Bio

The newest product being launched by Mission Entrepreneur is the Boss Lady Bio. This tool can help all women business owners or not have a place to create a beautiful looking bio highlight them or their business/service. There is a free option so everyone can have a bio created. And to make it more personalized with different themes and added features you can pay $11.99/month. If you use the code Airmantomom when you sign up you will get your first month for $1! You can check out my own Boss Lady Bio here.

Connect with Jen:

Website

Jen's Boss Lady Bio

Instagram

Mentioned in this Episode:

New Women Hair Standards 

Mission Entrepreneur book

Mission Entrepreneur website

Boss Lady Bio Use Code: AMANDAHUFFMAN to get your first month for $1 (valid until May 12, 2021)

Check out the full transcript here.  

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe, Lorraine Diaz

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.   

Apr 13, 2021
Mya the Soldier's Daughter
00:54:10

This episode is sponsored by Gracefully Global LLC 

Get your copies of the Captain Mama books with embroidered patches here: https://www.gracefullyglobal.com/commerce/?page_id=467

Cathy Alexander immigrated to the US from Grenada in 1989. When she graduated from college she couldn't find a job and decided to join the military. Even though she had her degree she wasn't a naturalized citizen yet so she did not pursue the officer path. She found boot camp challenging but excelled physically. She then went to Advanced Individual Training and because her class didn't start for six weeks had to do whatever duty was assigned to her. Once class began she enjoyed it more and learned a lot.

Off to the cold

Her first assignment was at Fort Dix, NY. It was cold but had an intimate environment among the soldiers. There she learned how much she loved to teach. She also deployed for training to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. After her first assignment, she decided to leave active duty and became a teacher. She also continued to serve in the Reserves. In 2003, she was mobilized to Fort Dix, NJ to help prepare members for overseas deployments. In 2001, she became a citizen, and then in 2006, she became an officer through a direct commission. She continued to serve in the Reserves with occasional activations. 

Deploying to Afghanistan

Then in 2017, she found out she would be deploying to Afghanistan. As a single mom, she knew that she had to find someone to watch her four-year-old daughter. The best option was to send her daughter to live with her sister in Canada. During her deployment, she served in the role of Medical Advisor responsible to train, advise, and assist the Afghan National Police Hospital Commander, Afghan National Depot Commander, and was also responsible for the medical logistics support of over 165,000 Afghan police.

Mya the Soldier's Daughter

Reintegration and the time apart were hard on her daughter and she wanted to share her story through her love of writing. She wrote and published a children's book from her daughter's perspective and experience to talk about the challenges her daughter faced in their time apart. Her daughter was involved in the whole book process and even helped pick out the clothes she wore in the book. It is important to hear the stories of children. Not just their parents when it comes to deployments and the military.

Continuing to Give Back

Cathy also created a Run/Walk Event to honor the 12 soldiers who died while she was deployed to Afghanistan. She wants to build a foundation to give back to the families. She is thankful she was able to come home from her deployment. Not everyone is so lucky.

She encourages people to join the military and learned so much from her experience serving. It opens doors for your future.

Connect with Cathy

https://www.linkedin.com/in/cathy-ann-alexander

https://www.instagram.com/cathyannalexander/

https://www.facebook.com/cathyann.alexander/

https://www.cathyannalexander.com/

Books (affiliate links):

My Solider's Daughter

The Tale of Buzz-Anna the Traveling Bee

Wise and Witty Words for Your Life’S Journey: Inspirational Words to Help Measure Your Life and Keep You on Track

Mentioned in this episode:

Girl's Guide to the Military: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpLsrfrX3UrvJnCG7XvGDJQ

Related episodes:

Before Women Could be Fighter Pilots - Episode 29

Being a Single Mom in the Army - 46

Empowering Women Through StoryTelling - Episode 107

Check out the full transcript here.  

Thank you Gracefully Global LLC for sponsoring this podcast episode. Don't forget to check out my favorite package where you get both Captain Mama books and patched here.

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe, Lorraine Diaz

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.   

Apr 06, 2021
A Military Leader Gives Back - Gen Carol Eggert
00:57:35

A Military Leader Gives Back

Carol initially enlisted into the Army so she could earn the GI Bill as a way to pay for college. She joined the Women's Army Corps band. She served enlisted for 12 years and then switched to the officer corps. While she was a recruiter for her last assignment as an enlisted member, she wanted to be able to give back in another way. So she became an officer.

She began her career as an officer in the National Guard. She used that time to finish her degree. One thing she enjoyed was the flexibility of the National Guard. It gave her the chance to be a mom, college student, and soldier. She decided to pick a carer field in Maintenance because she believed she would have more opportunities. Even with its challenges, she found a way to persevere. Carol is so proud of how much the military changed over the time of her career. So many jobs were not open to women. Today all career fields are open to women.

Desert storm to 9/11

Six weeks after giving birth Desert Storm one kicked off and there was a chance her unit would deploy. She was sick of the thought of leaving her little baby behind but also felt an obligation to the military and her unit and worked to prepare for that to happen. She ended up not having to deploy for Desert Storm. But she did do various active duty stints and deployments between Desert Storm and September 11th. Her husband supporter her military career and the kids learned to rely on their father.

The role of Women

The role of the National Guard changed after September 11th. But so did the role of women as they were needed in combat but could not be there. The word attached became a workaround for women to be part of combat units. But this sometimes led to them not being seen or remembered in history for their role. Carol ended up deploying to Iraq and worked with the State Department. It was a different experience than in the past when her children were little and didn't understand. As they grew older they knew what was happening and worried about their mom. Especially when she was injured. Her daughter took a role to hold the family together after her injury. She was also there for her mom as she adjusted back to normal life. They spent time together after she got home. And helped her work through issues.

Another interesting part of her deployment was the role she played in helping women.

Hillary Clinton had a policy that women would be able to help families get out of poverty. There were a number of programs to help women. Beekeeping, gardening, providing tools and equipment were all part of the ways the government helped those in Iraq from the State Department side.

Military Leader

She attributes her success to her hard work but also to the focus on giving back. She always says yes to opportunities and wants to give back. One way that women can be ready for the next opportunity is by being prepared for it before it comes so you can be ready. Get your degree. Get your masters. Take the certification. That way when the door opens you can walk through it. So often being in the right place at the right time can be attributed to being ready for the next opportunity.

Advice for Women considering military service

She encourages women to join the military. But she recommends they do their research. The Girl's Guide to the Military YouTube channel and the Women of the Military podcast are great resources. Also, try to connect with women who have served in the military. Boot camp is challenging but you can do it. The military is forcing you to learn how to operate as a term to prepare you for war. When you know this boot camp becomes easier to get through and know it ends quicker than you might expect.

Mentioned in this episode:

Our Community Salutes

Comcast Military Program

United Through Reading

KIVA

Provincial Reconstruction Teams

Girl's Guide to the Military YouTube channel

Related Episodes

The First Female Thunderbird Pilot - Episode 93

Deputy Director of the Air National Guard - Episode 105

Military Women and Their History - Episode 70

Check out the full transcript here.  

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe, Lorraine Diaz

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.   

Mar 30, 2021
Geospatial Intelligence in the Air Force
00:36:20

Geospatial Intelligence in the Air Force

She served four years on active duty in the Air Force as a Geospatial Intelligence Imagery Analyst. She didn’t really know what job she wanted to do when she joined the Air Force, but her ASVAB score allowed her to work in Intel and her recruiter recommended that option. Even though she didn’t particularly enjoy the career field, but she did excel and felt like part of the military mission.

She struggled through Boot Camp facing an injury that turned into stress fractures making it painful to run and march. But she did graduate and then waited to pass a running test before she headed off to tech school. While at tech school she faced challenges with two higher-ranking women who spread lies about her and eventually were able to convince the leadership to recycle her back to the next class.

The struggle continued

But the struggles with the women who were causing her undue stress were just one of the challenges she faced. Her best friend confided in her that she had been gang-raped by their classmates. She eventually reported it and went to mental health. Once she went to mental health, she was told she had to be reassigned to a new career field. The men who gang-raped her went unpunished and Marissa had to march to class with them every day. Knowing what they did and that they were not punished. She also feared that it would happen to her.

The fear of being assaulted or raped never diminished and she felt trapped because she couldn’t go to mental health to talk to someone and not risk a negative impact on her career. Even with all the struggles she considered reenlisting but wasn’t allowed to cross-train so she decided to leave the military behind.

Transition out of the military

She became a student and struggled with the transition as she went from military to civilian. She didn’t know what her purpose was and struggled to figure out how to move forward. Luckily, she was able to find her purpose and graduate with her degree and master's.

Connect with Marissa:

www.linkedin.com/in/marissarock

Mentioned in this episode:

The Invisible War

Ekk! I’m a Civilian Now

Girl's Guide to the Military Free Guide

Girls Guide to the Military YouTube

Related Episodes:

Weapons System Officer in the Air Force – Episode 71

Working on Jet Engines in the Air Force – Episode 61

Going through MEPS in the Air Force – Episode 34

Check out the full transcript here. 

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:

Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe, Lorraine Diaz

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.    

 

Mar 23, 2021
From Airman to Doctor
00:41:44

She first went to North Dakota and next was transferred to Italy. She got married had her daughter and was divorced while in Italy. As a single mom, she knew that her daughter was depending on her and so she planned to stay in until retirement. At two her daughter was diagnosed with delayed development. This force Ann to make sure they were financially stable and make the right choices to take care of her.

She worked on her degree online and took classes at the education center. At 12 years of service, she had the opportunity to complete ROTC and become an officer. She used her GI Bill to get her masters while attending ROTC and then went back into the Air Force as a Lt.

She struggled with being a Lt since she had previously been an E-6. As an enlisted person, you are more in the weeds than officers and it often felt easier to fix whatever problem she had instead of delegating it. But she learned this important trait throughout her career.

She took a special duty assignment as an ROTC instructor.

She loved being able to help mold and shape the next generation of officers. But having not deployed her whole career she was tasked with a 365-day deployment to Iraq. She worried about how her daughter would be with the change, but luckily her mother was able to come and live with her daughter. This allowed her daughter to not have to change her routine and that gave her the peace of mind she needed.

She left the military when an opportunity to retire early came available.

She was ready for the next phase and because she had prepared financially, she was able to take a year off, and then she was able to go to school using her GI Bill to get her doctorate. Today she helps military women gain control over and conquer the battle over their finances.

Connect with Dr James:

www.drannjames.com

Get podcast link

Mentioned in this episode:

Girls Guide to the Military

Girls Guide to the Military on YouTube

Related Episodes:

Being a Single Mom in the Army – Episode 35

Challenges faced by a Single Mom – Episode 46

A Muslim American in the Army – Episode 98

Check out the full transcript here.  

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.   

Mar 16, 2021
Looking at Military Transition from a different perspective
00:43:33

Crystal served in the Navy from 2002 to 2005. She needed to escape her hometown of Pittsburg and saw the military as her way out. She signed up to serve in the Navy in July 2001 and began preparing for boot camp when she graduated high school a year later. Even with September 11th changing the landscape of the military she continued on her path to serve in the military.

Joining the military

After graduating high school she attended Boot Camp and then went to Florida for technical school to be a Cryptologic Technician Administrative and was able to secure her dream assignment to Hawaii. She spent three years in Hawaii before leaving the military to attend college in hopes of a relationship working out. And although the relationship didn’t go the way she planned she is grateful for the opportunity to go to school and it led to where she is today.

Leaving the military

She talked about how hard it was to transition out of the military. After being a part of a culture where you can see everything you need to know about a person by looking at their uniform and having a get the mission done mindset it was hard to transition into civilian life. This is more than training the psychology of the brain is affected by what you are taught. The military trains you to respond and the cues you learn in your early 20s help form the foundation.

So, when the uniform is gone and you have to gather information about people though conversation is a different experience. It can be relearned, but having the awareness of these patterns is so important to understand and recognize.

Today she is a writer and speaker.

Her first collaborative book Whispers of Grace was recently released. She also is working to become more established as a writer and speaker. With a background in mental health, she is working to leave a lasting impact on not only the veteran community but the world.

Connect with Crystal:

Instagram

www.crystalcnvrstns.com

Mentioned in this episode:

Whispers of Grace (affiliate link)

Brave Women Strong Faith

Military Service Changes Your Brain

Freedom Sisters Podcast

Freedom Sisters Magazine (affiliate link)

Related Episodes:

Flawed But Still Worthy - Episode 116

Mental Health in the Military – Episode 73

Mourning the Loss of Military Service – Episode 47

Check out the full transcript here.  

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.   

Mar 09, 2021
Phyllis Wilson - An Army Unicorn?
00:58:28

Phyllis Wilson an Army Unicorn

Phyllis Wilson was struggling to pay for college in between two jobs and realized that at the rate she was going she would have her Associate's Degree by the age of twenty-four. This was not the pace she was looking for so she stopped into the recruiter's office and looked into joining the Army. Initially, she had planned to be a military police officer, but her dad went back to the recruiter's office with her and helped her pick a career field in intel. She also had the opportunity to become a linguist and learned that her training would be in Monterey.

Next, she went from boot camp to Monterey where life was laid back. She worked to complete her language training while also taking CLEP courses on the side to help work toward her degree. When she completed her training she went overseas to Germany to meet up with her husband. She was almost eight months pregnant. And her husband urged her to find a way to not have to come overseas. He knew with both of them on active duty and a new baby on the way it would be a challenging assignment. She was undeterred by his urging. And even though they faced many challenges with having to be out in the field regularly with two small children at home they were able to make it through it.

From active duty to Reserves to Warrant Officer

At the end of her four-year tour, they came back to the states. She then transferred to the Reserves. Her husband became a Warrant Officer. While at training and four the first four months he was in Germany she was able to gain her nursing degree. Then headed back over to Germany to reunite with her husband. They enjoyed their time overseas. When she came back to the states she was recommended to become a Warrant Officer. After considering it and getting council she decided to take the challenge. Warrant Officers make up less than 2% of the total Army. But they are an important part of the Army as Warrant Officers are experts in their field. Phyllis Wilson achieved the rank of Chief Warrant Officer Five which is extremely rare. CW-5s are often referred to as Unicorns.

Coining the Spouses

She became the Command Chief Warrant Officer of the Reserves and had the opportunity to travel and see so many different units. She also visited soldiers who were recovering from injuries overseas. Many times she would see the spouse off to the side. As a nurse, she felt it was important to talk to the spouses. She began coining the spouses for their role in supporting their members. This experience also led to her starting Wounded Warriors Have Families Too after leaving the service.

Military Women's Memorial

Today Phyllis is the president of the Women's Memorial and is working to help share and preserve the stories of military women. One of the ways that she and her team is doing this is through the goal of collecting more stories of military women. You can register here. The work of the Memorial is helping to preserve history and highlight what women have done and continue to do for the military.

Connect with Phyllis Wilson:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/phyllis-wilson/

Women's Memorial

https://www.linkedin.com/company/militarywomensmemorial/

https://www.facebook.com/MilitaryWomensMemorial

Mentioned in this episode:

Register with the Memorial

Steve Harvey Jump Video

Wounded Warriors Have Families Too

Related Episodes:

Brigadier General Wilma Vaught - Episode - 65

Check out the full transcript here

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:

Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.    

Mar 04, 2021
Women Who Inspire
00:18:22
Mar 02, 2021
Letting down your guard and facing a MST
00:42:15

Tiffany served in the Army for 24 years, the first nine years she served on active duty and then transferred to the Reserves. She was mobilized three times in the Reserves. She served as Active Guard Reserves for 2 years as a recruiter. And then for the last six years, she was an Advanced Individual Training Instructor for Reserve and National Guard soldiers re-classifying from their previous Military Operational Speciality Code to become a Religious Affairs Specialist.

She decided to switch from active duty to Reserves at the nine-year point because she wasn't ready to commit to serving the next eleven years in the military to get to retirement. She had always wanted to be a medic so she went off to training. Unfortunately, she didn't graduate from the training and went back to being a Religious Affairs Specialist. But transitioning to the Reserves was not as easy as she expected. On the one hand, it kept her connected to the military, but the culture was so different than active duty.

Leadership opportunities

One of the things she talked about was relying on the people she worked for. She thought it was important to empower those under her by using their recommendations. As the leader, she knew the ultimate responsibility would lie on her so she used the team to help make choices. But making the final choice on how to proceed forward. She said it helped inspire those around her to commit to the mission because they had their voices heard.

Passing on her knowledge to the next generation

She ended up serving twenty-four years instead of twenty. Because she absolutely loved her last assignment as an AIT instructor. She loved getting a chance to pour into the next generation of military members who were about to embark on their careers.

Facing a MST

She faced a military sexual trauma event by a friend that she trusted. And dealing with the incident was hard but the mental strain after the event was even more challenging. And even though things did not end up the way she had hoped. She found healing through the serenity prayer

"To accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference."  

She shifted her focus away from the trial and the results to healing mentally. Unfortunately, the military's system for handling MST cases is flawed and you can learn more about the process and what is being advocated for in Episode 47 of the Spouse Angle Podcast. She went through a cognitive therapy counseling session and it forced her to talk about and deal with the pain so that she could move forward no matter what the outcome of the trial was. 

After being found guilty for two of the three counts the information was sent forward to big Army for a final decision but was kicked back. When it was kicked back a retrial took place without Tiffany's knowledge and he was allowed to stay in the Army. 

Connect with Tiffany:

http://linkedin.com/in/tiffanymartschink

Mettle of Honor Podcast

Mentioned in this episode:

Episode 47 of the Spouse Angle Podcast

Related Episodes:

Flawed But Still Worthy - Episode 116

Being in the Reserves Might not be what you expect - Episode 102 

Being in the Military Band - Episode 114

Check out the full transcript here.  

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.   

Feb 25, 2021
From Green to Gold
00:34:15

Andi joined the National Guard, in high school and began going to college after high school, but she became a mom and was struggling to make ends meet working at McDonalds. She and her boyfriend at the time saw the military as an opportunity for a stable paycheck. Because she had completed boot camp and Advanced Individual Training the Army happily took her on active duty. But because she was a single parent she had to get married. So she got married to her son’s father and off they went to Ft. Bragg.

Her husband worked nights and she worked during the day and they continued to struggle to make ends meet living on an E-3 salary. Shortly after she joined the Army her husband decided to join the Army as well. This made it easier to make ends meet and get out of debt.

Green to Gold

She attended classes with the goal of becoming an officer. When she was accepted into the Green to Gold program and commissioned in the Army as a 2nd Lt in 2009. She and her husband also got a divorce and she began her new career in the military. Shortly after commissioning, she deployed to Afghanistan. She talked about how hard it was to leave her babies behind. She drove her kids to her x-husband’s house and dropped them off said goodbye and drove away. It was so painful she couldn’t drag it out.

Deployment

Luckily, she was able to stay connected with her family back home through the technology available. She had a cell phone so she could call home and access to Wi-Fi. And though it was hard to be apart she was able to stay connected to her kids. She deployed again to Afghanistan in 2004. It was easier to be apart having already gone through one deployment.

Leaving the military during a pandemic

With her selection to Major Andi had the opportunity to go to school for nine months followed by a new assignment. She decided to pick her family over her career and transition out of the military. She had already began working her transition when COVID hit and changed everything she had planned. Her family was planning a big trip to Egypt to celebrate her retirement and it had to be canceled. She also had to shift her focus to find a new job as the career opportunities quickly changed when she left. It hasn’t been easy.

But she started selling women veteran apparel at Veteran Bee. She felt there were not enough t-shirt options for military women and veterans and she is working to change that. She is offering Women of the Military Podcast a 15% off discount with the code Airman2mom. So check out her shop today!

Connect with Andi:

LinkedIn

Https://veteranbee.com Use Code: Airmantomom to save 10%

Mentioned in this episode:

Girls Guide to the Military

Girls Guide to the Military YouTube Channel

Related Episodes:

The Challenge of Officer Candidate School – Episode 85

MOAA is more than Advocacy – Bonus Episode

Challenges Faced by Single Moms in the Army – Episode 46

Check out the full transcript here.  

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.   

Feb 23, 2021
BRAND Before Your Resume
00:51:04

Graciela was lucky enough to connect with a few women who had served in the military and helped her transition and find a new career after leaving the military behind. They told her she needed to stop instead of driving forward and building a resume. Learn about what is available and then build a resume around what career you want. The military Transition Assistance Program pushes military members to speed through the discovery process and often pushes them to continue in the career field you are in. But it is better to stop and figure out what you want to do and find what will make you happy. Better to do this now than a year later when you end up in a place you don't want to be.

Brand Before Resume

The best part about this book and this process is you can use it over and over. It can also be used for different purposes. Building a business, launching a product, getting a job. All these things can be done by following the processes in this book. It really is a great resource. And you can use it over and over again.

For entrepreneurs, it is great because you can tell a story behind your business. People don't want to buy a product. They want to buy from a person. So, if you can incorporate who you are into your product it will drive sales.

Everyday examples

We discussed the challenges of the Transition Assitance Program and how it doesn't help members stop realizing what they want to do. Instead, it pushes members to meet metrics. Then we talked about my experience of using my brand and my vision to help me say yes or no to opportunities. Recently I went through an interview process and I ran past my goals and got excited about getting paid. My husband grounded me. He brought me back to reality. And he reminded me about why I started my business. It was easy to say no to the opportunity because I knew where I wanted to go.

BRAND

We ended the interview talking about what the BRAND in Brand Before Resume Stands for Become Relevant Authentic Noticeable and Differentiated. I loved this interview because it was a mix of Graciela sharing her story while also covering my experience. I loved she handed questions back to me.

Connect with Graciela:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/gracielatiscarenosato/

 

Check out the full transcript here.  

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.   

Feb 18, 2021
A Career in Science and Technology in the Military
00:25:10

Science and Technology in the Military

She completed ROTC and gained her degree in Physics. Next, she was assigned to Albuquerque, New Mexico to work in a lab. After that, she went to the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and got to go to the launch sites and learn about rockets. She loved that job and had so much fun. That job was followed by five years at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. She had met her husband in Virginia and they began their new life together. He was not in the military but was able to continue his career while following Rojan's military career.

At Wright-Patterson Air Force Base she became a mom and enjoyed the flexibility the CDC provided on the base. And she felt like life was going pretty well. Next, she went to Command and Staff College with the Army at Fort Leavenworth. Upon arrival, she learned there were no childcare spots for her children. To find childcare she ended up driving the opposite way from work to drop her children off at childcare each day. Although she enjoyed the experience of attending CSC, it was hard to manage her work-life balance.

Sharing her story to help others

Her next assignment was to DC and she began planning for childcare once she found out about her assignment. And with that preparation things seemed to be going better. But then her third son was born. And life changed. She was struggling to get through it and one day when she had to leave work early to take care of her sick son she started a blog. She began talking about the challenges of work-life balance. This led to her book, Working Moms How We Do “It.” In the book, she interviews women who are moms in the military and women with high-level careers who are also moms. From the experience, she learned four pivotal things that she put in an acronym she termed as SOAR.

Today, Rojan continues to serve as a Colonel in the Air Force while balancing life as a mom and wife. She hopes to change the conversation around women in the military. She hopes to see a day, where women are not forced to sacrifice their families so they can continue to serve in the military.

Connect with Rojan (contains affiliate links):

Working Moms How We Do It

www.togethersoaring.com

Facebook Group

Mentioned in this episode:

Space Force

Related Episodes:

A Developmental Engineer in the Air Force

The Story of An Air Force Civil Engineer

How Depression Led to Healthy Changes

Check out the full transcript here.  

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.   

 

 

Feb 16, 2021
Follow Your Passion in the Military
00:43:01

Elaine graduated from college and couldn’t find a job, and was living at home and working part-time. The bus stop was by a recruiter’s office and she decided to join the Army. The recruiter dangled a bonus and an early start day for her career and she took it instead of waiting to be a 46B Public Army Broadcast. Instead, she enlisted as a Morse Code Interceptor.

Shift work

Her first assignment was in Hawaii. She enjoyed the location but was on a continual shift of rotations for her duty, days, mids, nights. It was tough on her body and mentally challenging. She didn’t enjoy doing morse code and had the opportunity to go to language school in San Francisco and learned Russian. By the time she completed her training she was married, pregnant, and had 9 months left on her active duty service commitment. She finished out her time and then she and her husband relocated to Illinois.

She and her husband served in the Reserves.

When signed up to serve in the Reserves she wanted to switch to be a 46B. And so she was able to switch career fields and enjoyed her career field. She deployed two times before 9/11 once to Guantanamo and then to Bosnia. But she went all over the globe for shorter missions. Because she was a homemaker it made it possible to go on the different assignments required by the Reserves.

She switched to the National Guard in 2000 and switch career fields to be an interrogator. In 2004, she was deployed to Afghanistan. Because it was early in the war she was able to travel to many different places in Afghanistan and really enjoyed her time serving in Afghanistan.

Leaving the military

In 2008, she decided to leave the military, and in the middle of a recession tried to find a job. She was also in the middle of a divorce and struggled. Even with a master's degree and her veteran status, she couldn’t find work. Eventually, she got a GS-5 job as a secretary with the IRS. This job was an open door and she found her footing.

Today she works for the VA and recently moved from Chicago to Los Angeles so that she could follow her passion of being a TV writer. Her short stories and essays have been published in “Tupelo Quarterly,” “The Bryant Literary Review,” ”37th Parallel,” the anthology, “Powder: Writing by Women in the Ranks from Vietnam to Iraq” and many others. She won the Celia Baker Scholarship to the Longleaf Writer’s Conference in 2018.

She was an Austin Screenwriting Festival second-rounder in 2019 and 2020 and participated in the Writers Guild of America West, WGA, Veterans Writing Workshop in 2015. Elaine has also worked as a production assistant and assistant director on several short films, and as a contributor to the Rivendell theater production of “Women at War.” She is currently collaborating with a composer to write a short musical for the upcoming NewMusicalsInc (NMI) musical web series, “How Proudly We Hail.”

Connect with Elaine:

Website coming soon

Mentioned in this episode:

https://nmi.org/

Afghanistan through Pictures

Related Episodes:

When Public Affairs Changed – Episode 67

Switching Careers in the US Navy – Episode 76

Being Counterintelligence in the Army – Episode 53

Check out the full transcript here.  

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.   

 

Feb 11, 2021
The Rollercoaster of Military Life
00:46:13

Because she had her degree she was an E-3 and the highest ranking enlisted member. This gave her additional responsibilities during boot camp and she worked hard to get through it. Even facing injuries (mainly shin splints) she would march on crutches at the back of the pack.

After graduating from AIT she headed off to jump school. While at jump school she was offered the opportunity to be a Black Hat instructor. But her time there was cut short when her father intervened and got her moved to Fort Bragg. She was one of the first 100 women integrated into the 82nd Airborne. She said the leadership was determined to make integrating women a success and she enjoyed her time there.

Roller Coaster of Military Life

When her contract ended, she asked to stay another year, they agreed, but also told her she needed to have a plan for what was next. If she wanted to stay in the military, she should consider becoming an officer. She ended up getting direct commission and while at training for the medical corps she was given the opportunity to become a helicopter pilot.

Her first assignment in Alabama had her doing humanitarian missions along with work for the Army and she really enjoyed her time there. Next, she moved to Germany. She was welcomed by a sign that read “Any Female Lt.” She knew that this was not going to be a welcoming environment. And with each new commander, it would only get worse.

Life changes

Luckily, she was given the job of driving around a General for a week and within the first thirty minutes of their time together he asked her about her plans with the military and she told him she was getting out and why. He was able to get her reassigned to a hospital at Ramstein. There she had a much better work assignment and was able to do a lot of positive changes to help patients get seen. She also got married and left the military.

She transitioned from service member to military spouse and struggled with identity. But was able to get involved in the military spouse community and stayed active. In 2018, she launched Leader Transition Institute. Things were growing slowly and then with the onset of COVID they were quickly able to pivot to an online model and have been able to help so many people.

Advice for the next generation

She tells women to join the military. The path has been laid for you to do so much, but make sure to keep your principles and values. Find a group of women you can trust and lean into the experiences of the women who have gone before you.

Connect with Annie:

LinkedIn

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Mentioned in this episode:

Ramstein Air Show Disaster

Related Episodes:

A Muslim American in the Army - Episode 98

The Challenge of Officer Candidate School - Episode 85

Army Women Out to Change the World - Episode 4

Check out the full transcript here.  

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.   

Feb 09, 2021
Flawed but Still Worthy
00:53:49

*post contains affiliate links

Allie literally made a U-turn as she drove past a recruiting station and walked into the Navy recruiter’s office. She signed up that day and headed out to boot camp 3-months later. No one knew what to expect, but she found boot camp and A-school gave her structure and she was ready for her first day of military life.

A First Impression

She reported in wearing wedges, white Bermuda shorts, and a pink spaghetti-strap top with a white blazer. She quickly discovered what military life was going to be like. Not quite what she expected, but ready to prove herself. The ship she was assigned to was in dry dock and instead of doing the secretarial duties she expected she was doing manual labor. As her ship was gearing up for deployment she found out was pregnant and had to be reassigned.

Facing challenges

She started her new job working for the Command Master Chief as his executive assistant. It was a great job and she learned a lot, but soon the Chief had to move to the next assignment and the Senior Chief who replaced him until the next Chief arrived sexually assaulted and harassed Allie daily. She tried to report it twice and nothing changed. One day in a rant of frustration she told a fellow sailor about her struggle and then headed back to work. This young sailor reported it and was able to find a Chief who would take action. Eventually, a case was made and the Senior Chief was removed.

During all of this, her daughter was born. She experienced a lot of bleeding post-delivery and when she voiced it to the nurse. The nurse accused her of lying and wanting to get more time off work and said she was fine instead of checking. She went home for the end of her maternity leave and had to be rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery as half of her placenta was still in her body and had been infected.

Still Worthy

But things were looking better a few months later as she met Sean. They did a courthouse wedding before he deployed to Afghanistan with plans of a big family wedding on his return home from deployment. But within weeks of arriving in Afghanistan, he was killed in action. This crushed Allie and her command didn’t know how to treat her since she was both a military spouse and an active duty service member. It made the pain and loss harder. She advocated for change with the Admiral before she left active duty.

Today she lives in Arizona with her husband and daughter. To read more about her experience and read her whole story check out her book Flawed and (Still) Worthy.

Connect with Allie:

Www.alliebrazas-hayes.com

Facebook

Instagram

Mentioned in this episode:

Book: Flawed and (Still) Worthy

Related Episodes:

An Invisible Combat Veteran Story - Episode 90

A Rape Surviors Story - Episode 58

Surviving Mlitary Sexual Trauma - Episode 26

Check out the full transcript here.  

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.   

Feb 04, 2021
The Stories of Military Women and Women Veteran Authors
00:59:46

Laura Colbert - Sirens: How to Pee Standing Up

What was it like to deploy to Iraq as the war kicked off? Laura was the first wave of the invasion after the Marines. She talked about the whole experience in her book Sirens: How to Pee Standing Up which is based on the journal she kept while deployed overseas. In today's interview, we talked about writing her book and what she learned along the way. You can listen to episode 87 of the Women of the Military Podcast where we talk about her experience in the military and dive deeper into her book. http://www.airmantomom.com/2020/08/sirens-how-to-pee-standing-up/
 


Order here

Erin Miller - Final Fight, Final Flight

Erin Miller is the granddaughter of WASP WWII pilot Elaine Danforth Harmon. She has a J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law, a Master’s in international studies from the University of Leeds (UK), and a B.A. in history from the University of California, San Diego. She is a licensed attorney in Maryland, where she lives with her two Shiba Inus. Erin has become an ambassador for the WASP of World War II by sharing her own story of honoring her grandmother who wanted to ensure future generations learn about the history of these trailblazing pilots. You can read more of both Erin and Elaine’s story in her book Final Fight, Final Fight. Listen to the full interview on the Women of the Military Podcast, episode 49.


Order here

Kathy Gallowitz - Beyond Thank You for Your Service

“The Connector,” Kathy is the owner and Chief Innovator at Vanguard Veteran. She is a consultant, speaker, trainer, and coach. Mission: To equip civilians to become Veteran Champions. This is done by creating mutually-beneficial activities and services with Veterans that improves the quality of life, workforce, and community. It is her life’s calling to lead the Veteran Champion movement. As an Air Force Public Affairs Officer, she designed and led a never-been-done-before​ statewide outreach office for the Ohio National Guard to educate and engage civilians in support of troops and their families. She is an SHRM recertification provider and completed the SHRM Veterans at Work certification.


Order here

Rojan Robotham - Working Moms How We Do It

Rojan joined the Air Force through a Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship. A guidance counselor had recognized her love of math and science and recommended she attended a math and science camp at the Air Force Academy. From that she learned about ROTC and received a four-year scholarship, but had to get her degree in Physics. She had a career in Science and Technology while in the military and talked about the challenges she faced to continue her military career and raise her children.

Order here 

Mari Eder - The Girls Who Stepped Out of Line and Changed the Course of WWII

Order here: https://amzn.to/2Mdgtmu

The history of military women is fascinating when you have a chance to discover it. Gen Mari Eder was given a book on the women of the Civil War and she found it fascinating and wanted to learn more and is now working to share more stories of military women. Gen Eder has so much wisdom and I'm so glad she is sharing it in her new book and for the wisdom, she shared in Episode 70 of the Women of the Military Podcast.

Shannon Polson - Grit Factor

As one of the first women to fly the Apache helicopter in the U.S. Army, Polson's career spans almost a decade as an Army officer and attack aviation leader around the globe, as well as leading and managing in the corporate sector at Microsoft. Polson is committed to courageous, compassionate, and committed leadership for lives that matter.


Order here

Do you have favorite books by women veteran authors? I would love to hear about them and why you loved them.

Check out the full transcript here.  

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.   

Feb 02, 2021
Being in the Military Band
00:43:06

Joining the Military Band

Charlan served in the US Air Force as a clarinetist. In her role, she organized, performed, and supported community outreach events as well as internal military events. Her military career began after she completed a Bachelor's and Masters of Music degree. She won a national audition as a civilian and after being selected went to Basic Training. After graduating from Basic Training she reported to the Band of the US Air Force Reserve in Warner Robins AFB, GA.

Just over a year later, she quickly transitioned to the US Air Forces in Europe Band at Ramstein AB, Germany as a newlywed. While in Europe, she became a mom, learned how to breastfeed in combat boots and discovered a new desire to stick with one enlistment to spend time with her young children after completing her military commitment.

From AF to Civilian

She performed her last concert as a Senior Airman with the US Air Force Academy Band at Peterson AFB, Colorado. Then she moved her growing family back to the Greater Atlanta Area in Georgia. In the three years following active-duty military service, Charlan has homeschooled her two sons, tutored private K-12 and adult students, and written resumes and supporting materials for other service-members in transition as well as civilians.

Lessons Learned Podcast

Currently, she is on the team for a new podcast, "Lessons Learned for Vets" designed to give transitioning veterans actionable plans through stories shared by veterans who have gone before, experienced success, and dealt with setbacks. "Lessons Learned for Vets" launched on November 11th, 2020.

Connect with Charlan:

LinkedIn

Mentioned in this episode:

Lesson’s learned for Vets

Blended Retirement

Related Episodes:

Working on Jet Engines in the Air Force - Episode 61

The Story of an Air Force Civil Engineer - Episode 52

A Developmental Engineer in the Air Force - Episode 8

Check out the full transcript here.  

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.   

Jan 28, 2021
A Female Astronaut at NASA
00:36:29

Jasmin was considering the Naval Academy when she un-expertly found out she was accepted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to attend. She considered doing ROTC, but her parents encouraged her to keep her options open and helped pay for college since the ROTC scholarship was a desirable reason to sign up.

From MIT to the Marine Corps

But her desire to serve in the military never waned. She went to Officer Candidate School between her Junior and Senior year of college. She commissioned into the Marine Corps when she graduated. In the first few years of active duty, she was working to get her pilot wings. And in 2008 she began operational flying. She deployed three times from 2009 to 2012.

Deployment Loneliness

She talked about how hard it was to be the only female in her fighter pilot group. While the male 1st Lt and Captains had their own tent, she was in a tent with all the other females of all ranks and jobs. She didn’t feel the comradery her male counterparts felt. But she loved the work she did while she was over there supporting the troops on the ground and running flying operations.

After her last deployment in 2012, she reported to Naval Test Pilot School. She worked as both a developmental and operational test pilot. It was while she was an operational test pilot she applied to be an astronaut with NASA.

Becoming an astronaut at NASA

The selection process was long and required references and multiple interviews. She felt honored to be considered to be an astronaut and met amazing people through the process. She found out in May of 2017 that she was selected to begin training in August. Next, she discussed the various training that is required to be an astronaut. She continues to train for a future space flight today. In late 2020, it was announced that Jasmin would be part of the Artemis and could be one of the first women on the moon. It will be exciting to continue to watch her story.

Mentioned in this Episode

Nicole Malachowski – First Female Thunderbird Pilot

Astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli Bio

NASA website

Related Episodes:

Before Women Could Be Fighter Pilots – Episode 29

Do You Know the Stories of the WASP – Episode 49

Advice for Women Considering Military Service – Episode 100

Check out the full transcript here.  

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.   

 

Jan 26, 2021
Becoming a Rear Admiral in the Coast Guard
00:42:19

Her first assignment was out at sea tour. She was on a smaller vessel so she would be out at sea for one to four weeks depending on the work they were doing. She was the only female on the ship she was assigned to and she found time at sea to be very lonely because she couldn’t spend time with anyone on her ship. She was thankful the rotations were short.

After that tour, she was selected to become attend Law School in the DC area. While attending Law School she had the opportunity to attend social events at the White House. Her favorite event she attended was when Bill Clinton brought Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat to the White House to sign an agreement that strengthens Israeli security and expanded the area of Palestinian control in the West Bank. She said she saw Katie Couric at the event and had a chance to talk to her and she told her how nervous she was. She said attending that event was so cool because it was watching history take place right in front of her eyes.

The World Changes September 11th

She was stationed in Long Beach on September 11th and worked to help secure the port in Long Beach. She discussed how they quickly began to implement changes to help ensure the safety of the port. September 11th had a huge impact on how the Coast Guard secured the borders and our ports and there continue to be changes and improvements made to this day.

Command in Alaska

She was given the opportunity to take command in Juneau, Alaska. The Commander was being relieved due to a toxic environment. She went into the role and was able to change the culture. The senior enlisted members (Chiefs) wanted the opportunity to lead so she gave them the task of consolidating the base and was blown away by the results. Another interesting project was safely removing an old cruise ship that had sunk in the 1950s and was beginning to leak oil. They worked together as a team to work to remove the hazard of having a huge spill in the Harbor.

Becoming an Admiral

Melissa assumed she wouldn’t make Admiral the summer she was selected and had begun to start looking for her next step in her career outside of the military. She ended up getting selected and moved to Colorado Springs to work at NorthCom. At the same time, she was getting married and adopted their daughter. She and her new husband were separated and stayed connected through traveling back and forth and relying on the support of the on-base childcare. It was a crazy time. And after being separated for four years of being separated her husband has been able to move to be with his family. With COVID and all the travel limitations, it has been a blessing to be together.

Bringing Women Together

Melissa felt it was important to bring women together when she was part of the US Coast Guard Alumni. She realized many women were not participating and if they were they didn’t see themselves as a leader of the organization. She wanted to help build comradery and help empower women so she created XXX. The organization has now expanded and is working to bring more positive changes to women within the service. It shows the power of bringing women together and how real change can happen.

The Lasting Impact

Melissa is currently a Rear Admiral in the US Coast Guard. She currently serves as the Judge Advocate General and Chief Counsel of the Coast Guard. She leads a dedicated group of 500 legal professionals who are responsible for the delivery of all legal services in support of the Coast Guard's missions, its units, and its people. She ended the interview talk about how the military changed the course of her life. And if you are planning to serve in the military know that you will change.

Connect with Melissa:

linkedin.com/in/melissabert

Mentioned in this episode:

Related Episodes:

In the Coast Guard Far From Home - Episode 21

Serving in the Coast Guard and MST - Episode 18

Dealing with Infertility in the Military - Episode 36

Check out the full transcript here.  

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.   

 

Jan 21, 2021
From Secret Squirrel to Wordsmith
00:47:10

At her first assignment, September 11th happened. She said the changes to the military were noticeable and she went from the work she was doing to help stand up the Combat Support for the F-16s patrolling the American skies.

Next, she helped prepare for the Iraq War and deployed to Saudi Arabia for the initial invasion. She was far enough away to not be in danger but worked long hours seven days a week.

Three years later she deployed to Afghanistan and was stationed in Kabul. She talked about the growing tension and the violence that came to Kabul while she was there. She shared about SFC Meredith Howard who died in the same roundabout she had been in hours before by an IED.

It was during her deployment she decided to leave the military. The military was offering bonuses to get out of the military, she had met a guy who was in the military and wanted to start a family, and was set to deploy again shortly after arriving home since her commander had written her assignment as voluntary when she hadn’t volunteered.

We covered the struggle of transitioning and the challenge of being a woman veteran. We also covered the first-hand experience women veterans who are military spouses understand when standing next to their spouses and are discounted for their service.

She ended the interview to say, that the military changed her life in ways that made her who she is today. She had the best and worst experiences. Add quote

Connect with Sarah:

www.sarahmaplesllc.com

www.afterthedd214.com

(@afterthedd214 on all platforms);

LinkedIn

Mentioned in this episode (contains affiliate links):

Sirens: How to Pee Standing Up by Laura Colbert

A Girls Guide to the Military

Military Veteran Dad Podcast

5 Reasons it is harder to be a Military Spouse and a Veteran

Combat in Afghanistan

Our Best War Stories

Related Episodes:

Being a Counter-Intelligence Agent - Episode 53

The On-Set of Female Engagement Teams - Episode 104

Being part of the Initial Invasion of Iraq - Episode 91

Check out the full transcript here.  

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.   

Jan 19, 2021
Investment Opportunity with Mission First Capital
00:25:29

Who is Mission First Capital?

Mission First Capital is a real estate investment opportunity with a 100% veteran-owned company. In today's interview with Alex Breshears, investor relations, shares a little about why Mission First Capital was created and who it is for. The owners Phil Capron and Anthony Pinto both started investing in real estate and were able to see great returns. They wanted to make investing in real estate an option for more people without having to be a landlord. They specifically wanted to help military families.

Mission First Capital believes that what everyone needs to make better investment choices is time and by providing investment opportunities to people through Mission First Capital they are giving you more time. They do the research and you invest with them and then you see the returns.

Mission First Capital Growth Fund

The Mission First Capital Growth Fund was created to provide an alternative to the typical retirement style funds found in either the TSP (Thrift Savings Plan) or other options such as the stock market or 401k. The goal of the Capital Growth Fund is really meant to provide more of a nest egg. Investment opportunities start at $5,000. Each plan provides different terms of time commitment and expected returns.

The Mission First Capital Growth Fund gives investors 3 different options to choose from:

  • 3 Years - 25%
  • 5 Years - 50%
  • 8 Years - 100%

So what does this mean for you the investor?

Here is a quick example to show you how your money could grow over time. Let's say you invest the minimum of $5,000 in 2021, which means in 2024 you can expect to receive $6,250 back. Now imagine if you invest $50,000, after 3 years you would put $62,500 in your pocket. If you invest $50,000 for 5 years you would put $75,000 in your pocket after those 5 years. If you invest $50,000 for 8 years, you would put $100,000 in your pocket after those 8 years.

The Mission First Capital Growth Fund Difference

If you were to compare the TSP fund returns over the past 20 years the average return is only at 6%. So as an example if you put in $50,000 into the TSP and $50,000 into the Mission First Capital Growth Fund in 2021 what would happen? Let's fast forward to 2029. With the TSP you would put only a total of $80,000 in your pocket. With the Mission First Capital Growth Fund in 8 years, you will have doubled your money and you are able to put $100,000 in your pocket. That's an average of $2,500 a year or $208 per month MORE that you are making on your investment than if you would have put that same money in the TSP.

Mission First Capital uses the number $50,000 as an example to show the type of returns you can get. Keep in mind the Mission First Capital Growth Fund allows an individual to invest as little as $5,000 to get started building their real estate investment portfolio. These examples are expected returns and not guaranteed returns for each fund.

Want to learn more about investing with Mission First Capital? Head over to their website today.

Check out the full transcript here.  

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.   

Jan 14, 2021
How Service Dogs Help Veterans
00:31:24

September 11th was a life-changing day for Danique, she went from a life without purpose to want to be a police officer. Through this decision, she ended up becoming a police officer (Master of Arms) in the Navy. She enlisted into the Navy in 2002 and went to Basic Training followed by her technical school. Her first unit was very toxic. In both leadership and the culture toward women.

Suffering an MST

She suffered an MST and when she went to report it, she was read her rights and asked questions that led her to believe that no help would come from the investigation. The toxic nature continued and eventually, she was reassigned.

Her next assignment was working to become an instructor. She suffered another MST by a member of the Army on the range She reported it again. The Army didn’t do anything and the SeaBee unit she was with did everything they could to try and resolve the case. Unfortunately, it didn’t help the problem to be resolved so she dropped from the course and was reassigned.

Medical issues end her career

Things were going well on the ship she was assigned until there was a medical issue that prevented her from being aboard the ship and she began a med board process. She started working with the security unit and overall, it was a good experience. Then the leadership changed and everything started to fall apart. She was eventually med boarded out of the Navy, but her DD-214 didn’t give her disability status.

She went back to school and applied for benefits through the VA. At school, her PTSD from toxic leadership made her struggle through her academics. Her professors encouraged her to get involved in a community. Although a veteran organization wasn’t where she wanted to go she began attending meetings and found her tribe.

Working with service dogs

She worked for various organizations and then three years ago started a non-profit, Leashes of Valor. The work they are doing to help veterans through service dogs is so important. Not only are they connecting veterans with service dogs, but she also talked about the work they are doing to change policy and the research to help make a change on the insurance side too.

If you want to learn more about Leashes of Valor visit their website: https://leashesofvalor.org or find them on social media Facebook, Instagram. Twitter

Connect with Danique:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/daniquemasingill/

Mentioned in this episode:

Advocacy with the Military Officer Association - Bonus episode

Ginny MST Coast Guard Survivor - Episode 18

Student Veterans of America

Check out the full transcript here.  

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.   

 

Jan 12, 2021
Empowering Women through storytelling
00:48:34

This episode is sponsored by Freedom Sister Magazine!

Kerri found herself as a mom of three about to be a single mom with an opportunity to join the military. She decided to take the opportunity to join and began her military career. She served on active duty within the Missouri National Guard. Within six years of being in the National Guard she went from Enlisted to Officer. When her unit was deployed, they needed a Public Affairs Officer and she said yes to the opportunity and deployed to Iraq as a Public Affairs Officer. She shared stories of her experience in Iraq and the stories she was able to cover.

Coming home from deployment

When she came home from the deployment, she moved to Maryland to be closer to her kids and life seemed to be going well. Then the government shut down and she was furloughed and eventually lost her job. She frantically searched for a new job and moved again this time to Washington. Eventually, she got a part-time job and filled in her income bartending and eventually became full time.

She learned about Ms. Veteran American competition and competed in 2013 and was the second runner up and then took home the title in 2015. She went back on active duty National Guard in 2014 while serving as Ms. Veteran America. Through her advocacy work, she learned about the challenges military women and veterans face.

Life changes

She was working to become one of the first women to be in a combat role in her state when she found out she was pregnant. This unexpected, but a joyful event, changed her focus and she made the hard choice to leave the military behind so she could be home with her infant. Her husband continued to serve and is now retired.

Empowering Women through sharing stories

Out of a dream she decided to launch Freedom Sisters Media and now runs a podcast and media company. There are a number of transitioning resources out there, but there is still a void in the spiritual aspect of living in the military. Kerri is working to fill that gap and make an impact.

Connect with Kerri:

www.freedomsisters.com
Facebook
Instagram
LinkedIn

Mentioned in this episode:

Freedom Sister Magazine (affiliate link)

Is Boycotting the Military the Right Choice?

Related Episodes:

Women out to change the World - Episode 4

Sirens: How to Pee Standing Up - Episode 87

Sharing the Stories of Military Women - Episode 72

Check out the full transcript here.  

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.   

Jan 07, 2021
Top 10 Episodes for 2020
00:33:42

Because of the demand for the podcast, I have decided to switch from a weekly episode to two episodes a week. This will give me the ability to share more stories along with doing specialized episodes to help highlight military women's issues and history. I'm excited about what is to come.

Number 10: Episode 105: Deputy Director of the Air National Guard

From planning to serve four years to Deputy Director of the Air National Guard. My guest, Maj Gen Dawne Deskins, this week didn’t want to join the military but needed a way to pay for college. Her dad said you only have to serve four years and then they will pay for your college. So she decided to join through ROTC. And 36 years later she is still in the Air Force.

Number 9: Episode 93: First Female Thunderbird Pilot

This week my guest is Nicole Malachowski. She is a combat veteran, the first female Thunderbird pilot, a former fighter squadron commander, a former White House Fellow and advisor, and a patient advocate. At five years old Nicole went to an air show in California and saw the F-4 fly and knew she wanted to be a fighter pilot. Even though women couldn’t be fighter pilots her family didn’t dissuade her from joining. She knew at 12 that she wanted to attend the Air Force Academy and even wrote a letter to the Academy letting them know she wanted to attend.

Number 8: Episode 103: Female Engagement Teams

Amy Forsythe served on five combat tours as a correspondent and Public Affairs Officer. In 2006, she was part of the first-ever Female Engagement Teams in Iraq. I am excited to share her story this week on the podcast as I have done a lot of research about Female Engagement Teams, but have found limited information. It will be exciting to hear her experience being on the first one. She has won numerous journalism awards, including the Marine Corps Broadcaster of the Year award in 2006, and the PRSA Bronze and Silver Anvil awards in 2009.

Number 7: Episode 100: What Advice Would You Give to Women considering Military Service

I pulled some of the pieces of military advice for young women from my guests. There are pieces of their quotes in the blog post, but take time to listen to their full advice on the podcast. And make sure if you are considering military service to take time to listen to the stories shared on the podcast. Women have been serving for generations and have so much advice to help make service for the next generation even better.

Number 6: Episode 57: Serving in Desert Storm

What do you know about Desert Storm? I loved getting to talk to Angela Beltz this week about her experience in the Army National Guard. She was one of the first to deploy for Desert Storm and talks about the challenges she faced. Also mentioned Episode 102: Serving in the Reserves Might not be what you Expect

Number 5: Episode 85: The Challenge of Officer Candidate School

It is challenging to be a woman in a leadership position in the military, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. We get a chance to see how Gwendolyn overcame the challenges she faced especially when she made the switch from Enlisted to Officer through Officer Candidate School. 

Number 4: Episode 80: Joining the Marine Corps 

Joining the Marine Corps seemed like a crazy idea, but it launched Jen’s career and it gave her so many tools that she has used for the rest of her life. Check out this great interview with Jen Furlong about her experience in the Marine Corps as a Public Affairs Officer. 

Number 3: Episode 87: Sirens: How to Pee Standing Up

Laura served in the Army National Guard from March 2001-2009 as a military police officer. She was activated to active duty and deployed to Baghdad, Iraq from March 2003-July 2004. In 2019, Laura published her memoir, Sirens: How to Pee Standing Up, which is an alarming memoir of combat and coming back home.

Number 2: Episode 82: What Branch of the Military Should I Join?

Deciding to join the military is a big decision on its own, but it isn’t where the decisions end. There are six branches of the military that you can serve in. The Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Navy, Marine Corps, and Space Force. Each branch has its own culture and mission and making sure to pick the one that fits you best is an important step when joining the military. You also need to consider if you would like to serve on active duty, in the National Guard or Reserves. There is no one right answer. The best branch for you needs to meet your goals and aspirations and not just be focused on the “perks” of one branch over another. Depending on why you are joining and what you are looking for will help you determine what branch and way you should serve in the military.

Number 1: Episode 58: Overcoming Rape in the Military

Can you imagine what it is like to be a woman in the military? Unfortunately being raped is one of the struggles women face. Ruthie is a rape survivor She shares her story this week on the podcast about being raped, not once but twice and what she did to help someone who was being harassed. Ruthie served in the US Army for 8.5 years. She was stationed in California, Kentucky, Georgia, and Texas. She also did a 12-month tour in Afghanistan. she separated from the Army as a Staff Sergeant (E-6) in 2015. After staying at home for several months, she went back to work as a federal contractor in Maryland.

Did your favorite episode from 2020 make the list of the top five played episodes of 2020? Head over to the blog or social media to share your favorite!

Check out the full transcript here.  

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.   

 

Jan 05, 2021
My Mom Called the Army Recruiter
00:34:00

This episode is made possible by Freedom Sisters Magazine

Freedom Sister Magazine is a premier digital magazine app designed to share the stories of women veterans. It launches in January of 2021. Learn more here.

Rachael Jackson is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, a former Army Captain, and an Apache helicopter pilot. She holds a degree in Engineering Physics with a minor in Nuclear
Engineering. But she found her passion for entrepreneurship and helping connect people to a more meaningful life. She believes in the power of strategic storytelling to connect people in more meaningful relationships and to resources for hope, help, and purpose. She wants to partner with leaders to help them create stronger, more inspired, and more resilient organizations.

Rachael was not making the best choices and her mom didn’t know what to do. A friend at church suggested she call an Army recruiter. So she did. Rachael listened to the Army recruiter and decided to join the Army. She attended Bootcamp and while at Advanced Individual Training her friend told her about a program to become an Officer by attending West Point. Her uncle had told her if she could find a way to be an officer she should. So she applied.

Less than two years after being on active duty she began her West Point journey. She began at the prep school and then completed her degree in Physics and graduated from West Point branched as Aviation. And eventually became an Apache Helicopter Pilot

When she was preparing for her deployment to Iraq she started to notice some odd medical issues. She pushed them aside and continued to prepare and headed off to Iraq. Her symptoms began to worsen and she started blacking out for no reason. She was quickly grounded and soon after was sent home from her deployment early. The military ran a number of tests and within six months of returning home, she was medically discharged from the Army.

It was devastating to leave the Army. She had planned to make a career out of the Army and felt her identity stripped away from her. She went through depression, but through it, she grew stronger in her faith and as a person. She ended up getting a call from a former West Point professor who connected her with an opportunity to work at SAIC. There she learned about entrepreneurship, with the first book being Good to Great. She eventually left and worked a government job, but recently felt called to start a business and which you can learn more about here.

She said the Army was a great place for her. It got her away from the bad influences in her life and helped her with discipline and changed her path. But the Arnt has bad and good people just like the world and you need to go in knowing that you can’t trust anyone. I loved the advice, “don’t take advice from someone who is not where you want to be.”

Connect with Rachael:

www.tribalapp.com

Mentioned in this episode:

Beyond the Point by Claire Gibson

Good to Great

Related Episodes:

The First Female Thunderbird Pilot – Episode 95

Before Women Could Be Fighter Pilots – Episode 29

A Navigator in the Air Force – Episode Episode 62

Check out the full transcript here.  

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.    

 

Dec 22, 2020
Deputy Director of the Air National Guard
00:33:25

Maj Gen Dawne Deskins was planning to be a broadcast journalist as she prepared for college, but her parents didn’t have a way to pay for college. Her dad decided to fix the problem of getting college paid for by signing her up for the Reserve Officer Training Corps Program (ROTC). So, she was quite surprised when a Captain called her and told her about reporting to ROTC. She then called her dad and learned he had signed her up.

ROTC Scholarship

She agreed to ROTC so that she could get a scholarship. She would only have to serve four years and then she could go and be a broadcast journalist. The Air Force initially had her slated to serve as a Missler. But things were changing and they didn’t think they had enough women to man the two-man crews. So instead, she became an Air Weapons Controller (now know as Air Battle Manager).

She went to Tyndall AFB for school and ended up meeting her future husband. Their quick romance led them to get married before she moved to the next assignment which was in Washington at McCord AFB. She enjoyed her job and her husband eventually caught up with her in Washington and began going to school. While there she had her first child a son. Life was crazy being a mom, having her husband going to school, but it was her life and she didn’t know what else to expect.

From Active Duty to the Air National Guard

She stayed in the Air Force on active duty because she had the opportunity to go back to Florida to be an instructor. Her husband found a job in Florida and had graduated college so it worked well for them. At the 10-year point, she felt as though things were getting too complicated and she decided to separate. But she was curious about the National Guard and applied to serve in her home state of New York.

She ended getting a full-time role in the National Guard and found the stability she needed for her and her family to continue the serve. She was able to make it to the role of Commander and as she approached her high year tenure she started planning for retirement. But then she had the opportunity to come to DC for a one-year assignment and work on Military Sexual Trauma revisions. She also was promoted to Brigadier General.

She continued to serve one assignment after another and in 2018 she was selected to be a Major General. And in July of 2020 became the Deputy Director of the Air National Guard and is currently there today.

Mentioned in this Episode:

The First Women Thunderbird Pilot (Nicole Malowiski) 

Brigadier General Wilma Vaught

Related Episodes

Sharing the stories of military women (Maj Gen Mari Eder)

When Public Affairs Changed

Serving in the Guard and Reserves

See the full transcript here.

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.

Dec 15, 2020
The onset of Female Engagement Teams
00:45:10

This episode is made possible by Freedom Sisters Magazine

Freedom Sister Magazine is a premier digital magazine app designed to share the stories of women veterans. It launched in January of 2021. Learn more here.

She joined the Defense Information School faculty in 2019 as a government civilian after four years as bureau chief for the Defense Media Activity in Guam, supervising day-to-day operations and coordinating multimedia coverage throughout the Indo-Pacific region. 

She served as a combat correspondent and public affairs chief in the Marine Corps from 1993 through 2010, when she was commissioned as a public affairs officer in the Navy Reserve. 

Her first duty station was Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where she produced daily radio and video reports as part of Operation Sea Signal and Joint Task Force 160, the military operation in response to the influx of Cuban and Haitian migrants attempting to gain asylum in the U.S. She transferred to Camp Pendleton, California in 1995. She served as a military journalist for the base newspaper and operations manager for the commander’s information channel. In 2003, she served as an instructor in the broadcast and public affairs departments at the Defense Information School, and while at DINFOS, was selected to be one of the first on-air anchors of the Pentagon Channel when it debuted in 2004. 

In 2002, she was mobilized and deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. She also deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force to Fallujah and Ramadi, Iraq, in 2006 and 2008. It was in 2006, the value of the intelligence information was believed to be among the Iraqi women. Women would talk to each other as they performed their daily tasks and had a wealth of information. But American men were unable to gather that intelligence. 

Women began to be integrated into combat arm units to gather that information and the role of Female Engagement Teams began. Many people do not understand the role of women in the Iraq and Afghan conflicts over the past twenty years. Because of the work women have done, now all roles are open to women within the military. This changed was due to the courage and commitment of women starting with Female Engagement Teams.

She was mobilized to active duty for two more deployments to Afghanistan, serving as the senior U.S. PAO at the German-led NATO Command in 2012 and as the PAO for Combined Special Operations Joint Task Force under the Joint Special Operations Command in 2018. 

She served a yearlong tour in 2014 at U.S. Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany, supporting special operations exercises in Niger, coordinating a large-scale African media conference and helping to develop contingency plans for the military response to the Ebola virus. In 2019, she served as the PAO for naval support facilities and Aegis Ashore missile defense systems in Romania and Poland. 

As a civilian, she has worked as a general assignments and military beat reporter for NBC affiliates in San Diego, and as a producer and anchor for Oceanside Community Television in northern San Diego County, She was an adjunct professor at the California International Business University, teaching at the undergraduate, graduate and doctorate levels. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from California State University at San Marco and a Master of Science in global leadership from the University of San Diego.

She has won numerous journalism awards, including the Marine Corps Broadcaster of the Year award in 2006, and the PRSA Bronze and Silver Anvil awards in 2009.

Connect with Amy:

Instagram

LinkedIn

Related Episode:

When Public Affairs Changed – Episode 67

How A Care Package Created a Business – Episode 74

Finding Herself in the Marines – Episode 12

Want to read the whole transcript? Click here.

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.    
 

Dec 08, 2020
Being a Dentist in the Military
00:34:46

Corinne was born overseas and lived on six different military bases while her father CDR (retired) Robert F. Devin served in the Dental Corps. Nine generations of a distinguished Naval family preceded Corinne and inspired her to pursue a career in the United States Navy. She deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2009 with the United States Navy to Al Asad, Iraq, and has enjoyed her travel to over 50 countries in Europe, Middle East, and Asia. 

Her naval career started at Naval Medical Center San Diego as a resident, followed by an operational tour with 13th Dental Company MCAS Miramar. From there she was an orthodontic resident at Lackland Air Force Base where upon graduation she transferred to USNH Yokosuka, Japan. She served as the division officer in orthodontics managing two practices on two islands and continued to Naval Medical Center San Diego as Chair of Orthodontics. 

Her professional education consists of a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from St. Mary’s College, Doctorate of Dental Medicine from University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine, Advanced Education in General Dentistry, Master’s Degree in Oral Biology from Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, Tri-Service Orthodontic Residency Program and board certification as a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics. 

CDR Devin is the Department Head of Dental Specialties and the sole orthodontic provider where she proudly serves the military active duty and their families at the United States Naval Hospital Sigonella. She currently lives in Catania, Sicily, Italy, and has a love for fitness, travel, and pageantry. 

Devin’s personal awards and decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (five awards), Fleet Marine Force Officer Insignia, and the Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal (two awards) for her active involvement in the community. 

Connect with Devin:

Facebook
Instagram
Youtube: Dr. Corinne Devin
Linkedin: Corinne Devin

Related Episodes:

A Muslim American in the Army - Episode 98

Being an Air Force Nurse - Episode 41

From the Navy to Entrepreneur - Episode 27

Want to read the full transcript? Click here

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.    
 

Dec 01, 2020
Serving in the Reserves Might Not Be What You Expect
00:40:37

This episode is made possible by Freedom Sisters Magazine

Freedom Sister Magazine is a premier digital magazine app designed to share the stories of women veterans. It launches in January of 2021. Learn more here.

*This post contains affiliate links

Cynthia’s sister heard about the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and that you could get a monthly stipend while going to school so they decided to join. She really enjoyed her time in ROTC and had great Vietnam veteran leaders that worked to give them hands-on experience. She got married before she graduated and moved to Alaska with her husband and was able to work with the University of Alaska and the National Guard to continue ROTC and eventually commission and go active duty at her husband’s base. She spent 3 years on active duty. Her husband retired from the military and wanted to move back to Mississippi so she switched from active duty to Reserves.

She said while in the Reserves she was sometimes called the “man day queen.” A typical Reserve requirement is 50 days a year and she often was called up and served 150 days a year. She stood up in various units and did different jobs. When Desert Storm came they were put on standby, but never activated. Her step-son did get activated and since he had full custody of his son she and her husband took him in and he lived with him for a whole year. 

She did various stints on active duty and six months leading up to September 11th is one of those incidents. She was working on a program that worked to track the accountability of service members in and out of the country. After Desert Storm the military was continually working to prepare for the next war and adapt technology to fix problems, they had in Desert Storm. On September 11th she was packing to head back home and knew that she would likely be activated. Her boss told her to go home like she planned and four days later she was activated and then deployed to Kuwait to work on the same program she had worked on the six months leading up to September 11th. She got home in October of 2002 and then in January of 2003 was reactivated to help prepare for Iraq in South Carolina. She ended being sent to Kuwait but was only there for 3 weeks as the initial invasion happened so fast and the mass causalities that were expected never came.  

She talked about being the only woman so many times throughout her career. It led her to grow tough skin and not show her emotion. People often saw her as tough when in reality her personality is very different than the exterior she put on as a military officer. She thinks that the military has changed a lot in the past 30 years and it is because of the women who have served and spoken up. With more women in leadership, the impact of the change women is making will only increase.

She also was able to co-author a book in partnership with Camouflaged Sisters. Leading from the Middle was co-authored by 12 military women sharing their experience and leadership lessons from the military. Today she runs Patton Leadership and She Leads 365. 

Connect with Cynthia:

www.pattonleadership.com

www.sheleads365.com

Mentioned in this episode:

Leading from the Middle

Lila Holley interview

Related Episodes:

From Military to Award Winning Author - Episode 92

Military Women and their History – Episode 70

Being an Air Force Nurse – Episode 41

Want to read the full transcript? Click here

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsors Col Level and above:

Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! 

Click here.

    

Nov 24, 2020
Being Enlisted While Married to an Officer
00:36:31

Enter the giveaway this week!

Why not join the National Guard?

Kayla was encouraged by her step-father to join the military, but she didn’t want to serve on active duty because the idea of moving every few years didn’t sound appealing to her. That is when she learned about serving in the Air National Guard. Being in the Guard would allow her to serve in the military, but would also make it so she wouldn’t have to move. She enlisted in February and started drilling waiting for her school slot.

She had hoped to start boot camp in the summer and complete her tech school in the fall so she would only miss one semester of school, but her bootcamp dates ended up being in September and the six month tech school that followed led her having to miss an entire year of school. But she met her husband at tech school. They started dating and both were serving in the Guard and were able to date via long distance and right before their one-year dating anniversary were engaged.

Moving to be with her husband

Because her husband was in another state and was working full time in the Guard unit she decided to move from Nevada to Arizona. She had to go through a number of steps to be released from her Guard unit and it took a few months to get all the paperwork completed and signed. Once she had the release, she worked with her husband’s unit to get assigned there and was able to make the switch fairly seamlessly.

Mental health

One of the struggles she faced in her time in the military was being diagnosed with anxiety and depression. She was also in a unit where an officer committed suicide. The suicide changed the unit, but also made it easier to be open and honest with her struggles. She attributed having a supportive environment as one of the ways that she was able to find help during her mental health journey. There are a lot of misconceptions about mental health and she is passionate about sharing her experience and helping to break down the stigmas.

Married to an officer

Her husband also went from enlisted to officer to become a pilot in the Air Force. She finds that sometimes people have questions about how she and her husband can be married since she is enlisted and he is an officer. But people often ask other people what is going on instead of confronting them directly and this can lead to gossip and un-needed drama. She says that it has been a balancing act and she has had to learn and adjust course as different situations arise. But overall, she loves being a military spouse and loves continuing to serve in the Air Force.

She encourages young women to do their research if they want to join the military. She didn’t know their were options outside of active duty and almost missed her chance to serve. She also recommends talking to someone who is not a recruiter to help steer them in the right direction. If you are looking for someone to talk to or have questions please feel free to reach out to me or check out my free “Girls Guide to the Military.”

Connect with Kayla:

instagram.com/kayla.rak

Website: kaylarak.com

Mentioned in this episode:

Girls Guide to the Military

Related Episodes:

From Active Duty to National Guard – Episode 10

When Public Affairs Changed – Episode 67

Serving During Desert Storm – Episode 57

Want to read the whole transcript? Click here

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:

Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe

 

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.    

 

Nov 17, 2020
Military Advice for Young Women
00:39:32
Nov 10, 2020
The Fewer the Prouder Marine Women
00:39:14

 

Janell was interested in serving in the military and she began her journey to the military through the Civil Air Patrol program. Once she began Civil Air Patrol, she knew she wanted to serve in the military and set her sights on attending a military academy. Initially, she wanted to attend the Air Force Academy, but as she began talking to her senator, she was encouraged to look at all the Academies. As she began looking into other options the Marine Corps grabbed her attention and after attending a summer program at both the AF Academy and the Naval Academy she knew where she wanted to go. 

The Naval Academy is a risky way to become a Marine Officer because you don’t find out if you will go into the Marines or the Navy until later on in your military career. If she had wanted to be guaranteed the Marines, she could have done ROTC. But she wanted to attend the Academy and took the risk. 

*post contains affiliate links

When she went on active duty she went to school at Quantico and during training injured her knee. This delayed her from graduating and it wasn’t until she was close to the 2-year mark that she completed school and was at her first assignment. Shortly after arriving at her base she was assigned to be part of new deployment that attached women to Marine Infantry units. She was part of the Cultural Support Team and mentioned that if you want to learn more about that experience you can read Ashley’s War.

We also talked about the challenges of being a married to a Marine. She met her husband a few months before deploying and they connected and stayed in contact through both her deployment and his that followed. It has been challenging to work to be stationed together and more challenges came when she gave birth to her son. She said she couldn’t have continued to serve without the help of both her mother in-law and mom. They came out and helped with her son while her husband was deployed and she was working extreme hours.

As her son gets older, she wants to spend more time with him. So, she decided to transition from active duty to the Reserves. At the time of the interview she was in the process of preparing for the transition and was excited about what the next phase of life will bring. 

She wanted to share the advice of grow where you are planted. And not in the way of shut up and do what you are told, but as she planned her career opportunities came to her she never expected and they changed the course of her life. She encourages people to be open to taking that next opportunity and to do their best in each life situation they are in. You never know who is watching and what opportunity will happen next. 

She has enjoyed her time in the military and encourages women to consider joining. If you want to learn more about the Marine Corps or have question to connect with Janell on LinkedIn and send her a message. You can also contact me if you need help connecting.

Connect with Jenell:

LinkedIn

Medium

I also volunteer with Beyond the Uniform
https://beyondtheuniform.org


Resources from Janell:

https://thewarhorse.org/reflections-archives/no-really-how-are-you-doing/
https://women.usnagroups.net/2020/03/09/sign-up-for-a-sport-you-suck-at/
https://medium.com/@janell.hanf/my-first-steps-toward-afghanistan-followed-a-hand-sketched-map-e2f76f0a460f?sk=1dd5b866f51aa678bdc941e4b613c9e0

Mentioned in this episode:

Ashley’s War

Girls Guide to the Military

Follow Amanda on Social Media:

Facebook

Instagram

LinkedIn

Twitter

Related Episodes:

Civil Air Patrol to Air Force Episode 31

Serving as an Officer in the Marine Corps – Episode 51

Finding Herself in the Marine Corps – Episode 12

Want to read the whole transcript? Click here

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:

Kevin Barba

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice. Become a Patreon member today! 

Click here.

Nov 03, 2020
A Muslim American in the Army
00:33:53

*This post contains affiliate links

Mona served 20 years in the US Army Nurse Corps. Initially, she was a staff nurse working rotating shifts. However, this wreaked havoc with my childcare scheduling. A year into service I learned of the Nurse Practitioner (NP) program the army had started with the promise of working clinic hours (M-F 0730 -1630) upon completion. A practical solution for her as it fits perfectly with daycare hours for her little girls (ages 2 & 4). She loved her choice and remained a women's health care NP and women's advocate for most of her career.

Mona and I connected through her new book, Not Created Equal. Her book shares her experience of growing up, being in an abusive marriage, and joining the Army after her divorce. It was a unique and interesting and unique perspective of growing up as a Muslim immigrant in America during the 1970s. 

In our interview, we focused on her military experience. How she came to join the Army after initially applying for the Air Force and getting no response. The struggle of being a single mom with unreliable childcare for her crazy shifts. She also talks about becoming one of the first Nurse Practitioners to get the opportunity to work a normal schedule. We also covered her time in Germany where she met her second husband, traveled all over Europe including some of the Eastern block countries before the Berlin Wall fell. She also talked about the inner conflict she felt during the first Gulf War (Desert Storm). Being an American, but also having her culture from Egypt. 

She ended her career in Virginia and was able to stay in Virginia by both her and her husband going to Korea in back to back years. But the stability it gave her daughters who were now in middle school and high school was worth the sacrifice. 

She decided to write her memoir for her girls, but she also was encouraged by friends. She also wrote a letter and told her story to President Barrack Obama and he encouraged her to write her story as well. It is an interesting and unique perspective. Get your copy of Not Created Equal today!

Connect with Mona: 

Website: monajohnsonauthor.com
Email: monajohnsonauthor@gmail.com
Facebook: monajohnsonauthor

Related Episodes:

Serving During Desert Storm – Episode 57

Graduate Debt Free from College with an ROTC scholarship – Episode 89

Women’s Health Practitioner in the Military – Episode 25

Want to read the whole transcript? Click here.

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above

Kevin Barba

Thank you Pateron members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice. Become a Patreon member today! Click here.

Oct 27, 2020
Staying informed with MOAA
00:23:37

Sylvia found the military by working as a civil servant for the California National Guard. She said it felt like a family and she wanted to be a part of the community as a service member and decided to join. She was mentored by Lt Col Ralph Page who had nine children and took her under his wing and gave her advice and mentorship as if she was one of his children. He was the one who pushed her to apply for Officer Candidate School. Her career culminated with her reaching the rank of Brigadier General that opened doors up for her and gave her the ability to represent women and the Latina community in a place that before did not have a voice or representation.

She and her husband are both veterans and are both members of MOAA. And the primary thing they find important and why they are members is through the information provided by MOAA through email updates and the magazine. MOAA helps them stay current on what is going on in the military and on Capitol Hill and allows them to use their voice to contact various government representatives because they know what is happening. She also talked about the lobbying power of MOAA. We talked more about MOAA’s lobbying power in the first bonus episode with Aniela Szymanski, you can check out that episode here.

But another critical important benefit is the transition resources, grants, and scholarships available to members. You can get a scholarship, interest-free loans, grants, and more. But there are also resources for resume writing to help you convert your military resume into something that will help you land a new job outside of the military. They also are connected with LinkedIn that can help connect you and build your network. So many great benefits when you leave military service and beyond. 

Health care is a program that has been on the forefront of Gen Crokett’s career and something she has been paying attention to after service. Currently, the military is looking into re-organizing the billets for medical care, the Spouse Angle interviewed MOAA representative Karen Ruedisueli to talk specifically about this issue, and the work MOAA was doing. And the voice MOAA provided has forced Congress to take another look at the proposed plan. 

Brigadier General Sylvia R. Crockett was assigned as the Land Component Commander of the California Army National Guard in October 2014. In this capacity, she is responsible for providing command and control over all non-divisional units in California. The units consist of five brigade-level commands and include the 1106th Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group, 49th Military Police Brigade, 115th Regional Support Group, 223rd Regional Training Institute, and the California Army National Guard Medical Command.

General Crockett enlisted in the California Air National Guard as a supply technician in 1982. After serving two years with the 129th Rescue Wing, she transferred to the California Army National Guard to attend the California Military Academy. She was commissioned in 1985 as an Adjutant Corps Officer and subsequently became branch qualified as a Military Intelligence Officer. General Crockett has served in command positions from the Company level through up to the Brigade.

Join MOAA Today

Related Episode:

Episode 33: Medical Care Could Soon Look Different for Many Military Families

Bonus Episode: Advocacy with MOAA

Bonus Episode: MOAA is more that Advocacy

Want to read the whole transcript? Click here.

Oct 22, 2020
The Importance of Military Friendships
00:30:56

Jean joined the military at seventeen

After growing up in Hawaii and seeing the military presence and the fact that her dad and uncles had served. It was also a way to gain independence and get away from a toxic environment at home. She also knew that she would be able to get college paid for after serving in the military. 

She began drilling with the National Guard in Feb of her senior year of high school and attended boot camp that summer after hen she graduated. She thought she was going on active duty, but then when she came back from boot camp, she understood the difference between active duty and National Guard. And decided to make the transition from National Guard to active duty.

Off to Iraq without military friendships

When she arrived at her first base on active duty, she found out she would be deploying within her unit within 30 days of arriving on station. She didn’t feel connect to anyone because she had just arrived. It wasn’t until they were doing training in Kuwait she started to build military friendships. They went to Kuwait and then Iraq. She talked about being young and unprepared mentally for what war would be like. Her deployment was a year long and it felt like a really long time. 

Coming home from deployment was a difficult transition. She talked about how hard it was to stay connected with family and culture back home. There were MWR phone centers and computers, but she had to squeeze in time to find a way to get there. She often chose sleep over a long walk in the sun to the MWR tent. Luckily, through the deployment military friendships developed and she was able to connect with others to help deal with the stress of being deployed. 

Leaving Active Duty for Reserves

She transitioned to the Reserves and moved back to California after her service commitment was up. The transition to Reserves was interesting because the culture in the military was do different. She was also dealing with the guilt of not deploying with her unit. Her boyfriend was deployed with the unit and she heard what was happening. It was hard to not be there. 

She and her husband were both able to use the Post 9-11 GI Bill to get their degrees while serving in the Reserves. They both able to be home to take care of their son. But they still relied on their family care plan to ensure they could meet their Reserve requirements. Luckily, her sister in law in Maryland was able to fill that role. It was complicated, but having a safe place for her son made it worth the trip to Maryland. 

Today and the Future

She is currently in the IRR so she can finish her masters and is working toward going back into the Reserves to finish out her commitment to retirement after she graduates. She is working a few different avenues on how she will be going back into the Reserves. 

Currently, she works for a large non-profit in the Mental Health services area and is working to get licensed as a social worker and provides coaching on the weekends. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or Facebook.

Connect with Jean:

Linkedin

Mentioned in this Episode:

Pamela Chavez (Being Stop-Lossed in the Army)

Related Episodes: 

Leading From the Front – Episode 28

The Challenge of OTS – Episode 85

What Branch Should I Join – Episode 82

Want to read the whole transcript? Click here.

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above

Kevin Barba

Oct 20, 2020
MOAA is more than Advocacy
00:26:43

Since 1929, MOAA mission has been to protect your earned military benefits. Through tireless advocacy, they have forged a legacy of success benefiting the entire military community. Become a member today, click here.

MOAA Advisory Committee

Rachel serves on the MOAA Active Duty Advisory Committee. She applied for the position while living in Northern Virginia and loves that she represents not only the Coast Guard but military women. Her husband a male military spouse also has his voice heard through her representation. The goal of the advisory committee is to give a voice to military members to help keep MOAA aware of current issues service members and military spouses face. There is also a Military Spouse Advisory Committee.

Storm the Hill

MOAA is active in Advocacy on Capitol Hill and one of the responsibilities of Committee members is being part of the annual storm the hill event. Storming the Hill means a number of MOAA members and spouses come to Capitol on a specific day to talk to Congress members about various legislations that are being worked. When Rachel stormed the hill in 2019, they were advocating for removing the Widow’s Tax, and through the advocacy of MOAA and others, the legislation was changed. She also was able to participate virtually, due to COVID, and had a chance to meet with a congresswoman who normally didn’t meet with MOAA members because the MOAA representative was often a white male. Through her advocacy, she was able to bring a diverse voice to the table and help represent more military members.

But MOAA is more than Advocacy

Next, we discuss some of the benefits of being an MOAA member ranging from transition services, hiring symposiums, scholarships, no-interest loans, the Military Officer Magazine, and numerous virtual webinars. MOAA does so much on Capitol Hill, but that is only the beginning of the story of the work MOAA does. 

Why Join MOAA

MOAA needs all Officers to join to ensure their voice is heard. You can become a free member though the BASIC membership where you will be informed through newsletters of the work being done, can be involved in chapter and council membership, and have exclusive discounts on products and travel. If you want to get more out of your membership look into the Premium and Life Membership options. Benefits include scholarships, interest-free loans and grants, advice on financial education, military pay, and benefits, career transition, and a monthly subscription to the Military Officer Magazine. Check out all levels of membership here.

Mentioned in this Episode

Join MOAA Today!

Widow Tax Repeal

Transition Services

Health Care

Exclusive Discounts

Hiring Symposiums

MOAA Job Board

Scholarships

No Interest Loans and Grants

Military Officer Magazine

Related Episodes:

Advocacy with Military Officers Association of America (MOAA)

Read the transcript here.

Oct 15, 2020
How Depression Led to Healthy Changes
00:34:24

Ashleigh is a third-generation Naval Academy graduate. Both her grandfather and uncle attended Annapolis. Growing up she didn’t want to be a part of the military, but as high school approached her grandfather talked about wanting a grandchild to continue the tradition and she began looking into the Naval Academy. By her freshman year of high school, she had decided it was what she wanted to do and started working to complete all the necessary requirements for the application. She had her application completed by the end of her Junior year and found out that summer she had been selected. 

We discussed how her struggle with fitness and weight was a constant struggle throughout her time at the Academy. She had wanted to be a leader for Plebe summer but felt unqualified because she wasn’t the best fitness member. She received advice from a leader at the Naval Academy that she still had leadership value even if she wasn’t the fastest runner and if she wanted to do it, she should.

She commissioned as a Surface Warfare Officer and was one of fourteen with an Engineering option. Her first assignment was difficult and she attributes it to having a bad leader and dealing with depression. She went to the doctor on her ship while deployed to get help and was told he didn’t know what to do because he felt the same way. She decided to focus on what she could control, which was her fitness and making healthier choices at meals. That along with receiving her Surface Warfare Pin helped bring her out of her depression.

Her next assignment at Norfolk was a much better experience and she had great leadership and a more manageable job. She also met her future husband. While at Norfolk she applied to go to graduate school and moved to Monterey to get her masters in Electrical Engineering. Shortly after beginning graduate school, her husband proposed and they got married while she was attending school. Before she graduated her husband deployed and they will finally be stationed together after being married almost two years. 

She has decided to leave the Navy after this assignment so she can focus on her health coaching business. She wants to have the flexibility of being able to work from home and raise a family and while she has gained a lot from serving in the Navy it isn’t where her passion lies anymore. She loves that she will continue to serve the military community through her coaching and online programs. 

She tells women who are considering joining the military to do it, but you don’t have to sacrifice who you are to do it. Know what you want and go for it.

Connect with Ashleigh:

Healthy Women Warriors Podcast

www.instagram.com/ashmageecoach
www.facebook.com/groups/HealthyWomenWarriors/
www.ashleighmagee.com
https://ashleighmagee.com/wellness-challenge/

Mentioned in this Episode:

Naval Academy

Related to this Episode:

From the Navy to the Air Force – Episode 15

Do I Belong in the Navy – Episode 6

Giving Back After Service to Find Healing – Episode 56

Read the transcript here.

Thank you Pateron members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice. Become a Patreon member today! Click here.

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above

Kevin Barba

Affiliate Support

Are you starting a business or needing help in the next step of your business check out the Ministry to Business Guide here.

Are you trying to decide what you are going to do as a parent for the upcoming school year? I'm diving into homeschooling, but I'm getting support. Check out the Clever Kid Curriculum here.

We recently started investing in the stock market, get two free stocks when you create your Webull Account today! Click here.

Oct 13, 2020
Advocacy with MOAA
00:36:58

Aniela decided to join the military when she was looking at what she would do in the civilian sector and it wasn’t quite what she was looking for. As she began to search for options, she saw a poster for the Marines and realized she could be a recruiter in the Marine Corps. She went through the Delayed Entry Judge Advocate Program and served on active duty for nine before transferring to the Reserves. She continued to stay active in helping veterans with legal work and that is how she found herself working at MOAA.

While at MOAA she worked to help get the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act Passed. That allowed those on ships to get VA coverage for Agent Orange. It took years to get Vietnam Veterans benefits for diseases caused by Agent Orange on both land and sea. And there is currently an act in Congress working to prevent current and recent Middle East War veterans from going through the same long process. It is called the Toxic Exposure in the American Military (TEAM) Act. If you think you are suffering from an illness related to a burn pit check out this link for Veterans Affairs to register

She also worked to close loopholes that limited what “active duty” meant while serving in the Guard and Reserves. Allowing more members to qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill and for more members to receive full benefits. This work was directly connected to her service as a Reservist.

After watching her father go through a ten-year struggle to qualify for a VA health care and disability from his service during Vietnam she was excited to help work to modernize the VA Claims Process. What used to take over a year now, takes 3-4 months. 

She encourages veterans to get involved in Veteran Service Organizations especially at the local level. If you can get involved in your local chapter you can help make an impact on the veteran community within your community. 

Also, reach out to organizations like MOAA and let them know what you are concerned about or struggling with. Real stories from their members are helpful when advocating for changes or benefits. So don’t be afraid to write to MOAA at the national level if you have a concern. They want to listen to you and help you get your voice heard.

MOAA’s motto is Never Stop Serving because veterans have service engrained into who they are. So if you are looking to continue serving get involved today!

Connect with Anelia:

Twitter @akszymanski

https://www.linkedin.com/in/akszymanski/

Resources from MOAA:

MOAA.org

Form Letters

If you want to learn more about how a bill is made into law you can check out Episode 49 where Erin Miller shares her experience of getting the law changed to allow her grandmother one of World War II’s Women Air Force Service Pilots to be inurned at Arlington National Cemetery. 

Read the full transcript here.

Oct 08, 2020
From Marine Corps to Running for Indiana State Senate
00:35:33

A few years ago, I heard Mark Rockefeller speak about how Veterans can help remove the divide in politics. He talked about how veterans are taught to work and execute a mission with people who are different from themselves. As military members we come from all over with all different types of cultures and experiences but are all seen as soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, coasties and have one primary mission, to get the mission done.

It requires not only talking to your fellow service member but also working together to solve the problems at hand. That is why I am so excited to talk to Tabitha about why she is running for office. She shares a little of her military experience and her difficult transition and how that led her to run for public office. But it is what she is doing today that is most exciting.

Not only is she running for office, but she is already working to bring positive change for her community through helping to organize various events and holding weekly conversations that local Indiana residents are facing. She wants to have a real conversation and stand up for change. 

She wants to help people with simple solutions and focus on solving problems. She wants to take the politics out of non-partisan issues and find the solution to issues instead of disagreeing and not finding a solution. 

Tabitha Bartley enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2010 and completed recruit training at MCRD Parris Island, SC. Following recruit training Private Bartley attended Marine Corps Combat Training at Camp Geiger and then the Defense Information School at Fort Meade, MD. PFC Bartley reported to Base Public Affairs, Headquarters and Service Battalion, Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA in June of 2011 to serve as a staff writer for the Quantico Sentry.
Lance Corporal Bartley served as the assistant director for the Base Community Relations program where she was part of the Toys for Tots Campaign and ran the base volunteer program. Corporal Bartley then made a PCS move to Marine Corps Recruiting Station Columbia, SC in June 2014.
While Stationed at RS Columbia Sgt. Bartley served as the Marketing and Public Affairs Director. She handles all the marketing, public relations, community relations, media relations, and advised the commanding officer. Sgt. Bartley also served as the uniform sexual assault victim advocate.
During her time in the Marines, she maintained numerous social media platforms, developed strategic marketing plans, and orchestrated community initiatives. Sgt. Bartley ended her service in the Marine Corps in October 2018 and relocated to Monticello, IN
She currently works for the University Development Office at Purdue Research Foundation and serves as the director for Women Veterans of Greater Lafayette, IN. She is also a member of the Disabled American Veterans, the Tippecanoe County Veterans Council, and the Midwest Women Veterans Coalition.
Tabitha is married to Jacob Castro and they have three children.
Tabitha Bartley’s personal awards include: Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal with 3 gold stars in lieu of 4th Award, District Support Marine of the Year 2015, District Support Marine of the Year 2016, District Marketing and Public Affairs Marine of the Year 2017.

Connect with Tabitha:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/tabitha-bartley/
www.facebook.com/bartley4indiana
https://secure.actblue.com/donate/bartley-for-indiana-1

Mentioned in this episode (affiliate links used):

Final Flight, Final Fight

Do You Know the Story of the Original Military Women Pilots?

Girls Guide to the Military

Register to Vote

Related Episodes:

Finding Herself in the Marines – Episode 12

Join the Marine Corps – Episode 80

Serving as an Officer in the Marine Corps – Episode 51

Read the full transcript here.

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above

Kevin Barba

Thank you Pateron members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice. Become a Patreon member today! Click here.

Affiliate Support

Are you starting a business or needing help in the next step of your business check out the Ministry to Business Guide here.

Are you trying to decide what you are going to do as a parent for the upcoming school year? I'm diving into homeschooling, but I'm getting support. Check out the Clever Kid Curriculum here.

We recently started investing in the stock market, get two free stocks when you create your Webull Account today! Click here.

Oct 06, 2020
The Pressure to Prove Yourself in the Marine Corps
00:47:13

Hana Romer served 10 years in the Marines as an Aviation Ordnance Technician. She also spent some time on recruiting duty. She graduated from Texas A&M in 2017, and is currently an advisory board member for the Military Family Advisory Network. I am MCAS Yuma’s 2020 AFI Military Spouse of the Year. She also runs a personal blog called SemperAg.com

Hana decided to join the Marines her Senior year of high school to get out of her small town. Her parents had aspirations for her to go to college and become a doctor or a lawyer, but she had her own ideas. Without her parent’s knowledge she met with a recruiter, signed the paperwork, and attended MEPS. She decided to tell them before it came out in the high school newspaper near the end of high school. She left for bootcamp the summer after graduation.

Bootcamp made Hana realize how hard she had been on her parents. As she met people from all over the country and had her freedom taken away from her. It made her realize how much her parents sacrificed for her. And changed their relationship.

Pressure to Prove 

She graduated from bootcamp and Marine Combat Training and headed off to become an Aviation Ordnance Technician with training in Florida and North Carolina. Her first assignment was in San Diego and she worked on F-18s. It was back breaking work and she felt the pressure to prove herself worthy of being there but now realizes that she was worthy because she met the requirements like her male counterparts and didn’t have to do anything else. 

She deployed to Japan at that assignment and when she returned home moved on to Camp Pendleton to work on helicopters. From there she deployed to Iraq. As one of two women in her unit she was very lonely. She also was on night shift and struggled to get on rhythm that worked for her. 

Recruiter Duty and a Life Change

When she came home from deployment, she volunteered to be a recruiter. She completed the Sergeants Course and then went to the rifle range where she met her now husband. She started her schooling for recruiter school and was told she was going to go to Georgia because she spoke Korean. Since she had volunteered the Marine Corps was supposed to give her first choice, but someone who did not volunteer who also spoke Korean took her spot in San Diego. She was frustrated with the situation and on a whim her husband and her decided to go to Vegas and get married.

She ended up getting reassigned to Orange County. She and her husband were both working special assignments and hardly saw each other. Eventually, they went back to normal jobs and continued their career together while also growing their family. When her husband deployed, and she was left behind to care for their child and work as a Marine, the reality of dual military life and the stress made her rethink her plans to stay in until retirement. As she filled out her family care plan and created a will. Thinking of who would take care of her kids if something happened to her changed her path forward. She decided to separate from the military with 10 years of service.

Traumatic Brain Injury/Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Along with all the normal stressors her husband was diagnosed with a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from an event that happened in the initial invasion of Iraq in 2004. As he worked through this, she has been there to help him and support him in sharing his story. He was awarded a Purple Heart over 15 years after the event and has been on his own healing journey. She urges veterans and those on active duty to not be afraid to reach out for help. 

Pressure to Prove

She ended the interview by sharing her advice for young women looking to join the military. She told them that they earned their spot and don’t need to kill themselves trying to prove they belong. The pressure to prove themselves has already been done through the work they have done. Do your best and work hard, but you don’t have to prove yourself to anyone. 

Connect with Hana:

Instagram

Check out Blog: www.semperag.com

“But when I do decide to spill my guts on my little corner of the internet, I like to write about our life as a military family, the challenges we face, the good things we experience, and everything in between. Sometimes I’m serious, sometimes I’m not. Sometimes I just share posts with nothing but photos taken in poor lighting from my iPhone, and other times, I share a posts with something deep, meaningful, spiritual, or vulnerable.” – Hana Romer

Related Episodes:

Being Alone On Deployment – Episode 31

Finding Herself in the Marines – Episode 12

Serving as an Officer in the Marines – Episode 51

Read the whole transcript here.

Thank you Pateron members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice. Become a Patreon member today! Click here.

Affiliate Support

Are you starting a business or needing help in the next step of your business check out the Ministry to Business Guide here.

Are you trying to decide what you are going to do as a parent for the upcoming school year? I'm diving into homeschooling, but I'm getting support. Check out the Clever Kid Curriculum here.

We recently started investing in the stock market, get two free stocks when you create your Webull Account today! Click here.

Sep 29, 2020
First Female Thunderbird Pilot
00:53:18

This episode was made possible by Foundation For Women Warriors. Foundation for Women Warriors (FFWW) is a unique support organization created exclusively for the women veteran community. They provide essential programs to enhance the economic and personal wellbeing of women veterans and their families. Originally established in 1920 to serve widows, war nurses, and mothers of fallen service members, Foundation for Women Warriors is celebrating its 100 year anniversary. FFWW honors the service of women veterans by empowering their future through financial assistance, childcare assistance, and professional development.  If you want to learn more about Foundation for Women Warriors and how to get involved head to their website foundationforwomenwarriors.org.

(Want to be a Women of the Military Sponsor? Click here.)

At five years old Nicole went to an air show in California and saw the F-4 fly and knew she wanted to be a fighter pilot. Even though women couldn’t be fighter pilots her family didn’t dissuade her from joining. She knew at 12 that she wanted to attend the Air Force Academy and even wrote a letter to the Academy letting them know she wanted to attend.

She applied and was accepted into the Air Force and Naval Academy along with ROTC scholarships and choose to attend the Air Force Academy. Even though she knew she couldn’t be a fighter pilot when she began her training at the Air Force Academy in 1992 she was planning to be a tanker pilot.

In 1993, the law banning women from fighter pilots was removed and the doors opened for her to follow the dream she had since she was five. She graduated and went off to pilot training and was able to graduate and become an F-15E pilot. She said she was never the greatest pilot but always worked hard.

Her first assignment was at RAF Lakenheath in England. And she found herself flying her first combat mission after the Kosovo War ended. She followed her then-boyfriend, now-husband to North Carolina after spending more than a year apart doing long distance. They were set to be married on Oct 7, 2001. September 11th happening less than a month before. There was almost the potential the wedding would be delayed, but it happened. And it actually was the first day bombs were dropped in Afghanistan. 

She and her husband were given the opportunity to move together to Korea for their next assignment shortly after their marriage and they headed out to Korea. And a few weeks later her former squadron was preparing to deploy for Operation Enduring Freedom. She said it was hard to not go with them.

We talked about a number of highlights from her career and the challenges that she faced throughout her career. Being dual military, they worked to have open communication with their leadership and also took turns having each other’s career be in the driver’s seat. 

In 2006, she became the first female Thunderbird pilot. She talked about applying to be a Thunderbird and not even realizing no woman had done that. She had always served in an Air Force where women could be fighter pilots and didn’t realize that she would be breaking a barrier when she applied. She said that it was important for her to not only open that door for women but leave it open for the women after her. She put pressure on herself to not only do the best for herself but also so that the next woman to fill that role wouldn’t be years away. 

In 2012 she was a commander of 333rd Fighter Squadron. She loved being a commander and had so many stories of how she was able to impact the lives of her Airmen directly through her leadership as a commander. She also began to have strange symptoms that no one could pinpoint what was causing and wasn’t able to fly anymore. She was determined to continue to provide service to the Air Force even if she couldn’t fly. She went to the Naval War College and was a White House Fellow. Then one morning in 2016 she woke up and couldn’t move. She was paralyzed temporarily and was sent to Massachusetts to get seen by a specialist. They discovered she had Lyme disease and had an infection in her brain. 

The military allowed her service to continue as she went through treatment and then in 2017 she was mailed her retirement paperwork and she was no longer in the Air Force. It was a hard transition and very abrupt. She credits the Wounded Warrior Program to help her find herself and what led her to find her purpose again as a Speaker.

She encourages young women to join the military. She talked about the barriers being broken and how much opportunity there is. If there is a desire in your heart to do it, you should.  

Connect with Nicole:

www.nicolemalachowski.com
www.linkedin.com/in/nicole-malachowski
www.twitter.com/RealMalachowski

Mentioned in this Episode:

Wounded Warrior Project

US Air Force Academy

US Naval Academy

Air Force Thunderbirds

Related Episodes:

Before Women Could Be Fighter Pilots – Episode 29

Do You Know the Story of the Original Military Women Pilots? – Episode 49

A Navigator in the Air Force – Episode 62

Read the full transcript here.

Thank you Pateron members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice. Become a Patreon member today! Click here.

Affiliate Support

Are you starting a business or needing help in the next step of your business check out the Ministry to Business Guide here.

Are you trying to decide what you are going to do as a parent for the upcoming school year? I'm diving into homeschooling, but I'm getting support. Check out the Clever Kid Curriculum here.

We recently started investing in the stock market, get two free stocks when you create your Webull Account today! Click here.

Sep 22, 2020
From the Military to Award-Winning Author
00:45:15

Lila Holley is the multiple award-winning, Amazon bestselling visionary author behind the Camouflaged Sisters book series. This US Army Veteran honorably served 22 years on Active Duty and since retiring has helped 93 women become published authors, sharing their stories with the world. Lila is on a mission to empower storytellers to take ownership of their narrative and provide a safe space for them to share their stories. She believes there is no one better to tell these stories than the people who live them.

Lila joined the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Program in high school and found what she was meant to do. But when she became pregnant at fifteen, she thought her dream of joining the military was over. Luckily, she had her family’s support and once her son was in kindergarten, she was able to join the Army. She left her son in the care of her family and then went off to boot camp to be an Intel Analyst. Her first assignment was an unaccompanied tour to Korea for 13 months. And then after Korea, she came back to the states and was reunited with her son.

It was tough to be a single mother and be in the Army. There were a number of challenges, but she attributes her success to being able to work hard and always finding supporting families that were able to help her as she moved and advanced in her career.

At the seven-year mark, she became a Warrant Officer. Warrant Officers focus directly on their job and are technical experts. While Officers are often pulled away to manage people and run the daily tasks the Warrant Officers stay focused on the mission and the job. She loved being an Intel Analyst and was able to thrive in her career.

She deployed in 2004. She had gotten married a few years earlier and her husband was also active duty Army. They knew separation would be part of their story. And for the first three years they lived in different states. And then when they were finally stationed together her husband left for a deployment. Then shortly after his homecoming, she left for Iraq. Her husband talked about needing time to adjust back to normal life and she used his cues to help with her own transition back after deployment. She also came home to her two-year-old daughter. On top of all that, her husband had transitioned out of the military while she was overseas. Life had changed a lot, but through open communication and a lot of grace, they were able to continue on.

Her husband played the role of supporter for the last seven years of her career and she talked about how important the support of military spouses is not only to their service member but the military as a whole. Military spouses often make countless sacrifices that go unrecognized and her husband and daughter were not exempt. They moved 4 times her last five years in the service. But she always knew she had her husband’s support.

She transitioned out of the military and planned to knock it out of the park-like she had with all other challenges she had faced. But leaving the military meant she lost a part of herself and it took years to figure out the new Lila and find herself again. 

Through that process, she created Camouflaged Sisters. So far, they have shared 93 stories of military women through the books they have published on Amazon. She is a leader for other women veterans and encourages women to get involved in the military community and share their stories. She also wants people to know that transitioning takes time. The military leaves a mark on your life and it could be 3 years or 33 years, finding yourself after the military will take time.

Connect with Lila:

https://camouflagedsisters.org/

Related Episodes:

Being Stop-Lossed in the Army – Episode 23

The Struggle of Coming Home from War – Episode 7

Military Women and their History – Episode 70

Read full transcripts here.

Sep 15, 2020
Being Part of the Initial Invasion of Iraq
00:43:30

Jodie decided to join the Marine Corps in her junior year of high school. She knew she wanted to join the military and wanted to go the toughest route. She chose intel because she thought she would be sometime like a 007. Her job was different than she expected and at first, it was a lot of exercises and planning. Then September 11th happened and everything changed.

She said that her job became more real and there was a lot more training and preparation. In February of 2003, she was in Kuwait preparing to go into Iraq. Before the initial invasion, her team was instructed to write a letter home that would be sent back to the states with all of her things if she died. This put the reality of war and the cost of war into the forefront of her mind and she used that experience to push herself through. The initial invasion had her out on the front lines doing her job and being equal with the male Marines beside her.

By the summer they were being redeployed back home but returned to Iraq in February of the following year. The war had completely changed. The Iraqi people who had once been welcoming had now become the enemy. It went from conventional war to an unconventional war and she found limitations in doing her job. She would arrive at bases to gather more intel and would be told women were not allowed. This was a struggle and she felt discrimination and couldn’t fully do her job. She wanted to transfer to counterintelligence, but this career field wasn’t open to women. So, she decided to leave the military.

There were not transition programs like there are today and she found herself back in her hometown working as a waitress. She took a trip to California to reconnect with friends from the Marines and while she was there started looking at classified ads to work there. One of her former Marines offered to take her resume and was able to secure her a job. She had a successful career in the intel field, but was ready for the next phase and started working for a non-profit. She found serving others especially veterans to be fulfilling and currently works for The Foundation for Women Warriors in Southern California. Their mission is to help women veterans and their children so that their next mission is clear and continues to impact the world. 

Today, Jodie is the Chief Executive Officer of Foundation for Women Warriors, a 100-year-old nonprofit organization that works with women veterans to utilize their strength, resilience, and achievements to overcome obstacles as they transition to civilian life. Jodie accepted her current position as CEO of Foundation for Women Warriors in 2016 and has since used her experience and expertise, not only to expand and revitalize FFWW’s programs maximizing impact but has led a nationwide campaign inspiring the country to reconsider gender roles, veteran stereotypes and the capabilities of women. Foundation for Women Warriors, under Jodie’s leadership, has transformed into California’s preeminent women veteran service agency, committed to empowering the resilience and professional development of women veterans.

In addition to Jodie’s military commendations, she is a 2020 Presidential Leadership Scholar, recipient of the Los Angeles Business Journal’s 2019 Woman of Influence award, in 2018 was awarded San Diego Business Journal’s Business Women of the Year Award, and in 2017, she was named one of the world’s 130 Women of Impact by Impact Mania. Jodie currently serves on the SoCalGas Community Advisory Council, California Women Veterans Leadership Council, is a member of the Carlsbad Women’s Club, Veteran of Foreign Wars, Women Marines Association, 100 Women Who Care Orange County, and Women Give San Diego. Jodie holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a Masters in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the University of San Diego. Jodie currently resides in Carlsbad, California.

Connect with Jodie:

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Foundation for Women Warriors:

www.foundationforwomenwarriors.org

Instagram

Twitter
Facebook

Related Episodes:

Sirens: How to Pee Standing Up – Episode 87

Serving in Iraq (the Kickoff, the Surge, the Drawdown) – Episode 32

West Point to Iraq – Beyond the Point – Episode 19

Read the full transcript here.

Sep 08, 2020
An Invisible Combat Veterans Story - Episode 90
00:56:40

Her first assignment was to Landstuhl, Germany. As a medic, she worked inpatient care and when there would be a demand for medics due to war casualties, they would be sent to the ER to take care of the service members coming in from Iraq and Afghanistan. It was high paced and she saw the injuries and casualties of war first hand. But she was part of the team and was doing her job. 

Then she was sexually assaulted and suffered a head injury during the assault. She didn’t want to tell anyone about the incident and threw away her sheets before going to work the next day. She wasn’t planning to tell anyone, but four weeks later she found out she was pregnant. She sent home on leave for a month and was convinced to not keep the baby. She tried to move forward with her life and ended up getting married and having a baby girl. About 8 months after her daughter was born, she attempted to commit suicide. She went to the mental health ward and in her attempt to tell the mental health professional what she was dealing with she was shut down. 

When she transitioned out of the military she planned to be a military spouse and didn’t advocate for herself or take advantage of the resources to veterans because she thought she would have the resources through her husband’s service as a dependent. Shortly after leaving her husband was accused of sexual assault and was sent to jail and await a trial. He was the only income provider and he stopped receiving pay so they didn’t have any money.

She moved off base and tried to find a job. Her mother-in-law took the kids and she ended up starting to use drugs and was in and out of jail three times before finally realizing she had to make a change. She moved back to California, went to Veterans Affairs, and started to use her GI Bill while also working to help other veterans.

Since then she has turned her life around and has a BS and Masters and works full time as a social worker. She also continues to help veterans through her new organization Invisible Veteran.  

Currently, it does not hold a non-profit status, she does mostly volunteer work and uses her own resources and support from local organizations. However, they are considering obtaining Non-Profit status in order to provide a wider range of supportive resources and mental health workshops for female service members and mental health supports locally. 

She is currently in the development stages of her website. It will showcase her mental health research, as well as the stories in which she uses her experiences and those of the collective female voice through military culture and mental health theoretical lenses to help increase the discussions about mental health and military culture. It will help identify the gaps that can lead to things like veteran homelessness, mental health challenges, incarceration, and suicide. 

She also has a local committee she is starting in Fresno, CA to help better collaborate with local organizations supporting female veterans and bring relevant awareness, empowerment, and transformation to my sisters in arms here in her town.

Connect with Kim:

www.invisiblecombat.com

Instagram

Facebook

Invisible Combat Online Support group

Related Episodes:

Surviving Military Sexual Trauma in the Navy – Episode 26

Serving in the Coast Guard and Military Sexual Trauma – Episode 18

Overcoming PTSD and what is next – Episode 11

Read the full transcript here.

Sep 01, 2020
Graduate Debt Free with an ROTC scholarship - Episode 89
00:51:52

This episode was made possible by Foundation For Women Warriors. Foundation for Women Warriors (FFWW) is a unique support organization created exclusively for the women veteran community. They provide essential programs to enhance the economic and personal wellbeing ofwomen veterans and their families. Originally established in 1920 to serve widows, war nurses, and mothers of fallen service members, Foundation for Women Warriors is celebrating their 100 year anniversary. FFWW honors the service of women veterans by empowering their future through financial assistance, childcare assistance and professional development.  If you want to learn more about Foundation for Women Warriors and how to get involved head to their website foundationforwomenwarriors.org

 

In this episode we covered all of Naomi’s career. She served in the Army and joined via ROTC which she learned about while she was in college. It allowed her to graduate debt free and she headed into active duty in 1994. She moved around the country and the world. Serving overseas in Japan and Kuwait. 

She was given the opportunity to get her masters and then work at West Point, which later led to her getting her PhD with a three year follow on to teach at West Point. 

She was married to another service member for a brief period and they found dual military challenging as they were not able to be stationed together. They had a daughter and because he was not with them, she was essentially as single parent. 

When she deployed her ex-husband was already deployed and her best friend took in her daughter and her daughter remembers spending a year with her cousins and had the support she needed. She is grateful her daughter was so young and didn’t notice that her mom was gone. 

Lastly, we covered her transition out the of the military. She was remarried and her husband needed to be in a big city for his remote job. Her daughter was in high school and didn’t want to transfer schools again. So, they wanted to stay in the DC area. With two years of planning and focusing on discovering herself and finding the right job, not just a job she was able to make a successful transition out of the military. 

She has so much advice for those looking to join the military or for those planning to leave the military behind. 

Bio: Naomi Mercer (she/her, they/them) is Senior Vice President, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion for the American Bankers Association. She recently transitioned from military career where she served as an Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Philosophy at the United States Military Academy and in the Pentagon running the Army’s gender integration and religious accommodation programs. She is the recipient of the Bronze Star Medal for her service in a combat theater of war and the Legion of Merit for her 25 years of service to the nation. Her educational background includes a doctorate in Literary Studies with a minor in Gender and Women’s Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an Executive Certificate in Strategic Diversity and Inclusion from Georgetown University’s Institute for Transformational Leadership. She is the author of the academic monograph, Toward Utopia (2015).

Connect with Naomi:

www.linkedin.com/in/naomi-r-mercer

Mentioned in this Episode:

Solider for Life Program

USO Programs

Reserve Officer Training Corps Program (need to create a blog post offering information about ROTC)

Related Episodes:

Challenges Face By Single Moms in the Army – Episode 46

Being a Single Mother in the Army – Episode 35

From the Halls of West Point to Iraq – Episode 38

Read the full transcript here. 

Thank you Pateron members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice. Become a Patreon member today! Click here.

Affiliate Support

Are you starting a business or needing help in the next step of your business check out the Ministry to Business Guide here.

Are you trying to decide what you are going to do as a parent for the upcoming school year? I'm diving into homeschooling, but I'm getting support. Check out the Clever Kid Curriculum here.

We recently started investing in the stock market, get two free stocks when you create your Webull Account today! Click here.

Aug 25, 2020
From Military Service to Military Spouse - Episode 88
00:33:36

This episode was made possible by my Patreon supporters! Sign up in the month of August to get a free copy of Brave Women Strong Faith!

Charlene joined American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association (AAFMAA) in 2015 as supervisor of the Survivor Assistance team. In her role as Assistant Secretary, she works closely with the Chief Operating Officer in managing AAFMAA’s life insurance business with a focus on contracting, support services, and information technology. Charlene is a Veteran of the United States Army Chemical Corps serving six years including a company command position. She is also a current active duty military spouse and has the distinction of being AAFMAA’s first female officer.

Charlene grew up in a military family and struggled with what to do in college. That is where she learned about the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). She had heard of ROTC before college, but thought you needed to be a nurse or a man to serve, and since she didn’t fit either of those categories didn’t think about the option of joining the military. When she found out about the options available through ROTC she joined and found the structure and organization she was looking for. 

She served in the Chemical Corps, starting at Fort Hood in Texas, then she went to Captain’s career course. While she was there September 11th happened. She was slated to go to Korea and initially tried to change course so she could be ready to respond. But ended up going to Korea per the needs of the Army and met her husband while being stationed there. They got married in Korea so they could get stationed together and she became an instructor at Aberdeen Proving Ground. It was there she decided to leave the military behind and become a stay at home mom.

She stayed at home for 10 years, partly because she was overseas and there were not a lot of options. And when she came back stateside, she decided to dive back into the workforce. She used resources available on the Army post and the USO. She was able to get a job at AAFMAA which fulfilled her calling to serve others and make an impact. 

Mentioned in this episode:

Facebook: Career Military Spouses Group

Facebook: Milspouse Entrepreneur Group

USO Pathfinders

AAFMAA

Related Episodes:

Weapons System Officer in the Air Force – Episode 71

Serving as an Officer in the Marine Corps – Episode 51

From the Halls of WestPoint to Iraq – Episode 38

Read the full transcript here. 

Affiliate Support:

Are you trying to decide what you are going to do as a parent for the upcoming school year? I'm diving into homeschooling, but I'm getting support. Check out the Clever Kid Curriculum here.

Are you starting a business or needing help in the next step of your business check out the Ministry to Business Guide here.

Do you feel like a bad mom because you are losing your temper? Listen to Lisa Jo Baker talk about three reasons why having a bad day doesn’t make you a bad mom and then find tools on how to prevent those bad days from happening. Check out the Temper Tool Kit here.

Are you a writer? But are looking for help on how to become a better writer? Check out Write Like A Pro! A step-by-step course created just for aspiring authors, bloggers, creative copywriters and influencers like YOU! Get started here.

We recently started investing in the stock market, get two free stocks when you create your Webull Account today! Click here.

Aug 18, 2020
Sirens: How to Pee Standing Up - Episode 87
00:42:10

This podcast is sponsored by the Ministry to Business Guide! Get your copy for $29 today!

What was it like to deploy to Iraq as the war kicked off? Laura was the first wave of the invasion after the Marines. She talked about the whole experience in her book Sirens: How to Pee Standing Up that is based on the journal she kept while deployed overseas.

Post contains affiliate links

In this interview we covered Laura joining the National Guard in March of 2001. She was going to college so she was part of a program where she went to boot camp in the summer. She had completed boot camp and was drilling on weekends in the National Guard when September 11th happened. She continued to go to school and then was sent to her military police officer training the summer of 2002. By the end of Jan 2003, her unit was informed she would be activated to active duty and deploy to Iraq. We talked about the challenge of having to quit school for a year and a half and deploying to Iraq. They were the first wave after the Marines. And initially, the Iraqis were happy for the American liberation force, but after six months the Iraqis feelings toward the Americans changed and it became a lot more dangerous with mortar attacks, Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and ambushes. One of the hardest weeks of her deployment was the week a fellow soldier died and they also were told they were being extended, after being less than two weeks away from coming home.

She came home and felt lucky to have been unscathed. But a year later at Sgt School during a simulated war game she started to have panic attacks and although she was able to finish and graduate Sgt School she continued to struggle with PTSD. We talked about how PTSD makes us feel and how she still has moments when she struggles today. She wants to talk about her story through her book and giving presentations at the school to help people know about what people have done for our country.

When she was asked what advice, she would give young women about joining the military she said, it has to be a decision you make for yourself. The military isn’t for everyone. And although there are some good parts of the military, you need to be 100% committed if you sign up to serve. 

Connect with Laura (contains affiliate links):

Her book: Sirens: How to Pee Standing Up

www.lauracolbert.com/blog

Twitter

Mentioned in this episode:

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Deployment

Related Episodes:

Episode 7: The Struggle of Coming Home From War

Episode 11: Overcoming PTSD and What’s Next

Episode 45: Overcoming Adversity in the Army

Read the full transcript here.

Affiliate Support:

Are you trying to decide what you are going to do as a parent for the upcoming school year? I'm diving into homeschooling, but I'm getting support. Check out the Clever Kid Curriculum here.

Are you starting a business or needing help in the next step of your business check out the Ministry to Business Guide here.

Do you feel like a bad mom because you are losing your temper? Listen to Lisa Jo Baker talk about three reasons why having a bad day doesn’t make you a bad mom and then find tools on how to prevent those bad days from happening. Check out the Temper Tool Kit here.

Are you a writer? But are looking for help on how to become a better writer? Check out Write Like A Pro! A step-by-step course created just for aspiring authors, bloggers, creative copywriters and influencers like YOU! Get started here.

Aug 11, 2020
Brave Women, Strong Faith - Episode 86
00:41:19

This episode was made possible by my Patreon supporters!

This week on the podcast I wanted to share stories from 3 of the authors for Brave Women, Strong Faith. Sometimes as a military spouse I feel like an outsider and one of the reasons I am so excited about this book is there is a whole section of the book dedicated to military spouses who are also veterans. I was worried my story wouldn’t fit and I wasn’t sure how it would come together. But it has highlighted the challenge of being both a military spouse and veteran. With five women in total sharing their stories within the book.

I already interview Sherry Eifler on the Women of the Military Podcast for Episode 37. She has two chapters in Brave Women Strong Faith and the second chapter is focused on being a military spouse and veteran. Megan Harless is also a veteran and military spouse contributor. She is an advocate for helping improve moving from base to base

This week I got to chance to talk to Laura Schofield, Richelle Futch, and Danielle Whalen. In this episode, we covered stories from military servicemember to military spouse life. We discussed how we got involved in the Brave Women Strong Faith project and what the military meant to us. 

Brave Women Strong Faith built a community among military spouses where we met new friends and have been able to support and encourage each other along the way. I loved when Laura talked about having “battle buddies again.” It is true, this community has given us that sense of support where we are a team working to share the stories of military women.

I’m proud to be an author for Brave Women, Strong Faith. Order your copy today! Click here.

Connect with the authors:

Danielle Whalen is a self proclaimed “King’s Daughter” who loves the Lord, cherishes her family, and is passionate about uplifting others to know their true value in God! With over 15 years of professional experience in crisis intervention gained by serving as a Masters Level Clinical Social Worker, nine year Coast Guard veteran, spouse of a 21 year Coast Guard retiree, and ministry leader for Celebrate Recovery, Danielle is dedicated to bridging the disparities of mental health and spiritual wellness through writing, speaking, and Christian counseling. Her writing and speaking experience was developed early on through the U.S. Coast Guard as a trained team facilitator, senior mentor, and training coordinator for staff members. She is now dedicated to use these skills for exhortation and discipleship http://www.DanielleWhalen.org

Facebook

Richelle Futch is a Marine Corps Veteran now Mental Health Counselor and Army spouse. She is a homeschooling mom of three. And the creator of Her Ruck: Unpacking Your Emotional Ruck for Military Spouses.

http://www.richellefutch.com

Instagram

Laura Schofield served in the Washington Army National Guard for 18 months until she was medically discharged from military service. Currently she is a Marine Corps Military Spouse, homeschooling mama, and writer.

http://www.myquietsmalllife.com

Mentioned in this Episode:

Speak Up Conference

What Does Military Service Mean?

Milspoco.com

Military Sexual Trauma

Related Episodes:

Transitioning from the Guard isn’t the Same – Episode 59

Military Spouse to Active Duty and Back Again – Episode 24

Helping others after service – Episode 44

Read the full transcript here. 

Affiliate Support:

Are you trying to decide what you are going to do as a parent for the upcoming school year? I'm diving into homeschooling, but I'm getting support. Check out the Clever Kid Curriculum here.

Are you starting a business or needing help in the next step of your business check out the Ministry to Business Guide here.

Do you feel like a bad mom because you are losing your temper? Listen to Lisa Jo Baker talk about three reasons why having a bad day doesn’t make you a bad mom and then find tools on how to prevent those bad days from happening. Check out the Temper Tool Kit here.

Are you a writer? But are looking for help on how to become a better writer? Check out Write Like A Pro! A step-by-step course created just for aspiring authors, bloggers, creative copywriters and influencers like YOU! Get started here.

We recently started investing in the stock market with Webull, get two free stocks when you create your Webull Account today! Click here.

Aug 04, 2020
The Challenge of Officer Candidate School in the Army - Episode 85
00:45:10

Are you starting a business or needing help in the next step of your business check out the Ministry to Business Guide here.

Gwendolyn Jules served in the US Army from November 1990 to December 2012, started out as an enlisted Private (E2) 71L-Administrative Specialist and retired a Major (O4) Logistician. Became a mother four months after retiring, got my MBA, and began researching how to have an online information marketing business so that I could have the flexibility to travel with my husband who was still in the military. Currently, she produces a weekly podcast called "Manage Money Build Wealth" where I talk about how my military career was my mode of transportation to reach Financial Independence and Retire Early (FIRE). And now she wants to help other women reach FIRE and have peace along their financial journey.

In this episode, we talk about her joining the Army Reserves while in high school because she needed money for school clothes. The reality of what the military was all about and making the transition from Reserves to Active Duty. Going overseas and working on her degree. Getting to the rank of E-6 and determining that becoming an officer was the next right step. The challenge and struggle of Officer Candidate School (OCS). We also covered her deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan. And ended with how she met her husband and becoming a mom after transition out of the military. 

She tells young women to join the military if they are interested in it, but they should also realize the benefits come at a cost and the mission always comes first. If you are not ready to do the mission you should not join the military.

Connect with Gwendolyn:

Podcast Manage Money Build Wealth

http://managemoneybuildwealth.libsyn.com/website
Instagram
Facebook

LinkedIn

Mentioned in this episode:

Episode 59: Transitioning isn’t the same

Episode 43: Joining the Army While Still in High School

Episode 46: Enlisted to Officer (Danielle Kilian)

Do you want to hear more stories of military women? Check out my book Women of the Military! I share 28 stories of military women from women joining the military, currently serving and those who have left the military behind.

This episode was made possible by my Patreon supporters! Sign up in the month of July and August to get a free copy of Brave Women Strong Faith!

Read the full transcript here.

Affiliate Support:

Are you trying to decide what you are going to do as a parent for the upcoming school year? I'm diving into homeschooling, but I'm getting support. Check out the Clever Kid Curriculum here.

Do you feel like a bad mom because you are losing your temper? Listen to Lisa Jo Baker talk about three reasons why having a bad day doesn’t make you a bad mom and then find tools on how to prevent those bad days from happening. Check out the Temper Tool Kit here.

Are you a writer? But are looking for help on how to become a better writer? Check out Write Like A Pro! A step-by-step course created just for aspiring authors, bloggers, creative copywriters, and influencers like YOU! Get started here.

We recently started investing in the stock market, get two free stocks when you create your Webull Account today! Click here.

Jul 28, 2020
Vietnam Era Veteran - Episode 84
00:33:43

This episode was made possible by my Patreon supporters! Sign up in the month of July and August to get a free copy of Brave Women Strong Faith!

Diane Sherwood served in the Air Force and she is a Vietnam Era veteran. She was a Jet Engine Mechanic on F-111 fighter jets. She was stationed at Mountain Home AFB in Idaho. She loved the west so much that she moved to Boise, 50 miles from the base, when she got out and lived in Boise for many years. After being in Idaho for 20 years, my daughter & she moved back to Minnesota where she was born. She currently works as a waitress so I have flexible time to work on my non-profit organization. She started the Remember Rally after 9/11 and we do events to honor military and first responders. Our current project and goal is to build a Veterans Memorial in her hometown of Luverne, MN.

Diane decided to join the military because it sounded interesting. When she joined there were not a lot of options open to women, but while at bootcamp she was given the option to switch from being a dental assistant to a mechanic. It sounded like fun so she did it.

She loved being a mechanic even being the only female in her shop she did not face challenges. She even decided she wanted to work on the flight line and the base worked to figure out how a woman could work on the flight line since it had never been done before. She worked on F-111 jets and was responsible for the engine. On the flight line she would run the pre-flight safety check and get the engine started. She absolutely loved everything about her job.

She left the military after her first enlistment, ready to try something new. She didn’t get involved in the veteran community until September 11th happened. It lit something inside of her that she wanted to help those who sacrificed so much during and after the events of September 11th. She is continuing to work to build a memorial in her hometown of Luverne, MN. 

Connect with Diane:

http://www.rememberrally.org

Facebook

Related Episodes:

A Female Vietnam Veteran – Episode 5

Climbing the Ranks to Brigadier General – Episode 65

Women Who Gave the Ultimate Sacrifice – Episode 75'

Read the full transcript here.

Do you love hearing the stories of military women? Support Women of the Military Podcast by becoming a Patreon member! For as little as $1/month you can help support the podcast! Sign up here.

Affiliate Support:

Are you trying to decide what you are going to do as a parent for the upcoming school year? I'm diving into homeschooling, but I'm getting support. Check out the Clever Kid Curriculum here.

Jul 21, 2020
An Unexpected End to a Navy Career
00:39:52

This episode was made possible by my Patreon supporters! Sign up in the month of July and August to get a free copy of Brave Women Strong Faith!

Robyn Grable is the chief executive officer of Veterans ASCEND, which she founded in 2018 to bring veterans and employers together, improving corporate bottom lines as well as the lives of America’s service heroes and their families. 

Her unwavering commitment to veteran employment is well-served by her corporate and military experience, including more than 30 years of private sector human resources after nine years of service in the U.S. Navy. Her ongoing study of America’s veteran workforce have made her a leading voice on the barriers and keys to success for their employment. She is a seasoned speaker and media resource, earning respect and praise from her peers.

A native of Richmond, Indiana, Robyn holds a master’s in psychology focused on Leadership Coaching. Her capstone project during her graduate studies emphasized coaching military veterans during their transition back to the civilian workforce. Committed to giving back, Robyn has volunteered for American Red Cross, The MS Society, United Way, March of Dimes, Upstate Warrior Solution, IVMF Mentor Program, and Veterans Treatment Court. She is a member of SHRM and serves on the Workforce Readiness Council of the Greenville SHRM chapter.

Today she is focused entirely on ensuring veterans are recognized for their skills, valued for their talent and that America’s employers realize the full value and skills of America’s heroes, poised in the civilian workforce to truly ascend.

A recruiter came to Robyn’s high school and she saw the Navy as her ticket out of her small town and decided to join the military. It was 1979 and during the Cold War. People didn’t understand or want women in the military and she found that to be a challenge. When it came time to pick her career field nine out of the ten jobs she wanted were not available to her because her gender. She ended up picking Data Processing and it was a good career field for her while she was in Iceland. In Iceland she met her future husband and had to move to Florida for a year before being stationed with her husband in Maine. 

Shortly after getting stationed together her daughter was born. Her husband had just come home from deployment, they were finally living together and she was adjusting to being a mom. And it was difficult, but they were able to make it work and she was able to segment her life in the military and her job as a mom. When they got orders to Pearl Harbor she asked to be assigned to a ship. At the time, women could not be on a ship with dependents. She would have had to give up legal custody of her daughter to do this. And this wasn’t something she was willing to do. Nor was it a requirement for her male counterparts. She decided to become an officer so she could change the military. She got her package together and in the end her package wasn’t even opened by the board. This crushed her. At the same time, she hadn’t signed her reenlistment paperwork before she left for training and decided after that event, she was ready to leave the Navy behind. 

Because of that error she didn’t have a plan to leave the military. She didn’t get any help with her transition and she made her way to Florida to start her new life. She walked away from the military and her veteran community. It was 22 years later that she got connected with the military veteran community.  

Connect with Robyn:

https://www.veterans.veteransascend.com
www.facebook.com/veteransascend
www.linkedin.com/company/veteransascend
www.instagram.com/veteransascend

Mentioned in this Episode:

A Girls Guide to the Military

Related Episodes:

From Navy to Entrepreneurship – Episode 27

From the Navy to the Air Force – Episode 15

Giving Back After Service to Find Healing – Episode 56

Read the full transcript here.

Do you want to hear more stories of military women? Check out my book Women of the Military! I share 28 stories of military women from women joining the military, currently serving and those who have left the military behind.

Do you love hearing the stories of military women? Support Women of the Military Podcast by becoming a Patreon member! For as little as $1/month you can help support the podcast! Sign up here.

Affiliate Support:

Are you trying to decide what you are going to do as a parent for the upcoming school year? I'm diving into homeschooling, but I'm getting support. Check out the Clever Kid Curriculum here.

Jul 14, 2020
What Military Branch Should I Join - Episode 82
00:27:12

What Branch Should I Join?

Deciding to join the military is a big decision on its own, but it isn’t where the decisions end. There are six branches of the military that you can serve in. The Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Navy, Marine Corps, and Space Force. Each branch has its own culture and mission and making sure to pick the one that fits you best is an important step when joining the military. You also need to consider if you would like to serve on active duty, in the National Guard or Reserves. There is no one right answer. The best branch for you needs to meet your goals and aspirations and not just be focused on the “perks” of one branch over another. Depending on why you are joining and what you are looking for will help you determine what branch and way you should serve in the military. This chapter covers the culture and mission of each branch of the military and the primary differences between serving on active duty, in the National Guard, or Reserves

“To me, it comes down to culture. When you find your fit, you feel it in your bones. In your soul. You feel it in your bones. In your soul. You feel energized by it in a way that is hard to describe – and in a way that the other simply don’t. Nothing wrong with the others of course – but you know when it’s right.” – Heather Price

In this weeks interview we covered these topics:

Know Your Why You Want to Join 

Resources provided by veterans (contains affiliate links)

Answer these questions

  • What is your objective of service?
  • Are there location / geographic considerations?
  • Service, tradition, adventure, training, college assistance, etc?
  • What are you interested in and capable (qualified) of doing?
  • Does the service offer the career choice you want to do?
  • Are you looking at a career in the military or a shorter option?
  • Are you looking to enlist or take a path to be an officer?

Mentioned in this Episode:

A Girls Guide to the Military

Need a mentor: Email me airmantomom@gmail.com

Related Episodes

7 Things I Wish I Would Have Known Before Joining the Military

Going through MEPS - Episode 34

Joining the Army While Still In High School - Episode 43

Jul 07, 2020
Finding Healing through Yoga in the Army - Episode 81
00:38:52

This episode is sponsored by Christopher Travel.

Are you thinking of planning a road trip this summer, Christopher Travel is excited to offer a 50% discount to the Women of the Military Podcast followers on all its semi-custom and custom road trip itineraries, or opt for the basic pre planned itinerary for just $5. Each itinerary includes the high level of detail for which Christopher Travel is known. These itineraries immerse you in the fun, quirky and quintessential experiences of the great American road trip. Wherever the road leads, you can just relax and enjoy the adventure because Christopher Travel has done all the planning for you visit them on the web to learn More go to https://christopher.travel/womenofthemilitarypodcast/

Benefsheh Verell (Benef) is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel with twenty years of active duty service. She graduated from the United States Military Academy, West Point in 1997 and has a Masters of Science in Physical Geography from the University of Maryland. She spent ten years as a Military Police officer and ten years as an Information Operations officer. 

As a retiree, Benef remains passionate about educating service members of the benefits mindfulness practices have on the mind and body. She’s trained to teach trauma sensitive yoga and is also on the board of directors of Warriors at Ease, a non-profit organization that brings mindfulness practices to the military and veteran communities. She’s an iRest (Integrative Restoration) meditation teacher and advocates to have mindfulness practices as part of a regular resiliency program that starts in basic training and continues throughout a service member’s career. 

Benef continues to serve as a spouse and retiree through volunteering in the community as the president of the Zama Community Spouses Association, the treasurer for the Boy Scouts, advocating for mindfulness practices in the military, educating senior leaders about the benefits of mindfulness, meditation, and yoga, and mentoring service members and spouses. She is the author of Military and Mindful: Eight Essential Elements to Manage Your Military Career and Motherhood.

In this episode we talked about the challenges of attending West Point. We also covered the challenges of being dual military. It is often difficult for dual military couples to manage their service, having a family and being separated due to deployments and TDYs. Benef found herself struggling with life and that is when she found yoga as a place of healing and refocusing. It changed her life. 

After 20 years of service she transitioned out of the military. She found many challenges, although she was ready to leave the military. She wasn’t ready for the transition and what life would mean without her military service. She transitioned to the role of military spouse and mom. It has been a struggle, but through hard work and learning who she was and who she wanted to be she is thriving today and even wrote a book. 

Connect with Benef (contains affiliate links):

Military-Mindful-Essential-Elements-Motherhood

Instagram account

Mentioned in this Episode (contains affiliate links):

Beyond the Point by Claire Gibson

Related Episodes:

Mourning My Military Service – Episode 47

From West Point to Iraq – Episode 38

Serving in Iraq (the kickoff, the surge, the drawdown) – Episode 32

Post 9/11 Female Work Force Experience - Episode 78

Include Transitioning guide for the graphic for this blog post



 

Jun 30, 2020
Joining the Marine Corps - Episode 80
00:48:39

Jen has been in the communication field for 25 years, with experience in public affairs, community relations, writing, editing, and broadcasting. She has taught basic communication and public speaking courses at the college level for 15 years. Jen is an author, a TEDx presenter, founder of CommunicationTwentyFourSeven – a communication-focused blog, and a breast cancer survivor. 

She served active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps and was the first female Marine to be appointed editor of the Quantico Sentry newspaper and the first female Marine to be awarded the Sergeant Major Dan Daly Award by the Marine Corps Historical Foundation. She was also a recipient of the Best Feature Writer award by the Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association. Jen was medically discharged due to a back injury after serving 3 years and 2 months. Prior to her discharge, she was presented with the Navy Achievement Medal. 

She received a B.A and M.A. in Communication from George Mason University and is currently a Ph.D. student studying English Language and Applied Linguistics with the University of Birmingham – UK. Her passion is working with students, specifically veterans, and helping them achieve their academic and career goals. She and her husband, Greg, have been married for 22 years. Their daughter, Sarah, is a junior at Georgia Southern University and their son, Nate, is a LCpl serving active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps and is currently stationed in Iwakuni, Japan.

Jen decided to join the military when she found out that her parents had no way to pay for college. She saw it as a way to do something new with her life. Her mom refused to sign the paperwork so she waited until her 18th birthday to enlist. It was hard for her. She committed to join the Marine Corps and no one around her supported her choice to do that. That made boot camp hard because she had all those people telling her she couldn’t do it. But she made it through by letting those voices go and then she was able to realize what she was capable of. 

She served in PA and is thankful for the training she received in the military and the experiences that she got to be a part of it. The Marine Corps really set her life on the path it is today. 

Some say they believe the military helped to mold them into who they are. I believe the military helped reveal who I am. When I decided to join, I didn't have the support of my family or my friends. Even my recruiter didn't have very much faith in me at the beginning. I can tell you about my recruiting story (it's funny). I ended up graduating in the honor platoon. Anyway, even though my time wearing the uniform was relatively short (just over 3 years), the lessons I learned while in the Corps still carry me through life today. I received a lot of awards and accolades, but I also got into my own fair share of trouble. 

Connect with Jen:

Twitter: @speechteach912
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jennifer-furlong-16779a5a
Blog/Website: https://www.communicationtwentyfourseven.com/

Related Episodes:

Finding Herself in the Marines – Episode 12

Serving as an Officer in the Marine Corps – Episode 51

Jun 23, 2020
The Importance of Dads - Episode 79
00:33:04

Ben Killoy is a U.S. Marine Veteran turned blogger, life coach, speaker, and podcaster whose mission is to bring Military Veteran Dads home to their families. He resides in Janesville, WI, with his wife and three beautiful kids.
Ben went through what most transitioning veterans go through, the feeling of needing to redefine their identity outside of the structure of the military and rediscovering your passion and purpose for life. A seminar changed it all for him and allowed him to discover his passion for leadership and helping other veterans and Dads be the best parents they can. Since that seminar he has been on a mission to master leadership principles and use his passion for leadership to help dads understand who they are, develop their skills to overcome adversity, and to own their life choices to enable them to truly come home to their families. 
Ben’s podcast combines his own insights into his unique experiences with the military and fatherhood, along with interviews and discussions with other thought-leaders from around the world. The fact that Ben’s insights are based on his personal experiences, and the experiences of the other veterans he interviews gives credibility to his understandings. Sharing both his successes and failures brings a more heart centred approach to his podcast, enabling a deeper connection to his audience. 
Ben is available for speaking engagements, both online and in person, and is more than happy to share his insights on other veteran’s podcasts.

One thing that I find really fascinating is how much Ben talks about how important Fatherhood is. He takes an active role in influencing his children’s lives and has had so much change through starting the podcast. At one point in his life he believed no one cared about who he was and he wanted to change that. He started by making friends by saying hello to other dads at the park. And through those friendships he has created a podcast and talks about leaving a legacy for his family.

We also talked a lot about how we need to allow our kids to feel emotions and not brush them aside. If we ignore our kids problems when they are little problems they won’t come to us with big problems. They will expect the same reaction as they get older because little problems to kids are just as real as big problems to us. 

Mentioned in this episode (affiliate links):

Strong Father’s Strong Daughters by Meg Meeker

Way of the Warrior Kid by Jacko Willink

Military Veteran Dad Podcast

Connect with Ben:
Instagram @Ben_Killoy

Instagram @MilitaryVeteranDad

Twitter @benkilloy

Facebook Page @MilitaryVeteranDad

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above

Kevin Barba


 

Jun 16, 2020
Post 9/11 Female Veterans Workforce Transition Experience - Episode 78
00:53:23

In all aspects of my personal, academic, and professional life, Destinee has an undeniable, strong motivation, and passion to help Service Members, Veterans, and their family members succeed. She grew up as a military ‘brat,’ she is an Army Veteran, and a military spouse. She worked for the Soldier For Life – Transition Assistance Program (SFL-TAP) as a career counselor and as Site Lead/Manager for the VA-TAP Benefits Advisors on Fort Belvoir and Quantico. She also worked with our wounded warriors as a transition coordinator. 

She has such a drive that she even continued my professional development and became a Certified Veteran Developmental Coach (CVDC), specializing in transition and development as well as career and life mapping. Through her doctoral degree, she has dedicated all her studies to further understanding Veteran transition and her dissertation topic is: The Post 9/11 Female Veteran Workforce Experience: A Multiple Case Study. 

She is the President and Co/Founder of We2AreVets 501C3 and is the volunteer Director of Women Veterans Programs and Resources for VETS2INDUSTRY. In her ‘free’ time, she is a very active mentor and coach.

From 2008-2012, she was a Medical Service Officer/Healthcare Administrative Officer in the Army. She spent 4 years active duty in the 44th Medical Brigade in several different units (Area Support Medical Company, Combat Support Hospital, Dental Unit, Brigade Staff).

Her friends and previous co-workers call me “Wonder Woman”. She is a mother to three sweet, energetic, smart little men - twins, ages 8 & 7. They also keep her motivated to be the best role model she can be.

In this episode we talked about Destinee’s recently published dissertation: Post 9-11 Female Veteran Workforce Transition Experience. We talked about how the dissertation topic came to be, the research process, how she found women to talk to, the four themes that came out of her research, and what she is doing today.

When she began her research, she found that there hadn’t been any research done on women veterans in the post 9-11 era. She knew that her experience didn’t fit the traditional transition and felt so alone. She had left the Army to be a military spouse and stay at home mom. Beginning her Ph.D. was something she decided to do for her. And she wanted to focus on women veterans and their transition process. She wanted to know if her experience was an anomaly. 

She put a call for women needing between eight to fifteen to participate. Within a day she had 72 women signed up to share their experience. This excited and encouraged her to continue her research. Women wanted to share their stories. She followed up with the first 15 women who signed up. It was a wide range of ranks and included four of the five branches. 

From her research, she took away four primary themes. 

Non-Traditional Route

Identity Shift

Recognition 

Traditional Program and the need for reformation

We discuss the overall themes and a brief overview of what she learned. 

We ended the interview with advice for women veterans and women planning to join the military. For women veterans, get involved in the veteran community. Connect with other woman veterans and you will find a unique connection and build lasting friendships. Both Destinee and I ran away from the veteran community post-transition and coming back to the veteran community has been so welcoming and healing. 

For women looking to join she offered the advice of not losing yourself. The military molds and changes you, but that doesn’t mean you need to lose who you are and what you want. You should also connect with a mentor. If you don’t know anyone or need help finding a mentor both Destinee and I are happy to help. You can also check out my free Girls Guide to the Military that will help answer your questions toward military life. 

Connect with Destinee:

LinkedIn

www.coachforveterans.com

Mentioned in this Episode:

The Post 9/11 Female Veteran Workforce Experience: A Multiple Case Study

VETS2INDUSTRY

A Girls Guide to the Military

Related Episodes:

Military Women and their History - Episode 70

Do You Know the History of the original Woman Pilots? - Episode 49 

Advice from the 23rd Secretary of the Air Force - Episode 40

Jun 09, 2020
How a Anxiety Attack Changed Everything -Episode 77
00:53:22

Although she had a military background with the Army the military never appealed to her. Then her boyfriend decided to join the Coast Guard and she did too. The ended up breaking up with the challenges of a long-distance relationship, but she discovered a career in the Coast Guard that led her to serve over twenty years. There were days between when she signed up to join and left to go to boot camp She was planning to do Health Services, but there was a two year wait for tech school so she decided to a watch stander who stood by and was the first voice ships heard when they were in distress. 

She met her husband when they were out at sea. And because they were both part of the same unit their relationship was deemed inappropriate. Since she was the senior enlisted member she took the brunt of the blame. Luckily, the Captain of the ship said that once they got back into port one of them would be moved to a new unit, but needed to stay away from each other for the rest of their time out at sea. That’s what happened and eventually they got married and are still married today.

Next we dove into her mental health journey. She said life kept piling up and she tried her best to keep it all together. She ended up going on a girls weekend trip she ended up having a panic attack and ended up in the hospital. When the doctor told her she had been diagnosed with a sever anxiety attack he also said, but what you really suffered from was a broken heart. That moment when the doctor looked past her wall and saw into who she was ground breaking. She knew she needed help and started to change the trajectory of her life. 

Today she is the founder and owner of Navigate Your Freedom and she also works as the Educational Services Facilitator at the Fleet and Family Support Program. 

Her advice for women joining the military is to get the tough assignments out of the way early. Get out on a ship, take that deployment opportunity. It will help you for your future.

Mentioned in this Episode:

Military One Source

Celebrate Recovery

My Mental Health Story

Connect with Nicole:

www.navigateyourfreedom.com

Facebook

Related Episodes:

Mental Health in the Military – Episode 73

10 Things I Learned from Deployment – Episode 64

In the Coast Guard far from Home – Episode 21

Jun 02, 2020
Financial Advice for your Future
00:21:11

Mark Steffe is President and Chief Executive Officer of First Command. In this position, Mark leads the company on the continuous improvement of the First Command client experience, focusing on military engagement and the continuing adaption to a rapidly evolving digital world. Mark holds Series 7, 8, 23, 63 and 65 securities registrations, plus life and health insurance licenses.

What Can Financial Changes Can You Do Right Now?

With most people sheltering at home and working remotely, now is a great time to update your budget with your spouse. 

With a reduction in gas expenses, dining out and entertainment from your budget, consider moving that money to savings or into the TSP.

Make a plan for your CARES act check that includes saving, paying down debt or investing. 

Consider moving your emergency fund into a high interest savings account that will grow and at least keep up with inflation. 

Make sure that you and your spouse know where your financial documents are, along with the passwords to the accounts. 

Now is a great time to teach your children about saving. Talk to them about how they should set aside a portion of the money they earn from jobs or even birthday gifts.

Why doesn’t First Command charge military families for financial planning? 

The average American thinks financial planning is as a high-end service just for the wealthy. But that’s not true at First Command. First Command is committed to serving the financial needs of our Nation’s active duty military families. They know the best way to get financially squared away is through having a financial plan. And lastly, it has been proven that the earlier in your career you start planning the better chance you have of getting on path to financial security. 

First Command wanted to help military families by removing the “barriers to entry” by making financial planning free for military families. But what will a financial plan get you? With a complimentary financial plan from First Command, you can get started now on reducing debt, protecting your family, building wealth, and pursuing your lifetime financial goals and dreams. All for free.  Go to www.firstcommand.com and click on the Find My Advisor button today!

Is First Command a great place for a career?

First Command is a great place for veterans and military spouses to pursue a long-term career as a financial coach. This is a career, not a job.

Why we hire military spouses:

  • We know that military spouses are driven to help their families financially---and this is one of the reasons they make such great financial coaches.

Why First Command is a terrific career choice:

  • Most of our offices are located near military installations. The skills you develop as a Financial Advisor in one First Command office are transferable to other offices.
  • When you PCS with your family, you are ready to use those same skills when you arrive at the new location.
  • First Command offers relocation incentives.
  • This is an opportunity for military spouses to improve the lives of other military families—by continuing to serve those who serve.
  • While serving others, our Advisor spouses are also pursuing financial security for their own families. This is a career in which you can do well by doing good.

Connect with First Command:

First Command
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Instagram

May 28, 2020
Switching Careers in the US Navy
00:26:53

She has a family tradition of military service and participated in Navy Jr Reserve Officer Training Corps in high school. After graduating from college, she decided to join the Navy through the Officer Candidate Program. She got pushed into becoming a flight officer which wasn’t something she was passionate about and was able to transfer to Public Affairs after her first assignment. She decided to leave active duty and transition into the Reserves and move back home. There she got married and had her son and also graduated with her Masters. After graduating she found a job as a civilian in a government job while also working in the Reserves.

She decided that job wasn’t a good fit and took the opportunity to go back on orders for an extended period of time. She and her husband separated and she decided to go back to active duty. Unfortunately, there were not any PA opening so she applied to switch to Human Resources. And went back to active duty as a Human Resources Officer.

She is a single mom of two kids and has her mom living with her to help take care of the kids while she works full time, pursues her PhD and live her life. Having that built in support has really helped her as she occasionally travels and has other commitments to the military.

She encourages women to join the military and would like to see the percentage of women serving in the military go to 50%. 

Related Episodes:

Episode 15: From the Navy to the Air Force

Episode 27: From the Navy to Entrepreneurship

Episode 9: Seeing the World with the Navy

May 26, 2020
Women Who Gave the Ultimate Sacrafice
00:32:46

The stories are from WWI to Present Day

WWI

In 1917 the first two women of the US military killed in the line of duty. Army nurses Edith Ayres and Helen Wood were killed on May 20, 1917. They were with Base Hospital #12 aboard the USS Mongolia in route to France. The ship’s crew fired the deck guns during a practice drill and one of the guns exploded spewing shell fragments across the deck killing both women. 

WWII

Evelyn Genevieve “Sharpie” Sharp (October 1, 1919 – April 3, 1944)

Sharpie was one of the 38 women of the Women Air Force Service Pilots that gave their lives in service to the US Army Air Corps. You can hear more about their story and their fight to be recognized in my interview with the granddaughter of Elaine Harmond a WASP, Erin Miller in Episode 49.

Second Lieutenant Ruth M Gardiner (May 20, 1914 – July 27, 1943)

She was a nurse in the US Army Nurse Corps and was the first American nurse to lose her life in the line of duty during World War II.

Korea

Genevieve Marion Smith (April 25, 1905 – July 27, 1950) 

Although the former World War II Army nurse was due to retire in January 1951 after 22 years of military service, she accepted the position and sealed her destiny on a fatal air flight to Korea. On July 27, 1950, a three-man aircrew, twenty-two male passengers and one female--Genevieve Smith, left Haneda, Japan for a flight to Pusan, Korea in a C-47D.  They crashed and were lost at sea, there was only one survivor.

Lieutenant Wilma Ledbetter (April 27, 1912 – August 25, 1950)

Wilma Ledbetter was one of 15 women aboard the USS Benevolence. She died in when the USS Benevolence was rammed by the SS Mary Luckenbach and capsized.

Vietnam

First Lieutenant Sharon Ann Lane (July 7, 1943 – June 8, 1969) 

Though one of eight American military nurses who died while serving in Vietnam, Sharon Lane was the only American nurse killed as a direct result of hostile fire.

Gulf War

Specialist Christine Mayers (1978? - February 25, 1991) and Specialist Bevery Clark (1980? - February 25, 1991)

Specialist Christine Mayers and Specialist Bevery Clark were the first two woman to die in the support of Operation Desert Shield. They both died in an Iraqi Scud missile attack on their barracks in Saudi Arabia on Feb 25, 1991. 28 Americans died in the attack and 89 were wounded. 

Global War on Terrorism

Afghanistan

Sergeant Jeanette L. Winters (May 4, 1976 – Jan 9, 2002)

The first woman to die in the War on Terror was Jeanette Winters. She was a radio operator in the Marine Corps who was usually far from combat, but the KC-130 crashed on approach killing her and her crew.

Senior Airman Ashton LM Goodman (June 14, 1987 – May 26, 2009)

Ashton died in an IED attack outside Bagram Air Base with her commander Lt Col Mark E. Stratton II. She was part of the Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team.

First Lieutenant Ashley White (Sept 3, 1987 – October 22, 2011)

Ashley was assigned to a Cultural Support Team attached to a Joint Special Operations Task Force in Afghanistan. Because of the word attached women were able to be assigned to special operation teams. You can read more about Ashley’s story and all the women who served on Cultural Support Teams in the book Ashley’s War (affiliate link).

Iraq

Specialist Lori Piestewa (December 14, 1979 - March 23, 2003)

She is believed to be the first Native American woman to be killed in combat in a foreign war and was the first woman to die during the Iraq War and was a single mother of two young boys.

Corporal Jennifer Parcell (June 27, 1986 - February 7, 2007)

She was part of the Lioness Program, a program that uses female Marines from different military occupation specialties to search Iraqi women at check points.

Operation Inherent Resolve

Syria

Shannon Kent (1983 – January 16, 2019)

Shannon was a Navy cryptologist and mother of two. She was in Manbij, Syria responsible for finding ISIS cells and their leaders.

Mentioned in this episode:

Women in the military: Making waves since WWI

Women Airforce Service Pilots

Do You Know the Story of the Original Military Women Pilots? – Episode 49

Korean War Resources

Climbing the Ranks to Brigade General - Episode 65

Do You Know the Story of the Gulf War? Episode 57

Provincial Reconstruction Team

Ashley’s War

This episode is in memory of Luc Gruenther

May 19, 2020
How A Care Package Created A Business
00:47:12

This episode is sponsored by Ashleigh Magee Coaching. you’d like to learn more, send Ashleigh an email to admin@AshleighMaGee.com

Chelsea has received multiple recognition awards to include the Small Business Administration Person of the Year Award, Entrepreneurial Excellence Award, Cova Gives Back Award, Microsoft #EmpowerPossibility Award, Verizon Salute Award and Innovator of the Year.

She was planning to join the Navy and had started her officer package in her last year of college. But the recruiter she had been working with retired and didn’t submit her package and no one could find it. So even though she had her degree she decided to go for it and enlist in the Navy with the plans to transfer from enlisted to the Officer once she was in. But she didn’t know how hard that process would be. And by the time she completed her officer package she started Troopster. So it all worked out in the end.

She enjoyed boot camp and made good friends and she was really excited about her job as a photojournalist. She learned so much. One of the experiences she shared was going to a campground where half the team had paintball guns and the other half had cameras. They were instructed to “document the war” and then after an hour switched roles. 

Her first assignment was at Norfork in Virginia and it was “Big Navy’s” journalist portal, where journalists went to tell the Navy’s story. She wasn’t at Norfork for very long within weeks of arriving in Virginia she was headed out on her first deployment to Japan. She was attached to different ships to capture the story of the Navy. She was always coming and going. Gone for a few months, home for a few weeks and then heading back out again. She loved getting to capture the stories of the Navy and shared some of her favorites. 

But everything wasn’t easy. In 2013 onboard her seventh ship and for some reason she found herself integrated among the rest of the Public Affairs officers on the ship. This wasn’t the way it had been on her previous ships, but she worked around it. But she noticed everyone in the shop was extremely unhappy and she wasn’t sure why. But the leader of the section quickly showed why everyone was so upset. His demeanor and had tirades that made life hard for everyone. 

She decided to document everything and presented it to her Squadron Officer. He tried to handle the situation, but she got yelled at by the Chief and nothing changed. So she continued to document and then went back to her Squadron Officer and she brought someone with her, but they ended up being too afraid to speak up. He sent her back to the office and didn’t help with the situation. The whole situation tainted her experience in the Navy. No one seemed to care about the sailors on the ship.

As all this was going on she received a care package from her mom. When she opened it she found that everything had gone bad and it was like putting salt on an open wound. It was the final straw and she burst into tears. And then a week or so later she was in the library. She knew she had to do something else so she started Troopster. She didn’t want someone else to feel the way she did. And through a lot of hard work and daydreaming, she created Troopster.

On Thanksgiving Day in 2015, she launched her business. She had been thinking there was more to do, but her mom encouraged her to launch. She has learned a lot and continues to learn. They have sent more than 7,000 care packages around the world. It is grown so much and she loves her job.   

Connect with Chelsea:

www.troopster.org

LinkedIn

Mentioned in this episode:

Girls Guide to the Military

Email: Airmantomom@gmail.com

Related Episode:

From the Navy to Entrepreneurship Episode 27

From the Navy to the Air Force - Episode 15

Surviving Sexual Trauma in the Navy - Episode 26

May 12, 2020
A Combat Medic in Iraq in 2004 - Episode 73
00:41:34

This episode is sponsored by Ashleigh Magee Coaching. you'd like to learn more, send Ashleigh an email to admin@AshleighMaGee.com 

Jenny Pacanowski is a poet/combat veteran/facilitator/public speaker/playwright and curator. While in the Army she deployed to Iraq in 2004, Jenny was a combat medic and provided medical support for convoys with the Marines, Air Force, and the Army. She also did shifts in the Navy medical hospital. In Germany, she was part of a medical evacuation company. 
Jenny is the Founder and Director of Women Veterans Empowered & Thriving; a reintegration program that utilizes writing and performance to empower veterans to thrive in their daily life. 
Jenny collaborates with multiple organizations including colleges, universities, middle schools and theaters across the country. 

Mental Health in the Military

Jenny Pacanowski started her military career in 2003 as a way to pay off her student loans. Less than a year after going on active duty she found herself on her first combat deployment in Iraq as a combat medic. While in Iraq she provided medical support for convoys with the Marines, Air Force, and the Army. She also did shifts in the Navy medical hospital. Jenny shares a lasting memory where her convoy was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device and while waiting on a bridge on a night operation where they were almost hit the Marine convoy under the bridge with friendly fire. While home on Rest and Relaxation during her deployment, Jenny did her “goodbye tour.” She didn’t expect to come home from the second half of her deployment and made a point to see all the friends and family that she could while home. Saying goodbye to them, but not telling them of the danger she would be facing while going back to Iraq. While she was home from she also found out that the military would not pay off her student loans. 

This made her angry. And she contemplated not returning but felt compelled to return because she could not bear the thought of her comrades dying and her not being there to help. When the deployment was over she started to work to find out how to get the military to pay off the loans they had promised when she enlisted. She was able to transition to the Reserves and go back home where she got a lawyer and took up the fight for the military to pay back her loans. It eventually took a Congressional hearing for her loans to be paid off for time served. 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder grabs hold of Jenny

When she got back home she struggled with severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and began a very destructive lifestyle. It took years with the help of her parents, a private psychologist, the Veteran Affairs, and a writing workshop to help with her PTSD. And even after she began her road to recovery it took years before she finally woke up to the state her life had become. She talked about experiencing a life-changing moment while looking around at her situation and seeing her beat up arms. At that moment she said this has to change and it was at that point things started to change and she got a handle on her drug use and alcoholism. 

She is now a successful poet, public speaker, playwright, and curator. The work she is doing to help veterans and to build a bridge between the military and civilian divide is so important. It is changing people’s lives and changing their stories.

She tells young women considering joining the military to not get caught up in the recruiter glorification of the military. At the end of the day when you sign up to join the military, you are the military’s property. It requires a lot of sacrifices to be in the military. And if you have a family you are asking them to make sacrifices as well. It is important that you take a hard look at what the military has to offer and decide if it is the best choice for you. 

Connect with Jenny:
www.jennywarriorpoet.com

https://www.womenveteransempowered.org/

Related Episodes:

Being a Medic in the Air Force - Episode 24

Overcoming Adversity in the Army - Episode 45

Overcoming PTSD and What’s Next - Episode 11

Additional Mental Health Resources:

Dear Air Force Leadership You Are Missing the Point

Changing the Conversation about Mental Health

Veterans Affairs Mental Health

May 05, 2020
Sharing the Stories of Military Women - Episode 72
00:47:46

This episode is sponsored by Ashleigh Magee Coaching. you'd like to learn more, send Ashleigh an email to admin@AshleighMaGee.com 

-AND-

This episode is sponsored by Insure the Heroes. Call Melissa at 1-844-514-LIFE or head over to her website to get a free quote today.

Kia is the creator and host of The Female Veterans Podcast. She served as a Naval Hospital Corpsman from 1994 to 1999 and inactive reserve from 1999 to 2001. She has an MBA in Finance and Accounting. Currently, she is working on founding Artemisia with the mission of helping homeless female veterans.

Kia never wanted to join the military. But her mom said they didn’t have money for college and it would give Kia a firm foundation for her life. She agreed to join the military, but she did not follow her mother’s recommendation to join the Army and instead enlisted in the Navy.

She went to Naval Station Great Lakes for boot camp and was one of the first integrated companies that included both men and women. She enjoyed her time at boot camp she grew up in a strict household and actually felt more freedom within the constraints of bootcamp and she thrived on the structure. Her tech school was also at Naval Station Great Lakes. She met two women and they hoped they could be stationed together for their first assignment so instead of picking California or Hawaii they all three tried to stay at Naval Station Great Lakes. Two out of three women were able to stay there. They never talked to the third woman as the lost communication when she moved.

She said her time in the military was great up until the day it wasn’t. There were “shenanigans” that happened that colored her experience. She joined at nineteen and had an idealistic view of the world. Her first job was great. She was briefing new students for A-School and C-School and loved it. But her roommate began to change over the months and she was worried about the changes happening. She finally got her to confide in her that she was being harassed at work by a male service member. No one wanted to help. Eventually she attempted suicide and then they finally moved her to a new office where she began to thrive, but she had already started the process to get out of the Navy.

Kia also decided to leave the military when her enlistment was up. She was married and she and her husband moved to Arizona for a year, but she didn’t like it. She began working in the corporate world after leaving in the military and initially had success. But a few years later she found herself jobless, penniless and about to be homeless by her husband. She was able to get help from others and didn’t end up being homeless, but this experience brought her back to the military community and changed her for the better.

Today she helps other veterans and she started a podcast to help share the stories of military women. It is called The Female Veteran Podcast there she shares the good and the bad of military life from the perspective of the women she interviews on the podcast. It is exciting to see the work she is doing and you should go check out her podcast today!

She says the military did give her a firm foundation and she recommends doing your research if you are considering joining the military. Check out the Reserve Officer Training Corps programs or other officer programs and talk to other women and hear their experiences on both the Women of the Military and The Female Veteran Podcast. 

Connect with Kia:

The Female Veteran Podcast Website

The Female Veteran Podcast  on Anchor

The Female Veteran Podcast on Apple

Instagram

Twitter

Related Episodes:

Surviving Military Sexual Trauma in the Navy – Episode 26

Giving Back After Service to Find Healing – Episode 56

Seeing the World with the US Navy – Episode 9

Apr 28, 2020
Weapons System Officer in the Air Force - Episode 71
00:39:15

This episode is sponsored by Ashleigh Magee Coaching. you'd like to learn more, send Ashleigh an email to admin@AshleighMaGee.com 

Bio:

Vanessa served in the US Air Force on active duty for 10 years as a Weapons System Officer/Electronic Warfare Officer in the F-15E Strike Eagle. She completed back to back deployments supporting Operation Enduring Freedom and flew over 100 combat missions. She also flew with the Navy in the EA-6B Prowler. Currently she is serving in the Air Force Reserves and owns her own fitness and health coaching business. She is also a motivational speaker with a group called Athena's Voice, work part time at the local CrossFit gym is a mom of two (six  and eight) and a military spouse.

Summary:

Vanessa started looking into Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) so that she could go to college farther away from her hometown. She received a four-year scholarship with a major in Meteorology. But she considered Combat Weather, but many of the roles within the career field were off limits to women so that discouraged her from applying. She thought it would be fun to fly in jets, but with bad vision she knew becoming a pilot wasn’t an option so took a strike navigator spot.

As well as she did in ROTC, flight school did not come naturally and she had to work really hard to graduate. Classes didn’t click the way she hoped and she also felt a lot of pressure being one of very few females to perform well. Then she had an unexplained medical issue. Where pressure would build up randomly in her head during take off and make it hard to perform her duties. She powered through the pain and with different aircraft had less issues and it began happening it less and she was always able to perform her duties when it did.

She was able to get through flight school and training and ended up in the 335th Fighter Squadron. She was one of two females, but had a great tribe of people to support her through. When she deployed, she ended up being the only female aircrew on that deployment.  Her first deployment was in 2008. There was a lot of training after flight school to prepare for the deployment and as tactics and strategies changed the training would continue to change and expand. She said if you are done with school after graduating and don’t want to continue learning then being a Weapon System Officer isn’t for you.

She arrived in Afghanistan in January and it was cold and there wasn’t a lot of fighting going on, but as the weather got warmer so did the action on the ground and their role in the sky. Some missions there was nothing significant to report and others had a lot more going on. She had so many great stories from her experience and some sobering moments. 

One of the challenges she faced was being assaulted by an instructor. She didn’t report it for fear of rumors and feeling like it would be an added pressure. So she stuffed it down deep inside of her and kept pressing forward. She made it to graduation and graduated #3 of 13 and got her top pick for her aircraft. They were at the bar celebrating. She was sober because she had her guard up from when she was assaulted and had wanted to be the watcher to protect herself and others. One of the instructors flipped her zipper on her flight suit near her chest and she kept a calm face, but inside she was angry. Upset that he thought it was okay to touch her, but once again she didn’t say anything. 

But she made a promise that she wouldn’t be silent the next time and that also led to her to start to speak up for women when things were said about them when they were not there. When a new woman came to the squadron there would always be rumors and people knew that they were coming and when. So, she would speak up for the woman and be her voice before she even arrived. When she had a job interviewing cadet at the Academy, she would always tell young women after the interview was over that they don’t have to do things because someone out ranks you, or intimidates you. “You can always say no.”

She met her husband during flight school. He was in the Navy and they dated for a few years before getting married. It was challenging to be stationed at different bases, but the did actually have their deployments overlap in Afghanistan and got to run mission together and spend time together. When she had children and was given a new assignment away from her husband she decided to switch from active duty to Reserves. This allowed her to continue to serve in the military while also having the flexibility to take care of her children and support her husband. 

Connect with Vanessa:

Instagram
https://www.sirenstrong.com
Athena’s Voice

Related Episodes:

Palace Chase to Active Duty: Episode 69

When Public Affairs Changed: Episode 67

Giving Back After Service: Episode 56

Apr 21, 2020
Sharing the History of Military Women - Episode 70
00:40:45

This episode is sponsored by Insure the Heroes Inc. Call Melissa at 1-844-514-LIFE or head over to her website to get a free quote today.

Major General Mari K. Eder is a retired U.S. Army Major General, a renowned speaker and author, and a thought leader on strategic communication and leadership. General Eder is the former Commanding General of the U.S. Army Reserve Joint and Special Troops Support Command, former Deputy Chief of the Army Reserve and former Deputy Chief of Public Affairs for the U.S. Army. She was the closing keynote speaker at WIN Summit 2018 and recipient of the 2018 Trailblazer Award.

General Eder is the author of “Leading the Narrative: The Case for Strategic Communication,” published by the Naval Institute Press. Out soon, her new book is titled: Step Out of Line, Ladies: Stories of Courage, Sacrifice, and Grit – the Women of WWII.

General Eder has served as Director of Public Affairs at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies and as an adjunct professor and lecturer in communications and public diplomacy at the NATO School and Sweden’s International Training Command. She speaks and writes frequently on communication topics in universities and for international audiences.

She is a trustee with the U.S. Army War College Foundation and has served as a senior advisor and Director with the Foundation for Self-Government, and as a communications expert for the Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General.

Summary:

Mari joined the Army to get out of her small town. She had wanted to be in Public Affairs, but she started out in the Signal Corp. She served on active duty for her first tour then left the military. 

She missed being part of the military and was able to go back into the Reserves and because of her civilian career was able to work in the Pubic Affairs area that she wanted to be in since when she joined the military. She talked about the challenges of balancing the Reserves and a civilian career. She learned times when she needed to focus more on her civilian job and other times she needed to focus on her military career. 

One of the hardest times was when she was working full time and also attending Air War College via distance learning. She said she quickly learned to write the papers first so she could have a two week break instead of using the two weeks to write a paper and never get a break.

Her goal was to make it to the rank of Colonel (O-6) and when she was selected for Brigadier General she was surprised and honored. She was promoted to Major General and with 36 years of service it was time to retire. She had her change of command and then a few weeks later had her retirement ceremony. She had given so much of herself to the Army when she finally was done her body was tired and she got sick. She said she was barely there for her retirement ceremony and slowly began the transition to civilian. We also talked about being invisible after leaving the military and how sometimes our voices are not heard because we are overlooked for our gender.

She wanted to do something different after leaving the military so she has become an author. She loves reading and learning about the history of military women and after reading a few books (links below) about military women she decided to write her own book. She told so many stories of military women throughout history that I either didn’t know about or had only learned about after starting the podcast. There is a rich history of women who have come before and women who continue to make changes for the military and the women who follow in their footsteps.

She encourages women to join the military even if it is only for a few years. Do your research and pick the right branch and job for you (need help? check out this free guide). The military can open so many doors and will change you as a person. 

Mentioned in this episode (contains affiliate links):

Female Veteran: The Struggles Don't End When You Leave

Register Women in Military Service for America

Women of The War: Their Heroism And Self-Sacrifice

Final Fight, Final Flight by Erin Miller

The Hello Girls

Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II

Related Episode:

The First Women Pilots in the Army – Erin Miller (Episode 49)

Being a Cook in the Coast Guard – Ginny (Episode 18)

Climbing the Ranks to Brigadier General – Wilma Vaught (Episode 65)

Connect with Mari:

LinkedIn

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above

Kevin Barba

Apr 14, 2020
Palace Chase from Active Duty to Reserves - Episode 69
00:23:29

This episode is sponsored by Insure the Heroes. Call Melissa at 1-844-514-LIFE or head over to her website to get a free quote today.

Cassandra served in the US Air Force 3 years Active Duty followed by 5 years Reserves. She transitioned out of active duty through the Palace Chase program to the Reserves. She then transitioned from the Reserves to a civilian working full time with the Reserve unit as an Air Reserve Technician. She worked in Health Services Management while in the Air Force.

She transitioning from Active Duty to Reserve (Palace Chase program) then ultimately Reserve to the civilian sector. The Palace Chase program allows you to leave active duty and double your active duty service commitment and complete it through the Reserves. She and her boyfriend were separated and she didn’t like where she was living so she was able to use Palace Chase to move to Arizona. First, Davis-Mothan and then Luke AFB. One of the programs she used when she was in was being an Air Reserves Technician (ART), which allowed her to work full time in the Reserves unit as a civilian and also drill.

She eventually married her boyfriend and became a military spouse, Reserves service member and worked full time. A few years later when it was time to move to the next base she decided to step away from being in the Reserves. She was pregnant with her second child and decided that starting over at a new assignment would be easier without the responsibility of being in the Reserves.

She talked about how serving in the Reserves was a good transition out of the military for her. It wasn’t as dramatic as leaving straight from active duty. She was ready to leave when it was time to move. She also talked about how she was able to find a remote job and move it with her at her next assignment and how much easier it was to be a military spouse with that flexibility.

Connect with Cassie:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/cassandralmartin/

Related Episodes:

Giving Back After Serving - Episode 56

From Military Spouse to Military Officer - Episode 17

Transitioning from the National Guard Isn't the Same - Episode 59

 

Apr 07, 2020
Mutt's Sauce - Changing one Airman's Story - Episode 68
00:35:49

This episode is sponsored by Nomades and Insure the Heroes Inc.

Charlynda Scales is a TEDx speaker, brand ambassador, Air Force Veteran, social media influencer, and the founder and CEO of Mutt’s Sauce, LLC, a company that makes “the sauce for every meal.” Mutt's Sauce was the Grand Prize Winner of Bob Evan's Farms' 2017 Heroes to CEOs Contest.

In this episode, Amanda chats with fellow Air Force veteran, Charlynda Scales. Charlynda shares her journey to joining the military and her experience as a female service member.

Growing up, service was a part of Charlynda’s family culture. Every generation had at least one person who served. After her cousin who served in the United States Marine Corps got hurt, the baton passed to Charlynda. She filled out an ROTC application form on a whim. Much to her surprise, she received a full scholarship to the college of her choice - on the Air Force’s dime.

Starting ROTC

Charlynda was a freshman at Clemson on September 11, 2001. She tells us how that terrible event shaped her time in ROTC, and ultimately, her time in the military. She walks us through her role as a service member and shares some encouragement for anyone who feels like their job isn’t very important. Sometimes you feel like the work you are doing isn't important because it isn't the out in the front or even overseas fighting the fight. But every job in the Air Force is important for the mission and the mission can't happen without everyone doing their part.

Mutt Sauce

We also hear how Charlynda started her company (Mutt’s Sauce, which is so good!) and what motivated her to make the transition from active duty to reserves. She keeps it real for us and talks about how it was hard to hang up her uniform (if only temporarily). And she also fills us in on some of the challenges that come with life as a Reservist. She serves as an Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) in the Reserves which is a different type of service than the typical one weekend a month two weeks a year. Instead, she backfills different positions for various lengths of time. 

And lastly, we hear all about what’s coming up next for Charlynda, as well as hear her encouragement and words of wisdom to fellow women who are considering taking the leap and pursuing a career in the military. This episode is full of information and rock-solid advice, so you definitely don’t want to miss it! After you listen, make sure to find Charlynda on social media so you can keep up with her and all things Mutt’s Sauce!

Listen to the whole episode here.

Connect with Charlynda:

Mutt's Sauce website: www.muttssauce.com

Mutt's Social Media: @muttssauce (Twitter, Instagram),  

Charlynda Scales website: www.charlyndajean.com

Charlynda Social Media: @charlyndajean (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

Mentioned in this episode:

Air Force ROTC

7 Things I Wish I Knew Before Joining the Air Force

Related Episodes:

From the Navy to the Air Force - Episode 15 (IMA)

Helping Others After Service - Episode 44 (Reserves)

From the Navy to Entrepreneurship - Episode 27

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above: Kevin Barba

Mar 31, 2020
When Public Affairs Changed - Epiosde 67
00:34:56

This episode is sponsored by Insure the Heroes Inc.

Bio: Lesley was raised on a farm in Ohio, I grew up learning how to milk goats. She accepted a Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship to Boston University as a method of escaping Ohio. After graduating with a degree in General Management she started her career driving warships for the Navy. After three years in the Navy's Surface Warfare community, she was selected as one of the Navy's 200 public affairs officers. She had opportunities to collaborate and lead major Navy outreach opportunities including New York City Fleet Week and ended her active career in the Navy standing up the Navy's social media program. She had a brief stint as a community manager for SocialMedia.org and then was blessed to be introduced to the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA). It was her pleasure to serve as the association's Community Manager, Director of Member Engagement, Marketing Director and Executive Director. She is currently Director of Marketing at South Bay Hospital.

As part of her Navy Reserve obligations, she deployed to Afghanistan in 2018 for a nine-month mobilization in support of U.S. and NATO military operations. She struggled in her transition back following her reserve mobilization. She is currently an active reserve Navy Commander with 18.5 years in the Navy. In June she left her role with CXPA and she is now working with her husband to launch a gym and personal training business in their new home in Florida. On the home front, she spends time fundraising for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, participating as a leader in her church and is a wife and mother of four young children.

Connect with Lesley:

www.lesleylykins.com

Twitter

 LinkedIn

Related Episodes:

Episode 66: Sacrificing at War and Home

Episode 59: Transitioning from the National Guard Isn't the Same

Episode 44: Serving Others After Service

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above

Kevin Barba

Mar 24, 2020
Sacraficing At War and Home
00:25:52

This episode is sponsored by Insure the Heroes Inc.

Trina L. Martin is an author, inspirational speaker, and personal development coach who inspires emerging leaders to pursue their wildest dreams with heart and grit. An accomplished and dedicated member of the U.S. military for nearly 30 years, she has broken barriers and made strides in her career that many said weren’t possible. She has had a stellar 20-year career in the Information Technology field.

Trina is the host of the weekly unscripted inspirational podcast Trina Talk, where she speaks to leaders, business owners, authors, coaches and everyday people from around the world on their successes and failures to motivate and inspire listeners to strive for the next level in their lives.

In this episode, we talk about her experience of joining the Army, switching to the Navy. Working to gain her commission in the Navy to become an officer and deploying after September 11th and leaving behind two young children. We also talked about how Reserve duty can sometimes encroach more on your life than the one weekend a month.

Connect with Trina"

Website: www.trinamartin.com

Podcast: http://bit.ly/TrinaTalk

Related Episodes:

10 Things I learned from Deployment

The Struggle of Coming Home

A Deployed Mom's Experience

Giving Back After Service (from active duty Navy to Reserves)

Read the transcript here.

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above

Kevin Barba

Mar 17, 2020
Climbing the Ranks to Brigadier General - Episode 65
00:49:59

This episode is sponsored by Insure the Heroes Inc.

Retired Air Force Brigadier General Wilma L. Vaught served in the United States Air Force for over 28 years, retiring in 1985 as one of the most highly decorated women in U.S. history. Throughout her career, General Vaught forged new paths and pioneered opportunities for the servicewomen who would follow. A Vietnam veteran, she was one of the few military women in that war who were not nurses. And, when she was promoted to brigadier general in 1980, she was one of a handful of women in the world who had ever achieved that distinction.

While her military accomplishments are extraordinary, General Vaught's most lasting contribution will be her successful efforts related to the Women In Military Service For America Memorial where she was the driving force that built and now operates the $22.5 million memorial. For her official military bio, click here.

Mentioned in this episode

1948 Integration Act

1967 Women’s service act

2016 Women in Combat change

Women In Military Service for America Memorial Registration

Gen Wilma Vaught Ceremony at WIMSA

Read the full transcript here.

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above

Kevin Barba

Mar 10, 2020
10 Things I Learned from Deployment - Episode 64
00:37:41

This episode is sponsored by Insure the Heroes Inc.

10 years ago, this month, I stepped out of a C-130 and onto the flight line at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. I was about to begin my nine-month deployment to Afghanistan, but the truth was my journey to Afghanistan had actually begun four months earlier when I began my combat skills training in Indiana. The training and deployment ended up lasting 361 days.

For this episode, I wanted to talk about what I learned during my training, deployment, coming home and by coming home, I don't usually mean immediately coming home, but years. Going to Afghanistan for me had a huge impact on my life. Before I had kids, I could say there was the Amanda before Afghanistan and the Amanda after Afghanistan. Now there is this window between when I got home from Afghanistan. After being home and how those experiences still affected my life, even though I had been home for years and when I had kids, and then my life kind of changed all over again. But definitely my deployment has played a huge role in who I am today and where I am right now.

See the full transcript on the blog here.

Mentioned in this Episode:

Episode 2, Amanda Huffman, AF Civil Engineer – Women of the Military Podcast

Letters Home from my Deployment

Compassion International

Food for the Hungry

Help One Now

Kiva

Changing the Conversation About Mental Health

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above

Kevin Barba


Mar 03, 2020
Satellite Communications and Beyond - Episode 63
00:35:10

This episode is sponsored by Insure the Heroes Inc.

Angela served in the United States Air Force from 1998 – 2014. She worked in Satellite Communications for most of her career. During her time in the military, she deployed to Iraq and various other deployments. She also was married to a Marine and they found the struggles of being dual military within different services a challenge. After getting divorced year later she married a fellow Air Force member. They both left with early retirement with the growing stresses of having a family and both serving active duty. After retiring from active duty, she became an attorney in Florida.

Read the whole transcript here.

Mentioned in the is episode:

Going through MEPS in the Air Force - Episode 34

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above

Kevin Barba

Feb 25, 2020
From Refueling Missions to The Transportation of Remains - Episode 62
00:42:20

This episode is sponsored by Insure the Heroes

Samantha Gassman served eight years in the Air Force as a Special Operations Instructor Navigator (1,600 flight hours, 305 combat). During her time in the Air Force, she deployed to Afghanistan and Africa in support of OPERATION Enduring Freedom. She is the recipient of the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, AF Special Operations Command Company Grade Officer of the Year Award, Institute of Navigation Superior Achievement Award and the Brigadier General Ross G. Hoyt Award.
Currently, she is a Human Resources Operations Manager at a major defense company. Samantha is also a children's book writer and is seeking literary representation.
She lives with her active-duty husband, toddler son, and two naughty cats in Wichita Falls, Texas.

Samantha learned about the Reserve Officer Training Corps Program when she was flipping through a college magazine. She thought it was interesting and wanted to learn more. When she did she found out she could try out the military for a few years while in college with no commitment and if she liked the ROTC training she could continue and become an officer in the Air Force. It felt like a win-win. She ended up loving the program and ran into one problem. Even though she had spent a good portion of her life in America she wasn’t actually an American citizen. To be an American military officer you must be an American citizen.

She became a naturalized citizen while attending college and ROTC and was able to get her citizenship before the end of her sophomore year so she could attend Field Training, which is the summer boot camp for officers who are working to be officers in the US Air Force.

While you are attending ROTC you have the option to apply to be a part of the flying community (rated officers). She was interested in flying and decided to apply to be a pilot or navigator. So when she graduated from college she became an officer in the Air Force and headed to San Antonio to learn to be a navigator on a heavy aircraft. It took about two years to complete her training as a navigator before she went off to be a navigator in the operational Air Force.

Her next base was in Japan. She was there for three years. She got to travel a lot around Japan on her own personal travel and for what the military calls work trips or Temporary Duty (TDYs). She also deployed to Afghanistan. While deployed there are two navigators. One for navigating the plane to the destination and the second working on the electronic warfare aspect. When she was in Afghanistan it was a pretty dangerous time to be there and they had multiple threats while flying various missions. She also deployed to Africa.

Mentioned in this episode:

https://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/22/world/africa/south-sudan.html

You can read the whole interview here.

Thank you to my Patreon Supporters! And thanks to Kevin Barba for sponsoring at the Colonel Level! Do you want to support Women of the Military Podcast? Check out how you can here.

Feb 18, 2020
Working on Jet Engines in the Air Force - Episode 61
00:24:20

This episode is sponsored by Insure the Heroes

Jenny served in the Air Force for six years as an Aerospace Propulsion specialist (Maintenance). She decided not to reenlist in early 2019. She is currently working toward her degree and is married to someone still serving in the military and they have one child.

She wishes she could say she joined for patriotic reasons. But the truth is she didn’t have money for college and learned that if she served one commitment on active duty, she would qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill and would be able to go to school. She was excited about the opportunity to learn a new career field and if it didn’t work out having the option to leave the military behind and pursue her degree.

She first worked on B-1 engines at Ellsworth Air Force Base and then was transferred to Nellis Air Force Base where she worked on F-16 engines. She preferred the F-16, mainly because it was a newer aircraft and it was easier to get the parts they needed to maintain the aircraft.

She deployed twice in support of the B-1 aircraft. She went to Qatar and Guam. The Maintenance teams deploy with the aircraft they maintain just like the pilots. So, when her team deployed with the aircraft she went too. Her job was fairly similar to home station as it was overseas. Maintaining the engines and making sure to make the flying requirements for her aircraft. But she did face sexual harassment when a Staff Sargent (E-5) made up rumors that she was sleeping with various people. She was deployed with her boyfriend and now husband.

When her cross-training window opened she applied to switch out of the Maintenance career field, but faced an unfair evaluation and ended up filing an Inspector General (IG) complaint on bias and racism. She was unable to get support from her leadership and nothing came of her complaint. She was pregnant when all of this happened and she decided to drop her case instead of pursuing alternate methods and she is happy she walked away and let it be.

When she wasn’t able to cross-train, she decided to separate when her commitment was up, about six months after her daughter was born. She is currently using her Post 9/11 GI Bill to go to school to be a veterinarian and stays at home with her daughter.

Thanks to Kevin Barba for his Patreon Sponsorship

Feb 11, 2020
Q & A with 'The Spouse Angle' host Natalie Gross - Episode 60
00:40:06

Natalie and I thought it would be fun to do an interview back and forth asking questions from listeners. I enjoyed the mix of questions ranging from personal life, military experience, and podcasting. And if you haven't had a chance to check out The Spouse Angle go check it out now.

Mentioned in this episode:

Women of the Military Patreon Site

Are you thinking of starting a podcast? Get your free 1 week trial with Squadcast to start recording episodes today

Squadcast

Thank you to my Patreon Supporter:

Kevin Barba

Feb 04, 2020
Transitioning from the National Guard Isn't the Same - Episode 59
00:32:24

Sara McMurrough is a veteran of the Army National Guard and a military spouse. She began her service as an enlisted soldier in the delayed entry program in 1998, while finishing her senior year of high school. While attending Penn State, Sara deployed to Bosnia from 2002 to 2003. She later worked as a Gold Bar Recruiter for Penn State’s Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program, before moving to Arizona for Military Intelligence training, where she met her husband. With 20 years of military service, both as a service member and then as a military spouse, and over 10 years of cleared recruiting experience, Sara enjoys helping veteran job seekers advance their careers, in her current role as an Account Manager at ClearedJobs.Net.

A recruiter called Sara at home and she decided to join the National Guard while still attending high school. Two weeks after graduating from high school and with about a year of drilling one weekend a month she headed off to basic training. She was a supply troop but didn’t like it and when given the opportunity to switch to be a signal troop for her deployment to Bosnia she took it and reclassed into her new career field and completed the training needed before leaving.

It was interesting to be in Bosnia and have her daily life as being part of the Army and completing her job for the mission. She mentioned being one of few females and not having any major issues, but using opportunities like runs and ruck marches to prove herself. She always did her job and worked hard and that helped her through the deployment.

After returning home she looked into ROTC at Penn State and began participating in the program while still drilling on weekends in the National Guard. She commissioned into the Signal Branch because she had been doing that as an enlisted member and quickly discovered it wasn’t a good fit. She was able to get transferred to Military Intelligence and in the nine months between when she commissioned and her training took place she was able to work at Penn State recruiting students into the ROTC program.

After ROTC recruitment she went to her Advanced Training for Military Intelligence. Someone joked she might meet her future husband there, but Sara had no plan of that. But she met her husband through a group of friends that started hanging out during training. He noticed her because of her leadership and how smart she was.

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor:

Kevin Barba

Jan 28, 2020
Overcoming Rape in the Military - Episode 58
00:47:50

Ruthie served in the US Army for 8.5 years. She was stationed in California, Kentucky, Georgia, and Texas. She also did a 12-month tour in Afghanistan. she separated from the Army as a Staff Sergeant (E-6) in 2015. After staying at home for several months, she went back to work as a federal contractor in Maryland.

When she became pregnant with her fourth child, she decided to start freelance writing on the side. Closer to her delivery date, she decided she wanted to quit my job and grow her business full time. Now, she runs a boutique content marketing agency called Defy The Status Quo.

Ruthie was planning to go to college and focus on language, but during her senior year of high school, she decided to take the Armed Service Vocational Aptitude and Battery (ASVAB) test because her school was offering it and she thought why not. She did so well that all the recruiters for all the branches came to her house to try and recruit her. She quickly decided not to join the Navy or Marines because they chop off your hair. She didn’t want to do Air Force because her older brother was already serving in the Air Force and even though she wasn’t serious about joining she consistently talked to the Army recruiter. He told her about a program to learn a language in California. This piqued her interest and brought her to the Army.

She went to Army Basic Training and then followed that by going to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California. She was there for just over a year followed by six months of technical training in Texas. Then she headed to Arizona for four months before arriving at her first duty station in Kentucky. Six months later she deployed to Afghanistan.

She faced a number of struggles while deployed. But she survived and made it back home. Transitioning back to normal life was hard, but she was able to adjust. And although things from her deployment still linger she is doing well today.

Next, we talked about the struggle she faced while serving in the military. She was raped twice. The first time it was her boyfriend who didn’t stop when she said no. She got him to confess when she reported it, but the case file was destroyed and he ended up only receiving a Letter of Reprimand in his file. The second time it was after her deployment, the night she got home. She partied with those who had come home and she forgot to lock her door and he came in and raped her. She decided not to report the incident because of how the first case had gone.

Years later when a young lady was being sexually harassed, she initially was going to tell her the system didn’t work but realized she could be her champion and was willing to support her with every means she could. Everything worked as it was supposed to and he lost his job and it was nice to see the system actually work.

If you have been raped or assaulted or are looking for support in a current situation please email me at airmantomom at gmail dot com so that I can help you find support. I have a huge network of military veterans and service members willing to help women who need support in their military journey.

And if you haven’t had a chance to listen to Ruthie’s story on the podcast you can check it out here.

Connect with Ruthie:

https://defythestatuquo.com

Thank you to my patreon sponsor:

Kevin Barba

Jan 21, 2020
Serving During Operation Desert Storm - Episode 57
00:46:10

Angela joined the National Guard as a cook and then headed off to basic training the summer between her junior and senior year of high school. She realized after basic training that being a cook wasn’t what she wanted to do. She couldn’t get out of that career field because she had received a bonus on her enlistment. She looked into going active duty, joining the Marines, but nothing panned out. She did get to switch from being a cook to water purification.

The National Guard was in charge of primarily all the water purification for the Army so they were required to head to Camp Pendleton in California each year for training. She had been working in that job in the National Guard for about two years when Sadam Husain invaded Kuwait. They were immediately set on high alert with the expectation they would be deploying soon. The North Dakota National Guard had not been called up for a deployment for over 30 years so everyone was surprised, but also ready to meet the needs of the Army. They were mobilized and sent to Fort McCoy in Wisconsin for training and soon after arriving they were sent to Kuwait. One of the first to be deployed to Kuwait for Operation Desert Storm.

It was pretty shocking to deploy and to be one of the first to leave was even more unexpected. She said there was a lot of learning as you went and making due with what you had. Luckily, they deployed with their vehicles and were very fortunate to have their trucks. So many other people did not deploy with vehicles.

Her unit was small and made up of people who grew up together so she described it like the Brady Bunch going to war. She said there were sibling rivalry and other squabbles, but they were also a tight-knit group. But the six girls were often given the hard jobs that no one wanted to do and none of the guys were willing to help them put up their tent so it caused animosity between the group.

While they were acclimating to their new environment their Sargent found them a job to do. They were training people on how to use a Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit (ROWPU) which turns salt water or dirty water to drinking water. They left the nasty camp they were at and headed to the Persian Gulf for training. She said it was beautiful.

Her job overseas was to distribute out the water. They had to use so much chlorine to treat the water that they found their water sources somewhere else. They were lucky because they were at a base and had another supply point.

They were pretty far North and the Iraqis that were near them had been cut off from supplies so they surrendered and they didn’t have to worry about that threat. But they did have to worry about chemical attacks and were constantly in their chemical gear. And one time a chemical plant was attached and after 3 days they told them they could take off their chemical protection gear because it wasn’t too bad. But it doesn’t mean there were no health issues caused by deploying for Operation Desert Storm.

Coming home was a difficult transition. Honking horns had meant to get into MOPP gear and that was a daily part of life at home. And it was also so quiet. After being deployed and having constant noise ranging from generators, and other random noises to complete quiet was difficult. She also talked about the lack of reintegration and not having anyone to talk to about her experience.

She was one of the first to come home from her deployment. The unit had been picked to be part of a parade to celebrate the end of the war, but their plane got a fuel leak and they had to stop in Maine for repairs and missed the parade.

Mentioned in this Episode:

Nice Girls Don’t Join the Military

Thank you to my Patreon Supporters: Kevin Barba (Colonel)

Jan 14, 2020
Giving Back After Service to Find Healing - Episode 56
00:36:41

Nicole Terwey is a Lieutenant and an Intelligence Officer in the Navy Reserves in Nashville, TN. She completed eight and a half years of active duty service in the Electronic Warfare community and earned her master’s degree in Organizational Leadership before building the next chapter of her life as a certified Life Coach, Weight Coach, and Fitness Coach.

She decided to join the military because her mom suggests she attend a military academy. She applied and got accepted to the prep school for the Army, Navy and Air Force. She picked the Navy and was happy with her choice. We talked about what prep school was like and how it was different from the four years she spent at the Naval Academy as a cadet.

She was going to be a pilot, but when she was in the process of taking the introductory course to be a pilot. She realized it was not a good fit for her. She looked into cross-training into the Intelligence community and was able to switch. Her first two tours were at Whidbey Island and then she was sent to Pearl Harbor.

She and her husband met at the Naval Academy and dated long distance for years before getting married and then being stationed together at Pearl Harbor. They enjoyed being together and when it was time for the next assignment, they knew they would end up being separated. Even if one person stayed in there would still be deployments and training causing separation. They decided to leave the Navy behind together so they could start the next phase of their life.

The transition out of military life was hard. They missed the community they had while serving. They rediscovered that community and purpose through serving in various veteran organizations in their new hometown of Nashville. This was an important step in the healing process after leaving the military behind. We talked a lot about the importance of mindset and she shared her goal of creating a program that starts in Bootcamp to help to make good choices while in and preparing you when you transition out.

She ended the interview by asking women to think about how serving makes you feel. This can be directed to young women looking to join or those who have left the military behind. Use that feeling to drive you in your journey and help it to guide you with each step you take.

Want to Support Women of the Military Podcast? Check out my Patreon site where you can directly support me in my mission to share the stories of military women.

Thank you to all my Patreons, especially Kevin Barba (Colonel)


Jan 07, 2020
Top Most Played Episodes of 2019 - Episode 55
00:40:49

What are the top most popular episodes from 2019? Check out my latest episode where I share the five most downloaded episodes of 2019. The stories range from Air Force to Coast Guard and Marines, including a few of my solo episodes. You have to listen to the whole episode to hear what episodes were the most popular in 2019.

Thanks to my sponsor Insure the Heroes. Do you need life insurance? Head over to Melissa's website or call her at 1-844-514-LIFE to get a free quote today!

Thank you to my patron Col and General Sponsors:

Kevin Barba

Want to support Women of the Military? Check out my patron site where you can start supporting Women of the Military Podcast! When I get 100 patron sponsors I will start producing two shows a week.

Dec 31, 2019
How Far Women of the Military Podcast Has Come - Bonus - Episode 54
00:27:40

Here are the five goals for the Women of the Military Podcast I set for 2019:

#1 Launch Women of the Military Podcast

#2 Share 52 Stories of Military Women

#3 Having a wide variety of stories and branches

#4 Have a General Officer and a World War II Veteran on the Podcast

- Episode 41: 23rd Secretary of the Air Force

- Episode 50: Erin Miller, granddaughter of WWII WASP

#5 10,000 downloads for Women of the Military Podcast

Goals for 2020:

#1 52 Episodes (plus a minimum of 4 bonus episodes for Patreon Members)

#2 Launch Patreon Sponsorship and have a regular income of $500, click here to become a Women of the Military Patreon sponsor

- First two sign ups:

Ginger Miller Women Veteran Interactive

Kevin Barba The Unwavering

#3 Continue to interview a variety of guest

#4 Hit 25,000 downloads before the end of 2020

#5 Bring in $10K in sponsorship for the Podcast

Patron supporter shout out:

Kevin Barba

Dec 24, 2019
Being A Counterintelligence Agent in the Army - Episode 53
00:40:16

This episode was sponsored by Insure the Heroes call Melissa at 1-844-514-LIFE to get a free quote.

Maureen Elias served in the US Army from 2001-2006 as a counterintelligence agent. She met and married the love of her life while in advanced individual training and they just celebrated their 18-year anniversary. They have three children.

Maureen didn’t have a military influence growing up, her grandfather and step-grandfather both served in the military, but were out before she was ever born. She did have a chance to visit the officer club or shop on base with her grandfathers, that was the extent of military exposure. She graduated high school at seventeen and thought about joining the Navy, but her mom wouldn’t sign the paperwork to allow her to join as a minor. She decided to try out college. It wasn’t the right fit for her. She tried a litany of jobs before deciding to check out the military again. She went back to the military after looking into joining the FBI and finding out that if she served as a counterintelligence agent for 5 years in the military, she could waive her college requirement. She did well enough on the ASVAB so she went to the recruiter and signed up and was gone ten days later.

She met and married her husband while at Advanced Individual Training (AIT). They had to convince the Chaplin to marry them and required them to go through premarital counseling before they could get married.

They were able to get a join spouse assignment and their first base was in Germany. Being in Germany was hard because she was so close to her family and now was so far away. But she loved her job and had so many great opportunities that she was able to make the most of. And being so far away from family ended up being a good thing because she and her husband had to rely on each other to get through it and it was able to build a strong foundation for their marriage.

They also had their two children while living in Germany. They had discussed if she should get out or stay in and they decided that they would be able to balance their career with a baby. Six months of their son’s birth she was pregnant with her second child. It was a lot harder to manage two kids especially being so close together and being stationed overseas.

The military was also not as friendly toward mothers as they are today. She was required to pump in the bathroom and once got called into an unannounced meeting and wasn’t allowed to pump for five minutes and ended up dripping out milk on to the floor during the meeting.

After Germany, they went to the Defense Language Institute (DLI) in Monterey, CA to learn Korean. The first person they met had just gone through a divorce and told them her goal was that their marriage wouldn’t survive DLI.

When it was time to re-enlist Maureen decided to leave the military while her husband continued to serve. They noticed that something wasn’t quite right with their kids and they felt someone needed to get out to stay at home with the kids. They ended up discovering their older two kids had autism and leaving the military made it possible for her to get them they help they needed.

We also talked about the importance of speaking up as both a military spouse and a veteran. I recently took a survey focusing on trying to end suicide in the Air Force and felt I needed to speak out on how the survey made me feel. I was published on Military.com, check out the article here.

We ended the episode talking about how important finding a mentor is. If you are considering joining the military pick up my free Girls Guide to the Military here and reach out to me if you need someone to help answer your questions about military life.

Dec 17, 2019
Deploying For Other Reasons Than War - Episode 52
00:33:12

Rachael and I served on active duty together as Civil Engineers at Wright-Patterson AFB. And I am excited to share her experience. I had a chance to interview her for my deployment series in 2017 which is where the podcast idea started. So, if you want to learn more about her deployments to Manas Transit Center and Honduras.

You can check out both of those stories here:

http://www.airmantomom.com/2017/10/manas-transit-center/

http://www.airmantomom.com/2017/10/engineering-in-honduras/

She served in the Air Force as a Civil Engineer for 5 years and currently is a professional engineer, floodplain manager, consultant at Cross Timbers Consulting, rancher, beekeeper, racquetball player, wife, hopefully, future mother, born again Christian.

She got an opportunity to attend the Air Force Academy when she was noticed for her talent playing soccer. She was able to get a nomination and accepted to attend the Academy and couldn’t pass up the opportunity. She wished she would have taken advantage of more of the opportunities given to cadets who attend the Academy, but she was young and didn’t realize their value until years later. But she did have a number of great opportunities while at the Academy including visiting Guam and Africa. Her first year she struggled academically, with barely at 2.0, but she was able to figure out how to balance her class load, cadet responsibilities, and soccer and graduated with above a 3.0.

Her first assignment was at Moody Air Force Base. It had a great mission and there was a lot of work to do. She deployed to Kyrgyzstan to Transit Center Manas which was the gateway to Afghanistan and many troops would beddown there before and after a deployment to Afghanistan. You can learn more about her deployment here. When she got home from her deployment she was already slated to deploy again, this time to Afghanistan. But the opportunity arose for her to go to Honduras on a short tour (more than 179 days, but typically a year) and she took that deployment instead. You can read about that deployment here.

When she got home from her deployment she moved to Ohio to work at Air Force Materiel Command Headquarters. It was the first time in her career where she wasn’t moving and actually got to spend time with her husband. He was not serving in the military and moved up to Ohio so they could live together. She didn’t get a deployment tasking for two years and then when she got her deployment tasking to Afghanistan all the feelings of being gone and not having stability came back and that was why she decided to leave the military.

She not only left the military but also left her career as a Civil Engineer and decided to go back to what originally drew her into the military, soccer. She became a coach at a college level. She was surprised by how unorganized everything was and came off as abrasive with her get the mission done attitude and it was an adjustment to civilian life. After a few years of coaching, she went back to her Civil Engineering degree and got a job in her field. The pay for coaching wasn’t a lot and it was a lot of hours. And having a Civil Engineering degree to fall back on especially as she hopes to transition to being a mom was the right step for her and her family.

Are you considering joining the military? Check out my free guide: A Girl's Guide to Military Life

Dec 10, 2019
Serving as an Officer in the Marine Corps - Episode 51
00:40:36

Katie served in the United States Marine Corps for six years as a Logistics Officer from 2006-2012. She got out as a Captain. Two deployments: Iraq and a MEU (marine expeditionary unit). She left the military in 2012, moved to NYC to attend Columbia Business School. She has worked at a series of early-stage startups since getting her MBA. She started her own consulting company (KMH consulting) in 2018 and she enjoys working for herself. she provides operations, logistics, and supply chain support to early-stage companies. She is also working to build the Veteran Owned Collective, which is a platform and community to connect and empower veteran business owners. She lives in NYC.

She found out about ROTC during college and decided to look into the Navy. She had a love for military history and loved that the military would pay for her schooling while she was working to become an officer so it was a great fit. She saw the Marine section of Navy ROTC as an elite group and she wanted to be a part of it so she switched the Marine Corps program at the end of her time at school.

When she deployed to Iraq it was her first time leaving the United States. One of the hardest parts of her deployment was that she was very lonely. Being a female and an officer she felt she needed to keep a professional front at all times and it made the deployment experience difficult. She was able to meet up with people throughout the deployment to get through it and have a break, but it was still hard.

Her second deployment was with a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) which is a crisis response task force on a Navy ship. So, she was on a Navy ship and was working logistics and was part of the team ready to respond to various crises around the globe. She got to see a lot of the world and her favorite port she visited was Thailand.

Before she left for her MEU deployment, she knew she was going to be getting out of the military when she returned home. So, she had applied to graduate school and found out two weeks before she shipped out that she would be attending Columbia in the fall. She was prepared for the transition out of the military, but it was hard to go from an extreme environment of go go go and being on to being a college student. That made the transition really hard.

Two great resources we talked about available for veterans and military spouses for free are American Corporate Partners and Veterati. Both companies have mentorships available and connect people with someone who can help push you in the right direction or even find a new job.

After graduating she worked for a handful of companies before becoming a consultant for various small businesses. She also is working to grow a group for veteran small business owners to support each other. It is called the Veteran Owned Collective and you can learn more about it here.

You can also learn more about Katie at her website: www.katiemhorgan.com

This episode was made possible by Insure the Heroes, get a free life insurance quote today by calling Melissa at 844-514-LIFE today!

Dec 03, 2019
The Importance of Self-Care - Episode 50
00:22:35

A little over a month ago I found out that a biopsy of a mole on my leg came back positive for melanoma. And I was very lucky because they found it in the earliest stage and were able to remove it and I can now say I am cancer-free. But the reality of that situation isn’t that they found it because I was being proactive about my health. In fact, I was just really lucky. This week on the podcast I wanted to talk about how this incident opened my eyes to a whole part of self-care I had been completely ignoring, my physical health.

I had gone to the doctor about the bump under my lip in LA, but it didn’t flatten out like they said and I was a little concerned, but also knew they had done a biopsy so it shouldn’t be cancer. I put off going to the doctor for about a year and then when I got plantar fasciitis, I went in to see if I needed a referral for my feet and since I was there, I asked about the bump under my lip. So, the doctor put in a referral to dermatology.

I went to the doctor and they found another mole they were worried about on my leg. I had a biopsy done on the mole and it did come back as melanoma. I was able to get help from a friends’ mom who lived a few miles from the doctor’s office and was able to get the mole completely removed. And have since had a cancer-free diagnose from the follow-up biopsy done from the tissue collected during the surgery.

This event made me realize I need to do a better job of taking care of myself physically. I haven’t visited a doctor for an annual exam since my son was born almost 4 years ago. I didn’t think I had time to go to the doctor, but I need to make sure to take the time to go to my regular doctor check-up and as I continue to get older ensure I do the additional screening to help find issues before they become major problems.

This podcast episode was inspired by this blog post on www.airmantomom.com.

This post contains affiliate links

Are you looking for a holiday gift for a female veteran you know? Check out my book Women of the Military, if you would like a signed copy please email me at airmantomom at gmail dot com. Get your copy here.

Nov 26, 2019
Do You Know the Stories of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) - Episode 49
00:37:46

This episode is sponsored by Insure the Heroes Inc

Many people don’t know the history of military women. And many more people don’t know that women were serving in other roles than nurses and secretaries during World War II. Erin shares the history of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). She also shares a little about her grandmother, Elaine Harmond. One of the 1800 WASP. Let's go back in history and learn about these amazing trailblazing women.

*This post contains affiliate links

Erin Miller is the granddaughter of WASP WWII pilot Elaine Danforth Harmon. Erin has a J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law, a Master's in international studies from the University of Leeds (UK), and a B.A. in history from the University of California, San Diego. She is a licensed attorney in Maryland, where she lives with her two Shiba Inus.

Erin has become an ambassador for the WASP of World War II by sharing her own story of honoring her grandmother who wanted to ensure future generations learn about the history of these trailblazing pilots. You can read more of both Erin and Elaine’s story in her book Final Fight, Final Fight.

The WASP was formed in the 1940s to allow more men to serve in combat roles overseas. While the WASP were able to do missions throughout the US training the next wave of male pilots to fly overseas. They were test pilots, they were tow target pilots, faring pilots, a lot of different jobs training pilots.

Her grandmother, Elaine Harmond was one of the 1800 women selected from over 25,000 applicants to be part of this program. She headed off to training in Sweetwater, Texas. They trained at Avengers field and completed the same training as male pilots. But were still seen as civilians by the military. To this day it is the only all-female military base that the US has had.

The WASP were supposed to become commissioned officers. They were waiting on the official legislation to pass and started serving while “the paperwork” was completed. In the end, the bill failed by a handful of votes and the WASP were never formally inducted into the Army. 38 WASP died during their service. Since they were not officially part of the military they were not given military honors or a military burial. Eventually, the program was disbanded in late 1944.

Most women went on to live their lives finding new jobs or becoming wives and mothers. A few women worked to stay within the aviation industry. And then in the 1970s, Congress forced the military to allow women to attend the military academies. People began to start talking about the first women pilots not realizing women had flown during World War II. The WASP decided they had been quiet about their service long enough. They began lobbying to get retroactive status as veterans. It took a few years, but they were eventually granted the title of veteran.

In 2015, Elaine Harmon passed away and her family requested she be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Everyone needs to go and get their copy of Final Flight Final Fight you will learn so much about the history of the WASP and how much work goes into getting a law changed in Congress.

Connect with Erin:

www.finalflightfinalfight.com

Twitter

Facebook

Nov 19, 2019
How to Deal with the Grief of Losing Your Military Service - Episode 48
00:26:54

Episode 48 is sponsored by AmericanForcesTravel.com

Hi everyone! Welcome to another episode of Women of the Military Podcast. My guest this week is Carrie Peterson. She joined the US Air Force when she was 17 and served on Active duty until she was about to give birth to her first son. She has an honorable medical discharge.

In total Carrie serve in the military for almost 3 years. She met her husband while on active duty and they came to a point where the military wanted to assign them to two different locations and it wasn’t the best fit for their family so she separated. But she still misses it.

We talked a lot about the transition out of the military and how hard it sometimes is to find yourself. While in the military it isn’t about you, it is about the mission and then you leave and the focus is all on you and it is hard to find yourself again after being part of the military.

We talked about how the military doesn’t give you the skills you need to transition out mentally. They focus on finding your next career, but they don’t focus on the emotional aspect of what you will feel when you leave the military. And that makes transitioning out of the military really difficult.

Connect with Carrie at

CarriePeterson.net

SuperiorReach.com

Are you Leaving the Military? Get my free guide: Navigating Life After the Military!

Do you want to support Women of the Military to reach more people and share more stories? Click here.

American Forces TravelSM is committed to providing high-quality and best value travel services to patrons affiliated with the Department of Defense as a way to thank them for their service and dedication to our country.

Authorized Patrons Today:

All current active duty military (Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard)

All members of the Reserve components and National Guard

All retired military, including those in the Reserves and National Guard who are retirement eligible

All Medal of Honor recipients and 100% disabled veterans

All Department of Defense civilian serving outside the United States, including appropriated funds (APF) employees and nonappropriated funds (NAF) employees

All current active duty and retired US Public Health Service (USPHS)

All current active duty and retired National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Full-time, paid employees of the American Red Cross and United Service Organizations (USO) hired in the United States and serving at U.S. DoD installations overseas

Eligible family members who are officially sponsored (ID card holder) by authorized patrons in the above categories

Coast Guard Auxiliary Active Duty

Eligible Authorized Patrons Coming Soon:

All Department of Defense civilians serving within the United States, including appropriated funds employees and non-appropriated funds employees

All Coast Guard and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) civilians in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS), including appropriated and nonappropriated fund employees

Learn more here.

Nov 12, 2019
Mourning the Loss of Military Service - Episode 47
00:26:56

In episode 47 of the Women of the Military, I am sharing my experience of going through the grief process as I lost a part of myself when I left the military. The more I learned and reflected on the process I realized I had gone through the four stages (Reeling, Feeling, Dealing, and Healing) and I spent a lot of time stuck in the second phase because I was unaware I needed to deal with how I was feeling so I discussed how I did that and where I am today.

The four stages of grief are Reeling, Feeling, Dealing, Healing. As I transitioned out of the military and became a military spouse and mom I really struggled with the loss of identity and the loss of purpose the military had given me. I had gone from knowing who I was and following the orders, I had been given to becoming a mom and military spouse. Where I no longer had orders, but was still directly tied to the military community, but in a totally different way. I thought if I just kept pushing forward and didn’t stop to look back I could find my new purpose and have an impact.

But the reality was I truly couldn’t find myself until I dealt not only with the loss of my identity but also some of the challenges that I faced while serving in the military. I stayed in the reeling phase of grief for years. I was stuck.

When people asked me if I was glad, I got out I wouldn’t have a solid answer because my identity was still wrapped up into being in the military, but the reality was I wasn’t in the military anymore. It wasn’t until I went to get help through Celebrate Recovery that I was able to take the first step in the second stage (feeling) and begin to move through the stages of grief.

Once I was able to realize and acknowledge what I was feeling I was able to start dealing with the emotions that had left me stuck and living a half-lived life.

If you have transitioned out or about to transition out of the military don’t miss this episode. It is powerful to think about how full of a life I had when I was still stuck in the first stage of grief as I mourned the loss of my military identity. And what I have today is so much better than I could have ever imagined six years ago.

If you need someone to talk to please email me at airmantomom [at] gmail [dot] com.

Mourning the loss of military service

Are you Leaving the Military? Get my free guide: Navigating Life After the Military!


Nov 05, 2019
The Challenges Faced by Single Moms in the Army - Episode 46
00:41:21

Danielle has been serving on active duty in the Army since 2004. She enlisted as a paralegal after graduating college. She deployed to Iraq and submitted her Officer Candidate School (OCS) packet. She was selected and attended OCS 3.5 years after joining. She was branched Signal and was stationed in Korea and Germany. After a successful command (and becoming a single mom), she transferred into Public Affairs. She is a Major currently stationed at Fort Meade, MD.

Danielle was burnt out from school and decided to do something no one would expect, not even herself. She decided to join the military. She had her degree, but was given advice to enlist and then become an officer because it was easier. She wouldn’t trade the time she spent as an enlisted troop and did learn a lot. She ended up not qualifying for O-1E pay because you have to serve for four years to get that entitlement. But there wasn’t a lot she could do to make that happen even if she had known about that requirement based on timelines and class dates moving around and her not really being in control.

She deployed to Iraq in 2005 in a paralegal office. She didn’t quite know what to expect going to war and thought she would have a more pivotal role to play on the battle ground. But found herself primarily working in her office doing paralegal work and being relatively safe inside the base. She struggled with the feeling of not doing enough because she knew others were going outside of the base and dealing directly with the enemy.

With the encouragement of senior leaders and non commissioned officers who saw something in her she decided to put in her package to become an officer. She found out before she had left Iraq that she was selected for Officer Candidate School and would be attending the program after returning home from her deployment. OCS was different from Basic Training because she felt like there was more to lose. They would hold your commission over your head and if you failed you would go back to the Army under needs of the Army which meant you could end up anywhere. She was happy to complete the course without getting hurt and having to be recycled.

A few years after becoming an officer she found herself as a new company commander. She was excited about the opportunity and felt humbled to be selected. About 6 weeks into her command she found out she was unexpectedly pregnant. She told the father and he quickly told her she was on her own. She felt alone and conflicted. She told her commander after completing a field exercise and he said he still had confidence in her and that babies were blessings. And she was able to continue to serve in command.

Motherhood changed her as a person and caused her to change the focus of her career. She is still committed to the military, but also has another person she has to think about when making choices and picking the opportunities that came up. And although being a single mom in the Army isn’t easy it has worked for her.

Are you considering joining the military? Check out my free guide: A Girl's Guide to Military Life

Oct 29, 2019
Overcoming Adversity in the Army - Episode 45
00:51:45

Tiffany served in the Army for ten and a half years. While she was in the Army, she was a logistician and she deployed to Iraq twice. She left the military with her masters degree using Tuition Assistance while on active duty and this past December graduated with her second masters degree using her GI Bill.

Tiffany decided to join the military because she felt lost and didn’t know what she wanted to do. Although she had been a good student in high school, she didn’t want to have her parents pay for college without her knowing what she wanted to do. So, she decided to join the Army. After she had committed to the Army the one school she had applied to came back with a scholarship upon her acceptance. She was hoping she could get out of her military commitment and go to college instead. But her parents told her she had already committed to the Army and needed to fulfill her commitment. So off to boot camp she went.

Not long after being in the Army she deployed to Kuwait for the initial invasion to Iraq. While waiting for the invasion to take place they were in Iraq and a Non-Commissioned Officer told her that they were waiting to go to war. She couldn’t believe it. It seemed like someone would have told her before it. It wasn’t until she saw the scud missiles in Iraq that everything came together and she realized she might not come home.

As they pushed into Iraq, she expected they would enter war and there would be fire fights and bullets. But crossing the border was uneventful and instead their days were full of driving. They were always hot, always dirty and almost always on the move. They lived in their vehicles and kept pushing forward.

About a year and a half after she deployed to Iraq she went back to Iraq. This time there were camps built up and since she went back to almost the same location, she could see how much change had happened since she had left. In 2003 you had your vehicle and your uniform, but it wasn’t like that the second trip. There were showers, you had a room, there were internet cafes, tents to call home, and more. Another big change between 2003 and 2005 was how the war was being fought. They hadn’t seen a lot of combat in their first round while they had been looking for landmines in 2003. In 2005, Improvised Explosive Devices, suicide bombers and convoy ambushes were a real threat. The war had evolved. The threat was amplified.

She watched the evolution of the war. As the military tried to respond to the threat. Going from Humvees with no armor to trying to armor the Humvees, but sometimes causing more damage and having sand bags as protection. The war progressed in such a way and eventually the military was able to create a vehicle that added more protection. And if you have ever seen a side by side comparison of a Humvee and a Mine Resistant Ambush Protection (MRAP) vehicle you can understand why the change was so important and necessary to fight the war.

She also dealt with a helicopter crash where she didn’t allow herself to grieve and really struggled for years after the incident happened. She felt guilty for living and she felt guilty for struggling with the deaths of the people she knew who passed. We talked about the importance of getting mental health help along the way and for military members to process all the different experiences they go through. It may have happened years ago, but if you are struggling you can and should get help.

Want to connect with Tiffany? Check her out on LinkedIn:

www.linkedin.com/in/tbroussard08

This Episode was sponsored by Insure the Heroes, Inc. Is life insurance on your transition checklist? Contact Melissa at 844-514-LIFE. Insure The Heroes, Inc. is the term life insurance brokerage for military families!

Oct 22, 2019
Helping Others Find Jobs - Episode 44
00:36:38

Jaime Chapman is a proud military spouse and served in the U.S. Army for 6-years. She is a philanthropist and fierce advocate for the military community. She is actively advocating to influence policy to reduce the 24% military spouse unemployment rate. She serves as the Career & Employment Advocate for MSAN-Military Spouse Advocacy Network where she offers career expertise to over 10,000 Active Duty Military Spouses. She is a mentor on Veterati where she provides guidance to veterans and military spouses.

Jaime is the Founder & CEO of Begin Within, a career consulting firm that launches high-performers and rising stars to their career peak. She has helped over 1,500 people land their dream position during her tenure an executive career consultant, resume writer and as the Regional Manager of a transitioning military career program. Jaime currently serves on the Board of Advisors for financial company Securing Life Today. She is a keynote speaker and authored the book Find a Federal Job in 2018.

Additionally, Jaime hosts a career-based radio show that airs live to over 20,000 listeners each week and was recruited to appear as the career advisor on a TV show that will broadcast live to over 400-Million viewers later this year.

Joining the Army Reserves was an impulse decision. She looked to be on her way to go to college with the scholarships she had attained and her parents were shocked when she told them she had decided to join the Army. She didn’t have a lot of time to contemplate on her decision. Once she signed up the process began and she was at boot camp a few months later.

While serving out her six-year commitment she attended college and worked full time. While also devoting one weekend a month and two weeks a year to her Reserves unit. She joined the military and loved Boot Camp and her Advanced Individual Training that followed and when she arrived at her Reserves unit the commander was a Chief Warrant Officer and she was ready to take over the base. She wanted to finish her degree and start to make changes and be impactful for the Army. It wasn’t very long into her time in the unit where everything changed. A sexual assault that was swept under the rug until she went to the Inspector General at the active duty post. They quickly completed an investigation and he was finally charged and taken out of the leadership position. It changed everything for Jamie. It changed her ambitions and rode out the rest of her time.

Her transition out of the military was a welcome relief. She was ready to move on and since she already had a job and didn’t have the same type of identity crisis and starting over that people who often leave active duty find themselves in.

But she also became a military spouse a few years after leaving the Reserves. Which she has found very challenging, but has found her passion to help military spouses find careers through her company Begin Within and help to decrease the unemployment rate of 24% for military spouses.

Military Spouse Advocacy Network

Programs from MSAN

Veterati

LinkedIn

MilSpouse Creative on Facebook

Websites:

https://www.beginwithin.life
https://jaime-chapman.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chapmanjaime/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/beginwithin2016/


Oct 15, 2019
Joining the Army While Still in High School - Episode 43
00:37:03

Alicia served for 6 years in the Iowa Army National Guard as a Public Affairs Specialist. She deployed to Kosovo for a year and traveled to other countries for small exercises for brief periods. And she spent 10 years a print journalist, 6 of those with the Army. On top of that, she is a fiction writer with her debut novel, Squared Away released on July 2, 2019. It is the first novel in series.

She joined the military 2 days after her 17th birthday in June of 2001. The summer between her junior and senior year of high school. She was looking for a way to pay for college and joining the Army seemed like the perfect fit. It would also give her needed experience in journalism that would help her in the future when she wanted to work as a journalist.

*Post Contain Affiliate Links

Because she was still in high school, she didn’t leave for boot camp until after she graduated. In that year she was “trained” for boot camp by some young enlisted troops that helped to prepare her for boot camp by pretending to be drill sergeants. Because she had such a long period of time not going to boot camp, she was ready for the boot camp phase and realized how much she still didn’t know even though she had been attending her drill weekends. It made her appreciate boot camp and all that she learned from it.

During her time in the Army she worked to share stories of what the Army National Guard was doing. She got to meet a lot of different people of all different ranks as she covered stories. She also deployed to Kosovo. Which took her from doing her job on drill weekends to a daily mission of sharing the stories of the Army. She was helping manage the print magazine for the Army in an editor role that most young people do not have the opportunity to do. Being a journalist in the Army gave her so many unique experiences in her job.

She really struggled when she came from her year in Kosovo. She got to do an amazing job and felt like she was making an impact and when she came home, she went back to being a college student and doing her one weekend a month duty. It wasn’t the same impact and really changed how she looked at things.

When her six-year enlistment was up she had the opportunity to be promoted to Sergeant, but she made a pro and con list to help her decide if she should continue to serve in the military or leave the military behind. She wanted to test her skills as a journalist as a civilian and made the choice to leave the military behind. But it wasn’t easy. Her time in the military had changed her and the people she worked with had become like her second family. And leaving the military meant she was giving away a part of herself.

She released her first novel Squared Away in July. It is a fictional novel based on two battle buddies. She brings in her military experience, but also uses the fictional space to tell the story to add twists and turns along the way. You can get your copy here.

Connect with Alicia

www.aliciadill.com

Twitter

Facebook

Mentioned:

Beyond the Point – Fictional Novel about 3 women attending West Point

Oct 08, 2019
7 Things I Wish I would Have Known Before I Joined the Military - Episode 42
00:37:07

There was a lot I needed to learn before I decided to join the military. You might know that before I started looking into the military, I didn’t know anything about it. I didn’t know the difference between officer and enlisted. I even remember when a friend recommended, I talk to someone, he happened to be a col, I called him by his first name when I went to his office and was quickly corrected. At the time I thought the way they responded to my mistake was a little dramatic, but now I know that Col is more than just a job title. Now, I have a hard time not calling my past commanders with their rank that no longer applies to their name. So, you could say I knew nothing about the military and little did I know how my life would change when I decided to join the US Air Force.

Listen and hear what I learned while serving in the military and how I hope to use the information I have learned to help others who are considering joining the military.

This episode was inspired by

7 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Decided to Join the Military

Mentioned in this Episode

Kiva.org

Connect with Amanda

Hear Amanda's Military Story - Episode 2

Check out Amanda's Blog: www.airmantomom.com

Facebook

Twitter

LinkedIn

Are you considering joining the military? Check out my free guide: A Girl's Guide to Military Life

Oct 01, 2019
Serving as a Nurse in the Air Force - Episode 41
00:34:35

Tracee joined the United States Air Force in 1994, She was part of the Nurse Corps as a clinical nurse she spent 4 years on Active Duty and 3 years in the Reserves. She is currently a registered nurse, public speaker and is married to a service member who is serving in the Air National Guard.

Tracee has a military background. Everyone she knew was Enlisted and she had a dream of becoming a nurse and didn’t think she could serve in the military. But while she was in college, she learned about Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and was shocked to learn about the option to be an officer and have a degree. So, she went and talked to the cadre at her school started with the Army ROTC program, but wasn’t under contract. She liked the Army, but was looking for something different so she commissioned into the Air Force after she graduated.

She began her military career at Andrews Air Force base where she received her initial training as a nurse with the Air Force. She initially was disappointed with the eight-week course. But it ended up helping her transition from school to working at the hospital. She spent a few years at Andrews and then went overseas to Germany to finish out her active duty career.

Then she transitioned out of active duty because she really wanted to try out civilian nursing. But civilian nursing wasn’t what she expected and she missed the military. And then when 9-11 she decided to go back to the military and serve in the Reserves. She was stationed in California, but got a job working as a contractor in Japan. Right before she left, she found out she may be deploying. She ended up leaving about six months after arriving in Japan to deploy to Germany to help with anyone coming in from Afghanistan or Iraq with injuries and get them through the medivac system.

While in Japan she met her husband and decided she did not want to be a dual military family so when she finished her 3 years in the Reserves, she transitioned out of the military to become “just” a spouse. We then dived into the challenge’s military spouses face. Tracee couldn’t even pick up packages addressed to her without her husband. And military spouses can feel belittled by the military system with words like dependent to describe them and not being able to do basic things like get your mail.

Mentioned in this episode

Episode 25 - Women's Health Practitioner

Connect with Tracee

LinkedIn

Sep 24, 2019
Aim High from a former Secretary of the Air Force - Episode 40
00:29:40

The Honorable Deborah Lee James has served in senior homeland and national security management, policy, and program positions in the US Government and private sector for more than 35 years. She has led and transformed large-scale enterprises, including a $2 billion private sector entity and a $140 billion government agency, the U.S. Air Force. Today she serves on several for-profit and not-for-profit organizations; provides strategic advice to a variety of firms; and speaks on matters of national security, leadership, and other topical areas. She is also the author of "Aim High: Chart Your Course and Find Success"

Deborah had wanted to work in the State Department and had thought she had done everything right to make that happen, but when she applied, she wasn’t selected. This came as a huge surprise to her but eventually found a job working for the department of the Army. It was at this job she found her first mentor. He helped by opening doors to opportunities and giving her advice on her career.

One of her first big career opportunities was to be an intern at the White House in the 1980s. She also worked on the staff of the house armed service committee. She then went to work for the Assistant Secretary of Defense specifically on Reserve Affairs. She left the civilian-military workforce for 15 years, but then from 2013 to 2017 came back as the Secretary of the Air Force.

She left government service after 17 years and made the switch to the private side expecting it to be an easy transition where she would have no problem succeeding. She ended up having a few bad bosses before finally finding a fit at SAIC. One of her jobs was managing the MRAP program to get the MRAPs out to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. This program brought tremendous purpose.

Within the first few months of becoming the Secretary of the Air Force, a cheating scandal within the Nuclear community was uncovered. And although it only included a handful of people it brought to light cultural issues that needed to be addressed and changed. She also worked on diversity and inclusion with a big focus on opening jobs and making it easier for women to do jobs. While also working on work-life balance and changing the maternity program.

We also talked about a few topics that are covered in the book Air High: Chart Your Course and Find Success ranging from the importance of outsourcing, Knowing what is important to you, and positive and negative role models that helped push her to be who she is today. You won't want to miss this week's episode.

Mentioned in this episode (contains affiliate links)

Aim High: Chart Your Course and Find Success

My Vector

Follow Honorable Deborah James

Twitter

LinkedIn

Website

Sep 17, 2019
Serving at the Pentagon on September 11th - Episode 39
00:28:30

Linda Mitchell served in the Air Force for 10 years beginning her service in June of 1995. She served on active duty and had assignments at the Pentagon on September 11th, was on watch when the space shuttle disintegrated reentering the earth’s atmosphere, she helped serve 42 heads of state during the NATO 50th Anniversary Summit in DC and she also had severe preeclampsia with her first child that she gave birth to while her husband was deployed to Afghanistan. These are just a few of the highlights from her career.

Linda’s father served in the military and inspired her to join. She grew up as a military brat and got to see the world through her father’s career. While going to college she decided to join the Reserve Officer Training Corps Program so she could see the world.

Her first assignment was at Edwards AFB where she was a section commander and then an executive officer for the Mission Support Group. While at Edwards she found out her career field was going away and would need to be retrained. She ended up becoming a Comm officer. She had a follow-on assignment to Nellis AFB, but had gotten married and had was able to get a join spouse assignment with her new husband at Maxwell AFB.

This was the first time she had to put her career in the back seat for their relationship and ultimately led to her getting out of the military earlier than she planned.

After Maxwell she went to Bolling AFB and then to the Pentagon. She was at the Pentagon on September 11th. At the time of the attack they didn’t have a communication system to execute a mass evacuation and it was interesting to hear how people found out about the crash and how there was no clear plan to get people out of the building. September 11th had a huge impact on how Linda’s career moved forward. She was supposed to complete a program and it never happened.

Her next assignment led to the end of her career. She had been warned about her next supervisor, but had an optimistic attitude that it would be okay and they would be able to work together, but in the end it led to the end of her military career.

Sep 10, 2019
From the Hall of West Point to Iraq - Episode 38
00:38:01

Jasmin graduated from West Point in 2005. She commissioned and her first assignment was in Germany as a Military Police Officer. She deployed to Iraq in 2008. In 2010 she headed to Fort Riley Kansas and it is there she completed her military career. Today she is an Attorney in Columbus, Ohio.

Jasmin has a military family linage and serving in the military was something she had always considered. In high school a high school algebra teacher was a graduate from West Point and he inspired and encouraged her to consider attending West Point.

The application process requires a lot of different requirements ranging from passing the physical fitness test, getting a nomination from Congress or the president and various test scores and academic and leadership requirements.

September 11th happened the first year Jasmin was at West Point and had a huge impact on her experience at West Point and her military career.

When it was time to pick her career Jasmin decided to put Armor and Infantry as her top two choices even though at the time both jobs were not open to women. So, her 3rd choice Military Police was essentially her 1st choice and that was the career she got.

She deployed to Iraq as a Platoon leader and was lucky that everyone in her Platoon came back home with her. With Iraq being a male dominated society sometimes the Iraqi male leaders would ask the same question to the male squad leader and he would answer you already asked the Platoon leader. She mentioned how great the men who served with her were in supporting her authority and helping her through the deployment.

While deployed she felt a need to do something different, she had one year left in her service commitment from the Academy and decided to adjust and take it a year by year basis. She still felt a drive to do something different, but didn’t really know what that meant when she transitioned out of the military in 2011.

Today she lives in Ohio with her husband and is an attorney. If you would like to connect with Jasmin and talk to her about West Point you can connect with her on LinkedIn.

Episodes connected to this one:

Beyond the Point - A novel base one West Point - Episode 19

Military Child to ROTC hopeful to Military Mom - Episode 16

From the Naval Academy to Air Force Officer - Episode 15

If you are looking to join the military don’t miss out on my free “Girls Guide to Military Life.” Get your free copy here.

Sep 03, 2019
The Challenge of a Dual Military Career - Episode 37
00:27:28

My guest today in Sherry Eifler. Sheri is a former Army soldier turned devoted Army wife and mom makes her home where the Army sends her husband of over 25 years, Brian, and together they embrace the adventure of military family life with their three amazing children and faithful pups, Kate and Sol.

Sherry’s military experience both in and out of uniform have shaped her skills as an engaging storyteller who invites you to think a new way. She is a recognized transformation specialist, ready to connect today through her multi-faced approach to engaging women’s ministry.

Sherry joined the Army Reserves while in college. She was looking to be a medic, but when the recruiter found out she was going to school he convinced her to Enlist in the Reserves while completing the Reserve Officer Training Corps program and finishing college. She agreed and headed off to boot camp in the summer.

When she completed Field Training, she went to her first drill weekend and was a little overwhelmed by all the officers she worked with. And then when she went to ROTC she found even more officers and wondered what she had signed up for.

She really enjoyed ROTC and found life long friends and met her husband through the ROTC program. She and her husband spent a lot of time apart while in the military and even though she was able to move with him to his next assignment she wasn’t able to do what she wanted/needed to do to continue her career. She decided at the five year point to leave the military behind and start a family.

When her daughter was one month old her husband left for Korea. She moved back home to be with family for the approximately two years while he was overseas. When she came back to the military as a spouse she had to transition and find her place. She helped to bridge the gap between new military spouses and military members. And she has worked to get more male military spouses involved in the spouses clubs and volunteer opportunities.

Today, she pulls together her kaleidoscope of certifications and talents as an author, John Maxwell Team certified speaker, executive coach, and leadership team coach to create transformational events with you at heart.

*this post contains affiliate links

She also published a Bible Study called, Royal Reflections – The Making of a Warrior Princess.

Connect with Sherry:

Website

Facebook

Instagram

Do you want more stories of military women veterans? I just launched a book sharing 28 stories of military women. It includes stories ranging from women in the process of joining the military to women who have served and retired. Stories from the Army, Air Force, Marines and Navy. Order today!


Aug 27, 2019
Dealing with Infertility in the Military - Episode 36
00:28:31

Kerry was an officer in the US Coast Guard. She attended the Coast Guard Academy and graduated with a degree in Marine Science, but the Coast Guard needed Engineers so she spent her first five years in the Coast Guard doing Engineering work.

She ended up bouncing around to different jobs and not following the traditional career path all of that starting with going into a career that she didn’t have a background in. Her jobs ranged from Sexual Assault manager to logistics to emergency response.

We talked a lot about the different missions the Coast Guard is a part of. The Coast Guard does so many different missions to support and defend the United States and most people don’t even know about what they do.

When she tried to get pregnant at 38, she found out she had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and needed infertility treatments. Her leadership didn’t support her choice to seek infertility treatments. She was forced to move in the middle of treatments and lost the embryos. Her leadership gave her low marks and sent her out into the field. In the end she wasn’t able to get pregnant and then after being forced to retire she was told by the VA that her PCOS was service related and they provided medical care, but it was too late. She was then 43 and the likelihood of success was almost non-existent. She never became a mom.

She now works with the Service Women Action Network (SWAN) to help work to change policy and prevent others from having to go through a similar experience. She has chosen not to complain about her situation, but to be an advocate for women and bring change.

Mentioned in this episode:

Service Women Action Network (SWAN)

Would you like to be a guest or know someone who might want to share their story for the Women of the Military Podcast? You can sign up here and I will be in touch with you shortly.

Are you Leaving the Military? Get my free guide: Navigating Life After the Military!

Aug 20, 2019
A Single Mother in the Army - Episode 35
00:41:15

My guest today is Teressa Boone. Teressa served 15 years in the U.S. Army. She was medically retired after being diagnosed with combat post-traumatic stress disorder. As a way to begin her healing process, she created Amitza Media Independent - Am I, LLC, an accessible and online establishment to expose the personal matters of U.S. military servicewomen and to bridge the gap between us and our communities by promoting education and unity. Her desire is to reveal realistic and inspirational testimonies through blogs, video, radio, books, uniquely-designed apparel, and community outreach. Ultimately, it's about bringing awareness to mental health by developing healthier relationships and personal transformation through storytelling.

Teressa joined the military as a means of trying to get away from her home in Chicago, Illinois. She didn’t really know anything about the military, but saw it as a way to change her life and took the opportunity.

She headed off to boot camp 9 days after graduating high school with a waiver because she wouldn’t turn 18 for another month. The military and her childhood had a lot of similarities so it was a smooth transition to military life.

She was a logistician and her first assignment was at Ft. Knox. She arrived in the middle of an investigation for a lost M9 and went straight into a place that was on lockdown while searching for the missing weapon.

Shortly after tech school she became pregnant with her daughter. She liked being out of the weapons area while being pregnant, but knows that becoming a single mother at such a young age put a lot of responsibility on her and made her grow up quickly. When her daughter was eight months old she was sent to Korea for fifteen months. When she returned home her daughter was almost two years old.

She was only home for a few months before having to deploy. This was a really hard time for Teressa and she actually cried when she found out about the deployment. After being separated from her daughter for so long only to come home and have to leave again was devastating.

Even though video technology was beginning to become available she didn’t use it. Partly because it was set times and she was so busy at work she couldn’t do it, but even when she had time her mom didn’t have the technology at home for her to be able to call her.

At the seven and half year point she decided to become a Warrant Officer. She thought it would allow her to have more time with her daughter, but actually ended up working more and deployed to Afghanistan shortly after cross training. Afghanistan was hard because she knew the people dying and getting injured. She didn’t know what was wrong and then was sent to Korea. There she had a break down and started getting mental health help. She eventually was able to get medically retired from the military.

Mentioned in this Episode (affiliate link):

Episode 1: Why Women of the Military Podcast

Bravely Miseducated: How I lost my voice

Connect with Teressa:

Blog: Amitaz Media Independent

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

Twitter


Aug 13, 2019
Going through MEPS in the Air Force - Episode 34
00:29:17

Are you considering joining the military? Do you wonder what the process is like? My guest this week is at Basic Military Training right now and will be graduating very soon. But before she left for training she told me about her path to military life. It certainly wasn't easy for her to get to where she is today.

My guest today in Mariah Hammond. Mariah is a military spouse. I had the opportunity to interview Mariah for my book, Women of the Military, when she was looking into joining the military. And I am excited to follow up with her as her journey to military life has not been easy. I wanted to talk about how much time it takes to join the military and some of the challenges people face while working to join the military.

Can the words of a song have an impact on your life? Growing up Mariah remembers listening to Toby Keith sing about the Red White and Blue and it made her want to join the military. There were other factors that led her on the path she is on today, but she can always remember how it started with a song.

She met her now husband in high school. They were really good friends and when she told him about looking into the military he decided to look into his own military career and joined the Air Force. Time went by and eventually they got married and she moved to Lackland AFB where the Air Force does Basic Military Training (BMT) and she was inspired again to join the military.

When she went to meet with the recruiter, she ended up having a kidney stone. This immediately disqualified her from taking the military physical for a year. She took the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) and waited for time to pass so she could go to the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) for her military medical physical.

At MEPS another medical issue came up that required a waiver. It felt as if joining the military wouldn’t happen. And after a year of waiting to swear into the delayed entry program she felt like her dream of serving was falling apart.

Months passed and finally her waiver was approved and she swore into the delayed entry program. Even though it took almost two years from when she first met with a recruiter to the point where she actually joined the Air Force, she said it was worth it.

Hopefully I can do a follow up interview with Mariah next season to get caught up on what boot camp and tech school were like and what has happened since this interview took place.

Mentioned in this episode:

Women of the Military Book

Are you considering joining the military? Check out my free guide: A Girls Guide to Military Life to help you prepare for the military.

Aug 06, 2019
Joining the Australian Army - Episode 33
00:45:40

Welcome to the latest episode of Women of the Military. This week’s guest is Anna Blanch Rabe.

Anna served in the Australian Army as an officer for two years. She left because of a medical issue that still plagues her today. Currently she is CEO of Anna Blanch Rabe & Associates LCC, an eponymous Communications Consulting serving law firms, legal service organizations community minded businesses, non-profits, and social impact business with high quality communications strategy, advice, and content.

You may be wondering how I met Anna or how she found the podcast. Anna and I know each other through the military spouse community because her husband is currently serving in the Air Force. I have loved learning about her experience of being a military spouse who recently became a United States citizen and am excited to talk to her about her military life experience in both the Australian military and as a military spouse.

Anna was the oldest of four and her parents knew they couldn’t afford to pay for University (college) for everyone. So, Anna’s mom, sat her down and told her that they thought attending the military academy might be a good fit. This conversation led her on a path to apply to the Army and the Air Force. She was accepted by the Army and joined. She still remembers the feeling of walking through the doors and entering the Academy.

She ended up getting food poisoning from the dining facility at the Academy and was sent to the hospital and diagnosed with gastrointestinal which ultimately caused her to be medial disqualified from military service and she was disenrolled from the Academy. The Australian Army has a system for those who get injured during combat, but for those who have injuries in training they have a different system. In the end, Anna had to sue the government to get compensation for the medical problem they had caused.

When she became a military spouse of an American Air Force Officer she realized how many traditions from her military experience were ingrained into the American military. She also talked about some of the struggles she has faced. One of the main struggles was becoming a citizen. An event that took 5 years to happen and was completed just in time for her and her husband to move overseas.

Connect with Anna:

Linked In

Website

Are you considering joining the military? Check out my free guide: A Girl's Guide to Military Life

Would you like to be a guest or know someone who might want to share their story for the Women of the Military Podcast? You can sign up here and I will be in touch with you shortly.

Don’t for subscribe so you don’t miss the latest episode


Jul 30, 2019
Serving in Iraq (the Kickoff, the Surge, the Drawdown) - Episode 32
00:27:56

Welcome to Women of the Military, this week’s guest is LTC Olivia Nunn.

She grew up as a military brat. He dad was in the Army and she wanted to do what he did. She knew at the age of four she wanted to join the Army.

Olivia received her commission as a 2nd Lieutenant Chemical Officer in the United States Army in June of 2001 after graduating from Radford University. While she was in the final days of her training to become a chemical officer when September 11th happened. Even though she wasn’t in the Army for very long before September 11th happened, she saw many of the changes that were implemented.

In 2003, she deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom I with the 4th Infantry Division. While deployed she served as a Battalion Chemical Officer and Convoy Commander. LTC Nunn served as the Brigade Chemical Officer and deployed for a second tour to Iraq in 2006 and spent the following 15 months in Baghdad as the Brigade Liaison Officer to Multi-National Division-Baghdad. In 2008 she took command of HHT, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division and redeployed for a third time to Iraq as a Troop Commander. Her time in Iraq led her to be part of the initial invasion, part of the surge and then the draw down. She said she could see that change really happened and the country was different than when she arrived in 2003.

After her third deployment, she cross trained to become an Army Public Affairs Officers. As a PAO she has held positions at the United States Military Academy at West Point and at the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs in the Pentagon. She has served as an official Army spokeswoman, Executive Officer to the Chief of Public Affairs and lead strategic communication planner. She is currently serving in the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel as the Director of Communications for the US Army Soldier for Life program.

She is two years away from retirement and is still trying to figure out the next step in her life. But as she tells young women who are considering joining the military the Army has opened many doors for her and she knows she will find her path when she leaves the military behind and begins her life as a civilian.

Mentioned in this Episode:

US Army Soldier for Life Program

Other Podcast Episodes Focused on Iraq:

Being Stop Lossed In the Army - Episode 23

Connect with Olivia:

LinkedIn

Want to hear more stories of military women? Check out Amanda's new book Women of the Military, now available on Amazon


Jul 23, 2019
When You Don't End Up in the Career Field You Planned On - Episode 31
00:30:19

Vanessa served as an Aircraft Maintenance officer, both in the back shop and the flight line. She deployed to Afghanistan in the summer of 2013 after being married for a month. Her husband was not in the military. She still struggles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from her deployment. She got out because she didn't want to deploy again as she started having panic attacks daily once we got back. She also knew she didn't want to leave any future babies "behind" like she saw three of her female Airmen do. When there was an opportunity to separate early due to Reduction in Force, she decided to leave the military behind and start her new life with her husband.

As a daughter of an Air Force officer she has military routes that led her to join the Civil Air Patrol and found a love for flying. This led her to join Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) with hopes of becoming an Air Force Pilot. Her ROTC Commander informed her she was too short to be a pilot so there wasn’t any reason to apply for a pilot slot. This crushed her since her goal in joining the military was to be a pilot and she was disqualified before she could even apply.

In 2013, she deployed to Afghanistan as a Maintenance Officer working on A-10s. She was stationed at Bagram Air Field. And although she never left the base, she endured countless incoming fire attacks on base. She was engaged and was already in the process of planning her wedding in May when she found out she would be deploying in March. Luckily, her commander worked with her and found a Reservist to backfill her position so she could get married and then leave for Afghanistan after the wedding.

Her advice to girls considering joining the military is to be true to yourself. The military will break you down and build you back up, but that doesn't mean that your personality and who you are has to change. It is exhausting trying to be someone you are not. And everyone can thrive in the military. So just be you!

Resources if you are considering ROTC:

A Girl's Guide to Military Life

What Would You Tell Girls Considering Joining the Military?

7 Things I Wish I Knew Before Joining the Air Force

I Almost Didn't Become An Air Force Officer

Want to read more stories of military women, check out my new book Women of the Military, now available on Amazon.


Jul 16, 2019
Life Is What You Make It - Episode 30
00:30:36

Welcome to today’s episode of Women of the Military today’s guest is Kelly Rodriguez.

Kelly is a Retired Army veteran who served for 21 years. She is an Army spouse, Army Mom, grandmother and special assistant for Global World On Terrorism (GWOT) Memorial Foundation. She joined the military straight out of high school. She served as an Army medic and deployed to Bosnia shortly after completing boot camp and tech school.

As a young Private in Bosnia she spent a lot of time pulling guard duty, but also went on convoys outside of the base and worked in the hospital. She didn’t really know why the US was there when she left for the deployment so she read a book to learn more about why they were there and the peacekeeping mission she was a part of. Because her time in the military was so short, she didn’t know anything different and expected military life to be like her deployment.

Her career led her to live overseas and deploy multiple times. Her last assignment was at Fort Bragg in North Carolina where she still resides today.

Hearing about her experience in Iraq in 2004 showed me how so much changed with tactical vehicles when I deployed six years later to Afghanistan. Even with the threat of Improvised Explosive Devices the early years of the Iraq war had soldiers on convoys in basic Humvees with no protection. She also deployed to Afghanistan. She deployed six times in career, three combat deployments and 3 peace keeping deployments.

Most of her deployments she was single and unattached. But her last deployment she had gotten married to a single dad and left behind her youngest son who was two and she knew she would miss his third birthday. That made that deployment more difficult than past deployments.

Her son is currently serving in the Army. We talked about what it is like to be a mom of a solider after being a solider. She talked about how hard it was to watch him leave for his deployment, knowing where he was going and some of the challenges he would face.

Mentioned in the episode (contains affiliate links):

Love thy Neighbor: A Story of War

Global War on Terrorism Monument:

Website

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

LinkedIn

Get your copy of Women of the Military Book today! Order here.

Jul 09, 2019
Before Women Could Be Fighter Pilots - Episode 29
00:50:02

Welcome to Episode 29 of Women of the Military Podcast. My guest today is Grace Tiscareno-Sato.

Grace served in the Air Force on active duty in the 90s for 9 1/2 years. While she was in, she was a flight crew member onboard KC-135 refueling jets. She has been everywhere at least twice. She had two non-flying stints during her military service which included various leadership positions. She ran an airlift control center for NATO in Italy and ran counter narcotics operation support center in Ecuador.

Grace’s parents immigrated to the United States and she grew up in the US. She knew in high school she wanted to attend college, but she also knew her family couldn’t afford to pay for her to attend college. She went to her high school councilors office to learn about how to attend college and she invited Grace to dinner to meet her husband. He is the one who told her about the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program that helped her find the Air Force and her career.

She was a Navigator in the Air Force that started with flying but led to teaching others how to be a Navigator and war planning for different contingencies. Even with GPS technology today the Navigator plays an important role on the Aircraft. Grace served in the 90s in the early years of GPS but she was required to chart their course and if they lose GPS capabilities the Navigator has to quickly take over to ensure the Aircraft is in the right place.

Her husband proposed to her the day she got her wings. He never served in the military, but has a shirt that says “Air Force Husband…hardest job in the Air Force.” It was hard to be military spouse as a male. Most of the other military spouses are female and almost all the events are female focused. It makes it hard for male military spouses to feel included and it can be lonely to be a military spouse and amplified if you are a male military spouse.

She left the military right before she was scheduled to meet her Major board. She wanted to PCS and see the world while the Air Force wanted her to stay and possibly move to headquarters to do paperwork and not fly. She did not want to continue on that path, but was told that was her only option.

Connect with Grace:

www.Captainmama.com

Get her book: Captain Mama

Are you considering joining the military? Check out my free guide: A Girl's Guide to Military Life

Jul 02, 2019
Leading From the Front - Episode 28
00:35:05

Welcome to Episode 28 of the Women of the Military Podcast. Our guest this week is Ashley Gorbulja-Maldonado. Ashley is a 25-year-old Army veteran, and owner of Guide On Education. She is also a legionnaire, and a National Guard reservist, and competing to be Ms. Veteran America in order to give back to more veterans.

She discusses her experiences in the military. Ashley originally joined because so many people told her she would not be able to succeed and ended up exceeding expectations and becoming a leader. She has served for 8 years and has gotten 3 degrees debt free because of the military, and tries her best to give back to those around her, whether in her unit or in her community.

She started her own business, GuideOn Education, to become a Veteran Program Consultant, GuideOn can offer a personalized navigation for your organizations special projects to inspire, educate, and connect with the U.S. military community. With this organization, Ashley is able to use her education and experience to help military people get connected and inspired.

Currently, Ashley is a Semi-Finalist for Ms. Veteran America, and was able to raise over 4k. She loves that this competition brings together many impressive, inspiring women from multiple branches of the military to compete. They have Military History and Lip Syncing competition, as well as an interview. The Semi-Finals took place at the end of June, and she is hoping to make it into the top 25 competitors. Ashley has a Facebook page where she is sharing all her adventures, and using her platform to spread inspiration and awareness for the competition and female veterans.

Enjoy this inspiring episode.

Contact Ashley:

LinkedIn

https://guideoneducation.com/

Fundrasing Page

Faceboo

Facebook Donation

Jun 25, 2019
Learn More about Post Military Job Recruiting - Episode 27
00:32:07

Welcome to Episode 27 of the Women of the Military Podcast. Our guest this week is Natalie Olivero.

Natalie Olivero served in the Navy for 4 years and went on countless missions. Natalie was able to see many beautiful places around the world, even though her family never thought she was cut out for the military. Natalie tells about her experiences in the Navy, and her struggles transitioning to civilian life. Now for the past ten years, she has been working on perfecting the recruitment process. Natalie believes it's pretty simple when you break it all down. Treat people well, and put the best interest of others first. Natalie found a passion for recruiting but wanted to use her talent to focus solely on military personnel and their families. Today, she is the Founder + CEO of Military Talent Partners, a boutique talent consulting firm specializing in the career placement of Veterans and Military Spouses.

Even with a family that had a military history no one ever expected Natalie to join the military. Because of her personality her family didn't think she could do it, but that belief pushed her to join and prove everyone wrong. And though there was a culture shock and she always struggled with military bearing she learned a lot and enjoyed her time in the military.

We talked about the stereotypes women sometimes face when people learn that you have served. She had so many great stories from serving in the Navy. I enjoyed getting hear a piece of her story.

Contact Natalie:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/natalieoliverio/

Military Talent Partners links

https://militarytalentpartners.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MilTalent/

Twitter: https://www.facebook.com/MilTalent/

Linked In: https://www.facebook.com/MilTalent/

Linked In for Natalie: https://www.linkedin.com/in/natalieoliverio/

Jun 18, 2019
Surviving Military Sexual Trauma in the Navy - Episode 26
00:19:20

Welcome to today’s episode of the Women of the Military Podcast. Today’s guest is Linsey Daley. Linsey joined the Navy in 2004 on a green card in order to see America and travel more. She served 14 years on active duty as a Hospital Corpsman for the U.S Navy and is now in the Reserves. Linsey is a survivor of Military Sexual Trauma, and shares her story of recovery and finding hope. She recently started working for Veteran Sisters this June in order to give back to other female veterans.

In today's interview she tells her story of being raped in her dorm room during first year in the Navy. When she told her female supervisor what happened. She told her that she allowed the male into her room in the evening, so what did she expect to happen. After that she didn't tell anyone what happened and internalized what happened believing it was her fault because she let him into her room. Because she wasn't able to get help it led to a lot of different issues in her life. It wasn't until she went through the VA claims process and had to write about her experience she was able to get help through the Veteran Sister organization. Because the incident was never reported past her initial supervisor there was no action taken against her assaulter.

One of the ways she was able to get help was when she got pregnant with her son. She couldn't drink because of the pregnancy and was able to gain control over her life. Once she was able to gain control over her alcohol addiction she was able to give back and work as a Sexual Assault Victim Advocate and Drug and Alcohol Program Advisor.

She was stationed in Japan and deployed to various ports of call. Being one of twelve females and the only female in the medical section.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/linsey-daley/

Website: www.veteransisters.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VeteranSistersUS/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/veteransisters

Jun 11, 2019
Women's Health Practitioner in the Military - Episode 25
00:50:48

Welcome to Episode 25 of the Women of the Military Podcast. This week’s guest is Elis Salamone.

Elis was born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico and raised in Bridgeport, Connecticut. She is the oldest of 3 girls raised by a single mother. At 18, she enlisted in the Army and after 20 plus years of military service, she retired from the Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner.

She served in the following assignments: Fort Dix, NJ; Camp Humphreys, Korea; San Antonio, TX; Andrews AFB, MD; RAF Lakenheath, England; Ramstein, Germany; Afghanistan, Colorado Springs, CO. Throughout, her civilian and military nursing career she has worked in neurosurgery, neonatal ICU, pediatrics, OB, the OR, as women’s health nurse practitioner, in management and leadership roles. Elis has served in Afghanistan with Army Special Forces and considers taking care of wounded warriors and being in charge of the Honor Guard team in England as two of her favorite highlights of her military career.

Throughout her career, Elis has been awarded for her advocacy and leadership. Her passions include mentoring transitioning veterans, nursing professionals and women to fulfill their full potential. In her spare time, Elis is an active Lean In leader and is on the board of the National Association of Western Washington Hispanic Nurses, Global Girls Give and the Director of Women Veterans for ALPFA Seattle. Elis is fueled by self-care, travel, cooking, motivational storytelling and laughter. Elis has been a military wife, is a mother to an adult son, a warrior and a self-proclaimed “badass”.

She didn’t do very well in high school so she decided to join the Army instead of going to college. While waiting to leave for boot camp she took a few college courses. She had wanted to be a medic but didn’t have high enough scores so she worked as a Personnelist.

Connect with Elis: LinkedIN

Are you considering joining the military? Check out my free guide: A Girl's Guide to Military Life

Jun 04, 2019
From Military Spouse to Active Duty and Back Again - Episode 24
00:28:46

Welcome to Episode 24 of Women of the Military.

Alana served in the US Air Force for 4 Years, she started out her military journey as a spouse and then joined active duty years later. She served in the medical field while in the military and got out to start a family. Her husband continues to serve active duty. She has now transitioned into the natural health field and own a business teaching people about natural ways to care for themselves and their family. She is also passionate about the Military Spouse community and run an online community called MilSpouse Tribe.

Alana met her husband while she was still in high school. They had a plan for him to stay at the community college and then she would attend the community college after she graduated high school and then they would head off to a four-year institution. But her husband decided to leave community college behind and join the Air Force shortly after she graduated from high school. They were already engaged and got married about a year after he joined the Air Force. Their first assignment was in North Carolina where she was able to continue working on getting her degree in nursing.

Then he cross trained into a new career field and they ended up at Mountain Home AFB in Idaho. The town near Mountain Home had a population of 11,000 and there was no where for her to continue her degree. She felt stuck and then had a crazy idea. She could join the military too.

She knew she wanted to work in the medical field so when she went to talk to the recruiter, she had the information she needed to get the job she wanted and they also were able to work with her to get stationed back in Idaho when she completed boot camp and tech school.

She was a medic and worked in Labor and Delivery doing a job similar to a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). She also worked Urgent Care, Ambulance Duty and finished up in a clinic setting.

She left the military to become a mom. She left the military at the beginning of January. Her daughter was born at the end of January and then in mid-February they got orders to a new assignment. Leaving the military wasn’t what she expected and she felt a loss of purpose she had found being part of the military.

Transition Resources:

Free Mentorship with Veterati

American Corporate Partners (Available for Milspouses)

Military Spouse Resources:

Milspouse Tribe

Milspouse Creative for Military Spouse Entrepreneurs

Episode's Mentioned

Joining the Military Without a Career Field

Connect with Alana:

Instagram

Facebook

Are you considering joining the military? Check out my free guide: A Girl's Guide to Military Life

May 28, 2019
Pam's Road to the Army Episode 23
00:29:56

Welcome to Episode 23 of Women of the Military. My guest this week is Pam Chavez.

Pam never intended on joining the military and ended up doing so after traveling the world backpacking in 2000. She came home with no money and went back to waiting tables. Wanting to get back into college. 9-11 happened and she moved out of Chicago to Portland, OR in hopes of a fresh start but finding work proved very difficult. She ended up enlisting in the Army because after her adventures around the world she knew she could do anything for a few years. Then she ended up getting stop-lossed during her deployment to Iraq. She left the military when she returned home from her deployment. Her service led to the life she has today. She met her husband while serving in the military and they have three boys. She also started her business, Health on the Homefront, which is focused on helping military spouses take back control of their life through mindset, connection, health and wellbeing.

Pam had a military background since her dad and brothers had served in the Army. When she was stuck and relying on credit cards to pay the bills, she saw the military as a way to pay for college and get out of debt. Because she joined later in life (late 20s) it made it easier to cope with boot camp and the Army in general. She decided to become a medic because she wasn’t mechanically inclined and thought it would be an interesting career field.

She deployed to Iraq in 2005. And although her job was a lot like her mission at her home station. Routine sick hall care. She always knew the danger she was in. There were regular incoming rockets to the base she was at in Balad, Iraq. Once there was a round of ammunition that landed within a block of where she was, luckily it didn’t detonate. But it was another reminder of the reality of where she was.

When her deployment came up, she only had a few months left before she could get out of the Army and was stop-lossed. Her boyfriend (now husband) was also deploying to Iraq so it worked out well for her that she deployed and was able to see him about once a week when they would have their day off. And when she got home, she began the process to get out of the military.

The military changed everything for Pam. She went from struggling to make ends meet to building up a savings during a deployment, having a way to pay for college and meeting her husband and now being a mom, military spouse and business owner. Her family recently returned from living overseas in Korea. We talked about the struggle’s military spouses face. After serving for just over four years in the military she became a military spouse and has been married almost 15 years. So, she has experienced a lot of challenges. Through starting her business, she has found a way to move her passion with her while connecting with other military spouses.

Connect with Pam:

Website

Facebook

Mentioned in this episode:

Reintegration After A Deployment

Are you considering joining the military? Check out my free guide: A Girl's Guide to Military Life

May 21, 2019
Information Systems in the Air Force - Episode 22
00:25:35

Welcome to episode 22 of the Women of the Military Podcast. This week’s guest is Lacey Langford

Lacey Langford, The Military Money Expert™ is the host of The Military Money Show and LaceyLangford.com a personal finance blog specializing in the unique world of the U.S. military. She was raised an Army Brat and is a U.S. Air Force veteran, Milspouse, financial coach, speaker, and writer who changes people’s lives from being fearful of money to having control and confidence with it. Lacey’s an Accredited Financial Counselor® with over ten years’ experience in financial planning, counseling and coaching.

Lacey served from 1997-2001 separating just 3 months before 9/11. During my service she was an information manager. She says, “Serving in the military was the best decision she ever made. She was scared out of my mind to do it but knew it was a good decision at the time. But she had no idea what a positive impact it would have on her.”

Lacey joined the military after attending community college for six months and not feeling ready to continue on to get her degree. She worked in Information Management and did basic computer help and admin work.

Before leaving for basic training she was terrified. She said that if she could have run when she was flying to San Antonio she would have. But she was on her path to the military and ended up completing basic training while learning that she could do more than she expected from herself. Overall the military was a great experience for her.

While she was in the Air Force she was stationed at Pope Air Force Base. She did spend seven months of her time in the military serving in Italy with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). This wasn’t considered a deployment, but instead was a long Temporary Duty Assignment (TDY). She learned a lot about the different countries she worked along side and traveled to.

When her enlistment was up she decided to leave the military behind. She felt like if she stayed in for another enlistment she would stay in the military until retirement. Three months after she left the military September 11th happened. About a year after she left the military she married her now husband who is still currently serving in the military. We talked about transitioning out of the military and what it means to be a military mom who served in the military and grew up as an Army brat.

Mentioned in this episode

Joining the Military Without a Career Field

Connect with Lacey

The Military Money Show

www.LaceyLangford.com

Are you considering joining the military? Check out my free guide: A Girl's Guide to Military Life

May 14, 2019
In the Coast Guard Far From Home - Episode 21
00:30:32

Welcome to episode 21 of Women of the Military Podcast. Today’s guest is Tammy Barlet

Tammy Barlet served in the Coast Guard for 8 years. As an Operation Specialist aboard the USCGC Chase (WHEC-718), traveling halfway around the world twice was the last thing Tammy thought would happen. However, she would soon find herself on patrols in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on her way to Alaska, Thailand or the Persian Gulf. During Tammy’s time on the Cutter Chase, she participated in numerous tactical operations such as Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT 97, Southeast Asia) and Military Interdiction Operations (MIO, Persian Gulf). The Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation from Vice Admiral Card, Distinguished Coast Guard Battle “E” Ribbon, Coast Guard Special Operations, and Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal were only a few of the medals and ribbons she earned while on board the Chase.

Watching the Coast Guard on the shores of Delaware growing up inspired Tammy to join the military. She wanted to see more than just her small town and her mom liked the idea of the Coast Guard because she thought it would mean Tammy would be somewhere close to or inside of the United States. The military also offered Tammy an opportunity to go to college after her service commitment and as a senior in high school not knowing exactly what she wanted to do this idea appealed to her.

When she finished boot camp, she was assigned to the MWR unit where her job consisted of handing out basketballs and cleaning gum off the gym floor. At her six-month assessment with her Chief she told him she wanted to do something else. He suggested she become a Radarman and would be gone within 2 months and on a Cutter within 3. She did that.

It was aboard the USCG Cutter Chase that she saw the world. She did a training mission with Thailand focused on the tactical side while the Navy focused on the larger mission. And then while in the Persian Gulf her team checked and boarded ships coming out of the river and when they were found in violation the Navy would take control and they would continue to patrol.

She left the military after an accident that happened while she was volunteering. She walked away from the military and didn't get involved in the Veteran space for 10 years. It wasn't until her cousin committed suicide that she reached out for help at the VA and got connected with a counselor who gave her guidance and direction she needed. She went back to school to complete her degree and she is now almost about to receive her masters and is heavily involved in the Veteran community.

Connect with Tammy:

https://twitter.com/Tammy_Barlet

Organizations Mentioned in this Episode:

Ms. Veteran America

Mission Continues

Women Veterans Empowered to Transition writing program

Team River Runner

Valor Games

Delaware County Veteran Memorial Association

Veterans in Global Leadership

Are you Leaving the Military? Get my free guide: Navigating Life After the Military!


May 07, 2019
Serving Before and After September 11th - Episode 20
00:29:42

Welcome to episode 20 of Women of the Military Podcast. Today’s guest is Cherron Brown

Cherron has been a military spouse for 18 years and she is an Air Force veteran. She served in the Air Force for 3.5 years. she was an Information Manager. It was a split role of admin work and IT work. It allowed her to work with a variety of people from crew chiefs to supply personnel. She is still involved with the military as a Key Spouse for her husband's squadron and being a part of a few of the other groups on base. She also writes a blog to help military spouses understand and cope with military life called The Veteran Spouse.

She joined the Air Force to travel the world, but ended up being assigned to her home state of California at Edwards AFB. It wasn’t what she was hoping for. She joined the Air Force in 2000 and we touched on the differences between the military before September 11th and after.

She met her husband while serving on active duty and he deployed during the early stages of the war when communication wasn’t very easy.

She never had a particular hard time as a female in the military. Often people underestimated her or didn’t expect much out of her because of her petite frame and being a female. She worked with a lot of crew chiefs who were a little rough around the edges, but she never had a problem getting her job done.

She decided to leave the military when her first child was born. Being overseas as a dual military couple would mean that if they both deployed, they would have to fly their child back to the states to have them watched. It was also difficult with all the exercises and long days when they were both working. It made the most sense for their family to have one person stay in and the other be a stay at home parent and military spouse.

When she left the military she jumped into the role of military spouse and mom. Since she didn’t know anyone other female military spouses who were veterans she didn’t talk about her experience and almost forgot about her time in the service.

Mentioned in this episode

Veteran Spouse Blog (under construction)

Deployment Series

Apr 30, 2019
Military Child Writes a Book about West Point - Beyond the Point - Episode 19
00:28:46

Welcome to this week’s episode of Women of the Military Podcast. My guest this week is not a female veteran, but is the author of Beyond the Point that is a novel focusing on 3 female cadets and their journey through West Point and beyond. I had an opportunity to read her novel and wanted to share it with all of you and talk to Claire about her military background and how this story came to be.

Claire Gibson is a writer based in Nashville, Tennessee. Born and raised at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Claire went on to study Political Science and Asian Studies at Furman University, where she was recruited by Teach for America to be a middle school history instructor. In 2012, she left the classroom to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a writer. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, The Tennessean, Marie Claire Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine and many others. BEYOND THE POINT is her debut novel.

Claire was at West Point from 1997 to 2003 she was 10 when they arrived and 16 when she left. She also was there during September 11th. A pivotal time as the cadets who joined prior to that day. Her mom had an open-door policy that allowed the cadets to escape West Point life and spend time at their home. She admired the cadets she met and has kept in contact with them to this day. And they were the ones who asked her to write this novel.

The novel is a fictional story of three female cadets who attended West Point, but it is based on experiences that happened to women who attended West Point. So, though the experiences may not have happened to three women, they are experiences that women have faced or experienced. And even Claire’s mom’s experience is woven into the story too. As a female veteran I enjoyed the book because I related to so many of the experiences or had heard of women, I knew experiencing things mentioned. I also learned a lot about what it was like to be a cadet at West Point and other things going on during the war.

She hopes people walk away from reading Beyond the Point having a better understanding of what the military is like and possibly bridge the gap between service members and civilians. But she also wants women to see the value of friendship and community. The book shares the story of three women and shows how important friendship is throughout their journey.

If you are interested in reading the book please check out my affiliate link with Beyond the Point: A Novel">Amazon here. And if you are in the DC area and would like to meet Claire she will be at Politics and Prose at the Wharf on April 30th at 7. I’ll be there!

Connect with Claire:

http://www.clairegibson.com/

Instagram

Book: Beyond the Point


Apr 23, 2019
Serving in the Coast Guard and Surviving Military Sexual Trauma - Episode 18
00:28:50

Welcome to today’s episode of the Women of the Military Podcast. Today’s guest is Ginny Orndorff.

Ginny joined the Coast Guard at 18, she turned 19 while at boot camp. She was a chef, first stationed on a Cutter (a coast guard commissioned vessel) in San Diego. She also went to South and Central America doing drug and migrant interdiction. She was also stationed in Cape Cod, MA.

Ginny always knew she wanted to do something more. She had looked into the military, but also had a passion for culinary and had taken culinary classes. The main military branches (Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines) didn’t offer what she was looking for and she was still searching for what to do when her mother in-law suggested the Coast Guard. The recruiter came from Tennessee to talk to her. And it was then she decided to join the Coast Guard.

Her deployment rotation at her first assignment was 3 months on 3 months home. It was out off the coast of Mexico and South America she was able to learn a little bit more about the world and the challenges people faced. They knew every time they caught someone trying to get drugs into America that there could be a high risk for their family back at home. They also were on the look out for migrants coming to America. It was a hard reality to see what some people do to try and get out of the poverty they are stuck in for a chance for a better life in the states.

She talked about the double standard between males and females. Women who are driven, strong willed, and independent can be classified as negative words. While men who exhibit the same traits are seen as good leaders. It can be difficult to be a woman in the military. She is also a military sexual trauma survivor. And hearing her story of how her experience was dismissed by leadership and how hard it was for her to get the support that she needed and deserved is sad. It puts a personal touch on the #metoo movement that really explains the challenges some women have faced in the military when exposed to sexual harassment or rape.

She was medically retired in 2008 due to the PTSD caused by the assault. Since leaving the military she has been able to get help through training her dog, Shadow. Her constant companion. He has helped her to get control over her anxiety and she uses her training and her story to help others who have experience assault or rape.

She helped write “A different way to serve”

After getting the help she needed she went back to her unit and with new leadership she was able to make her way and move forward. She even had a situation where guys who had been friends with the guy who assaulted her took care of her while deployed in South America.

She encourages women to join the military because of the many positive experiences she had with her military service.

Resources:

Service Dog Programs:

http://www.semperk9.org/

https://gafsp.org/

VA Claim Support

https://www.veteransisters.org/


Apr 16, 2019
Military Wife to Military Officer - Episode 17
00:38:27

Welcome to episode 17 of the Women of the Military Podcast. Today’s guest is Kattarina Simons

Kattarina joined Army in 2009 she served for 5 and a half years on active duty, before transferring to the Army Reserves. She was in the Reserves for just under 2.5 years, making her total service 7 years and 11 months. She was a Judge Advocate (JAG) officer while in the military and for the moment she is a stay at home mom, studying for a human resources certification and pondering whether to use her GI Bill to do something completely different.

Kattarina decided to join the military because her husband had served and wanted to go back into the military her first year in law school. She knew the complexities with licenses was a challenge for military spouses who were lawyers so she decided to join the Army as well. As a JAG officer in the Army she would only need to be licensed in one state as they moved around the country and she would work doing federal law.

While completing law school, her husband rejoined the military and with deployment and ops tempo it made sense for her to stay in Oregon and complete law school while her husband served. After being married for two years they lived together while waiting for the Bar results and a medical wavier. Then it was off to Officer and law training. When she finally finished her training her husband had moved to Germany and they were able to get stationed together.

When she arrived in Germany she and her husband began to prepare for their deployment to Iraq. They deployed together and were able to see each other even though he worked longer hours. They would normally get to see each other for breakfast each day. But six months into the deployment she was assigned to another base in Iraq and although they were in the same country they were no longer at the same base. Luckily, they had saved their R&R until after the six month point so it wasn’t too bad being separated for the second half of the deployment.

She faced a few challenges being a female in the military. When she was pregnant and under a profile they asked her to work longer than her profile allowed. And when she pushed back asking for them to put it in writing they didn’t like that response. It eventually led her to leave active duty and make the switch to Reserves.

The transition to Reserves was more difficult than she anticipated. The random schedule where she would have extra work. While still having her husband serving in a demanding job in the Army. Made it hard to get everything done while still being able to take care of her family. She didn’t do the required training to make the next rank and left the Reserves when she was passed over for Major. Her husband and her both left the military within a month of each other. And he used his terminal leave to stay at home with their daughter and she went back to work full time as a civilian lawyer.

Are you considering joining the military? Check out my free guide: A Girl's Guide to Military Life

Apr 09, 2019
Military Child to ROTC hopeful to Military Mom - Episode 16
00:31:22

In today’s episode your host Amanda Huffman interviews Elaine Brye.

When you join the United States military, you don’t just sign up for duty; you also commit your loved ones to lives of service all their own.

No one knows this better than Elaine Brye, an “Army brat” turned military wife and the mother of four officers—one each in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. For more than a decade she’s endured countless teary goodbyes, empty chairs at Thanksgiving dinners, and sleepless hours waiting for phone calls in the night. She’s navigated the complicated tangle of emotions—pride, worry, fear, hope, and deep, enduring love—that are part and parcel of life as a military mother.

In Be Safe, Love Mom Elaine braids together her own personal experiences with those of fellow parents she’s met along the way. She offers gentle guidance and hard-earned wisdom on topics ranging from that first anxious goodbye to surrendering all control of your child, from finding comfort in the support of the military community and the healing power of faith to coping with the enormous sacrifices life as a military mother requires. Readers looking for encouragement and hard-to-come-by information as they travel the challenging road of having a child in uniform will find Elaine a wise and trusted friend, and Be Safe, Love Mom an essential handbook to membership in a strong and special sisterhood.

Elaine talks about her journey to military life. It started with her being the reason her mother left the military as women were not allowed to serve when they were pregnant. Her mom left the military, but her dad continued to serve throughout her childhood. And although she drifted away from the military in college ended up being drawn back and attended the Reserve Officer Training Corps program.

Her commander left her with this advice, “Don’t ever think these two years of training has been wasted. You will use this over and over again in your future life.” Not knowing she would become a mom of four kids who all joined the military. She didn’t know how true the words he spoke to her that day would be.

Her son attended the Naval Academy and his freshman (plebe) year 9/11 happened and it changed the course of the rest of the family. When he graduated he joined the Marines and is an F-18A fighter pilot. Her second son also joined and attend the Naval Academy and is a Flight Officer. Her daughter was accepted to both the Naval and Air Force Academy. And while she attended the Naval Academy, she cross commissioned into the Air Force. You can hear her story here in Episode 15. Her final son attended ROTC and joined the Army.

After some encouragement she decided to write Be Safe, Love Mom a book for military moms and for those outside of the military community to understand what it is like to be connected to the military. I have had a chance to read it and I loved reading the perspective of a mom. I haven’t ever talked to my mom about the emotion behind being a military mom and hearing the story of Elaine and the perspective she adds from others was moving and helped me understand what it is like to be a parent of a military member.

Connect with Elaine: *contains affiliate links

Facebook

Twitter

Buy Be Safe, Love Mom

Mentioned in this Episode:

From the Navy to the Air Force: Katrina Moon

31 Days of Deployment Stories

Apr 02, 2019
From the Navy to the Air Force – Episode 15
00:27:18

Welcome to episode 15 of Women of the Military Podcast. In today’s episode your host Amanda Huffman interviews Katrina Moon.

Katrina attended the Naval Academy from 2005 to 2009. In 2009, she initially commissioned into the Navy as a midshipman, but cross commissioned to the Air Force when she graduated. She served five years on active duty and is current serving in the Reserves with almost 10 years of military service. She is a developmental engineer and has worked on projects ranging from F-16 engines, a deployment to Afghanistan, instructing at the Air Force Academy and working on developing technology related to satellites. When she isn’t working for the Air Force, she works to keep the 4 small humans in her home alive and well.

She comes from a line of military women serving in the military. Her grandmother served in the military and her mom joined and completed ROTC was medically disqualified from serving on active duty. Along with that her grandfather and father also served in the military.

While attending the Naval Academy she learned she wouldn’t be able to be a pilot in the Navy because of a surgery she had undergone prior to attending the Naval Academy. So she decided to look at her options and did a swap program with the Air Force Academy and became a student at the AF Academy for a semester. It was there she learned the AF had a waiver for the surgery and she also met her future husband.

She deployed to Afghanistan as a 2nd Lt, which is a rare thing for a Developmental Engineer (check out episode 8 for another Developmental Engineers experience) to do. And her deployment left her to hop around the country of Afghanistan doing various reports on equipment spread out around the country. She was able to see a lot of the country and even was involved in a few humanitarian missions out of Bagram.

She made the switch from Active Duty to Reserves when both her and her husband realized the high likelihood of them not being stationed together at the next assignment. She was able to stay in the military as an Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) in the Reserves. Episode 14 also share the experience of an IMA. This gave them the flexibility to both continue to serve while allowing Katrina flexibility of following her husband’s career.

Would you like to be a guest on a future episode of Women of the Military Podcast? Sign up here.

Are you considering joining the military? Check out my free guide: A Girl's Guide to Military Life



Mar 26, 2019
From Security Forces to Becoming A Paralegal - Episode 14
00:27:34

Welcome to episode 14 of the Women of the Military Podcast. Today’s guest is Kris Newton.

Kris spent 14 years in the Air Force both active duty and Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) in the reserve. When she got out, she earned my Bachelor of Science in Microbiology at Bowling Green State University. She has worked in Food Safety since until recently when she took a sales position that allows her to be her son's high school hockey team manager.

Kris enlisted into the Air Force after high school. She had a twin sister and a half brother who was six months older than her and she knew her parents couldn’t afford to send three kids to college. She had debating on taking a year off and saving up money for college, but ended up joining the military instead.

She had wanted to be part of the medical career field, but the job she wanted required a long wait before a spot would open up. Worried she would chicken out and not join the military if she had to wait so long, she enlisted without a job declared and ended up being assigned to Security Forces.

Three years into her military service she was given the opportunity to cross train into a new job. She tried to get into the medical career field again, but was unsuccessful and instead cross trained to become a paralegal.

While she was a paralegal she switched from active duty to an IMA. She joined the military to be able to pay for college and with her time and service and the GI Bill she was able to go to school and get her degree. The flexibility of the IMA program worked great with her college schedule and she was able to do things she hadn’t been a part of while on active duty.

She talked about the struggle of being a military spouse and how she was looked at differently when she wasn’t in her uniform. She specifically talked about a struggle she had with housing where she was not given a chance to talk and only when her husband spoke the housing officer listened to the concerns. She was still serving in the military in the Reserves, but was assumed to be a spouse and was treated disrespectfully.

Are you considering joining the military? Check out my free guide: A Girl's Guide to Military Life

Would you like to be a guest on a future episode of Women of the Military? Sign up here.

Mar 19, 2019
Deployment Impacts Your Life Forever - Episode 13
00:26:43

Welcome to episode 13 of the Women of the Military Podcast. Today’s guest is Christina Youngblood.

Christina is an Army Veteran and an Air Force spouse currently stationed in Utah with her husband and two children, ages 6 and 5. She has always loved writing and has found a home for it on her blog Heart & Stripes. She loves being a stay at home mom, volunteering on base, spending time with her family and she is currently working on her Bachelor's Degree as well. She was raised in Florida but is experiencing her first winter in Utah after spending four years stationed in Belgium.

Christina joined the Army in 2002 and by November 2003 she was on her way to Kuwait for the second wave of Iraqi Freedom. She was a paralegal attached to a finance unit. This meant that even though she was technically stationed in Kuwait she went into Iraq through out her 15-month deployment. This deployment experience at the age of 20 led to PTSD that it took a long time for her to diagnose and get help in her recovery process.

She joined the National Guard in 2002, but with basic training, Advanced Individual Training as a paralegal and leaving for deployment in 2003 she didn’t experience being part of the National Guard until 2005 after she returned home from her deployment. There she found a full-time job working with the National Guard. She worked hand in hand with an active duty unit and got to see more of the active military side than most National Guard members do.

We also talked about the role women played in the war even before they were allowed to serve in combat units. She was overseas in 2003 and found herself out on the front lines doing her job. And I served in 2010 and deployed with a combat infantry unit. The rule to allow women to serve on the front lines and have any job they wanted to do was only made because women had already proven themselves on the battlefield.


Follow Christina on Social Media:

Blog: Heart & Stripes

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter


Are you leaving the military? Get your free guide: Navigating Life After the Military


Would you like to be a guest or know someone who might want to share their story for the Women of the Military Podcast? You can sign up here and I will be in touch with you shortly.

Mar 12, 2019
Diving into Marine Corps Life - Episode 12
00:29:06

Welcome to episode 12 of Women of the Military Podcast. Today’s guest is Susie Wilcox. I found Susie through a blog post on How to Milspouse where she shared her experience as a Marine and military spouse. After reading her story I knew I needed to have her as a guest on the podcast.

On the advice of a friend who had joined the Marines a few years before Suzie started looking into the military. He urged her to join the Air Force, but she was strong willed and independent. She walked straight past the Air Force recruiter’s office and joined the Marines, she was at MEPS four days later. Susie joined the Marine Corps in August, 1999. She served four years active duty in the Corp. Her military occupation was water purification. Nowadays she is a mother of four teenagers, a yoga instructor and runs her blog, Susan Leda - Dishes are not for the faint of heart.

Military Deployment

She deployed when her boys were 2 and almost 1. She was part of the initial invasion into Iraq. Her team arrived in Kuwait and it was just a desert. The Engineering team which she was a part of worked to build the base up. It went from dirt to a functioning military base when they left a few months later to head into Iraq. She was only able to communicate back home twice. One time was a planned call home and the second time was when she got a red cross message that her grandfather had passed away. Because of where she was, she was unable to leave Iraq to head home. She talked about coming home and her one year old not remembering who she was and how much time it took to rebuild that bond. And she also talked about how much her two year old was affected by him leaving. He had a hard time letting her leave after arriving back home. Part of the reason she left the Marines when it was time to reenlist was because she didn't have the support network she needed.

Susan found herself in the in the military. She was able to excel and learned a lot. And after leaving the military she was able to look at life with a different perspective.

Mentioned in this episode:

https://www.howtomilspouse.com/marine-to-milspouse/

Being a Military Spouse Was Harder than I thought

Follow Susan on Social Media

Blog: https://susanleda.blog/

Would you like to be a guest or know someone who might want to share their story for the Women of the Military Podcast? You can sign up here and I will be in touch with you shortly.

Are you considering joining the military? Check out my free guide: A Girl's Guide to Military Life

WILCO LIFE is an online boutique offering minimalist-style bags and accessories that meet military regulations. The company also carries products from veteran-owned companies that can be worn “off duty.” Use the code AIRMAN2MOM to save 15% on your purchase. Order here!


Mar 05, 2019
Overcoming PTSD and what is next - Episode 11
00:32:02

Welcome to episode 11 of the Women of the Military Podcast. Today’s guest is Annette Wittenberg.

Annette is a military spouse, mother to two teenagers (one being in college) and veteran who served in the Army for over seventeen years as a Chemical officer including a deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan. She retired and decided to trade in her boots for converse sneakers to be able to make up for lost time with her now teenagers. Since her retirement she has PCSed from Fort Polk, LA to Fairfax, VA to support her husband’s military career. Her blog A Wild Ride Called Life incorporates stories from her post military life in which she shares how she lives life with being a mom suffering from PTSD, anxiety and depression. Along with writing her blogs she also writes for other social media sources and has a podcast.

Mil to Mil, PTSD, and more

In the interview we talked about a number of topics. She and her husband have been married for 20 years and for her whole military career. After being married for a year and being in the Army for less than a year her daughter was born. She talked about being 23 in a foreign country (Germany) and having to grow up real fast as she raised her daughter and both her and her husband continued to serve on active duty. Two years later her son was born. She was lucky to find two great nannies to take care of her daughter that made it easier to leave her behind and go back to work. They moved back to the states when her son was three months old.

She deployed Iraq and Afghanistan while serving in the Army. She attributes her Post Traumatic Stress Disorder not only to the experience of being overseas, but also having to deal with being assaulted when she was a cadet at training. When she expressed her story to others some people didn’t believe her and it taught her to be tough and stuff the emotions she was feeling. 17 years of stuffing her feelings and dealing with going overseas eventually became a breaking point. Her blog gives her an opportunity to share experience and help others.

You can learn more about Annette at her blog:

www.awildridecalledlife.com

And connect with her through her social media links:

Facebook

Instagram

Mentioned in this episode:

https://medium.com/

https://vetpreneurtribe.com/

https://thechicsite.com/about/ (Rachel Hollis)

Are you leaving the military? Get your free guide: Navigating Life After the Military

Would you like to be a guest on a future episode of Women of the Military? Sign up here.

Feb 26, 2019
From Active Duty to the National Guard - Episode 10
00:23:51

Today, I interviewed Dina Farmer. Dina started her career in the Air Force serving on active duty. She left active duty through the Palace Chase program and continued her service through the Air National Guard.

Dina enlisted into the Air Force is 2005. She joined the military when she was faced with a high medical bill and needed a way to pay for college. She started her career in the Air Force in the Communication Squadron. When given the opportunity to switch career fields she did and Biomedical Engineering. While she was working in the National Guard someone from the Public Affairs shopped found out she was majoring in Photography. They recruited her to work in the Public Affairs as a photojournalist. She loved her job as a photojournalist. And her advice to girls joining the military is to wait to get the job she wants and not rush into the military.

One of the things we discussed in the interview was the struggle of being a mil to mil couple and having a family while serving in the Air Force. Having to work exercises while her husband was deployed was extremely difficult as the 12 hour shifts were not covered by base childcare. Finding childcare to cover the extra hours was very difficult and she didn't get sympathy from her leadership.

When she left active duty to serve via the Air National Guard she found a much more supportive leadership. When her husband was deployed they were able to work with her and she felt like it was a family. When her husband was transferred to Hawaii she was unable to find a job at the National Guard unit there and separated from the military.

Mentioned in this episode:

https://www.kithandkintravels.com/

Dina's Social Contacts:

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest


Would you like to be a guest or know someone who might want to share their story for the Women of the Military Podcast? You can sign up here and I will be in touch with you shortly.

Are you considering joining the military? Check out my free guide: A Girl's Guide to Military Life

WILCO LIFE is an online boutique offering minimalist-style bags and accessories that meet military regulations. The company also carries products from veteran-owned companies that can be worn “off duty.” Use the code AIRMAN2MOM to save 15% on your purchase. Order here!

Feb 21, 2019
Seeing the World with the Navy - Episode 9
00:27:24

Welcome to Episode 9 of Women of the Military Podcast. In today's episode I interviewed Shakeia Kegler. Shakeia joined the Navy in 2011 and was sent to Japan for her first assignment. The day she landed in Japan she learned her ship the USS George Washington was about to head out for a six month deployment. She quickly found her sea legs as she headed out to sea. With a deployment rotation of six months deployed and six months home the three years she spent in Japan were an adventure.

In today's interview we talked about some of the challenges of being on a ship with so many men. There were highs and lows, but one of the most important lessons she learned from her experience was the importance of making good decisions and policing themselves. She saw how people (mainly women) making poor choices would follow them through their time in the Navy. While the Navy is big, it is also very small and the stories that people told would follow you even after you moved on to the next assignment.

After leaving the military to come home to be with her family her family noticed changes in her. She talked about how the time they were separated both her family and she changed and since they were seperated so often the changes were easy to spot. She had experienced so much in her time in the military. She left home shortly after graduating high school and headed out on an adventure with the Navy. Through her time in the Navy she learned a lot about herself and grew into the person she is today.


Mentioned in this episode:

https://www.govlia.com/

skegler@govlia.com


Govlia Social Contacts:

Facebook

LinkedIn

Twitter


Considering joining the military? Check out my free guide A Girls Guide to Military Life. Find answers to questions you have and ones you don’t even know to ask. This guide will give you a firm starting point as you begin your military career. Click here.


Would you like to be a guest or know someone who might want to share their story for the Women of the Military Podcast? You can sign up here and I will be in touch with you shortly.

Feb 19, 2019
An Air Force Developmental Engineer - Episode 8
00:23:17

Welcome to episode 8 of Women of the Military Podcast. In today’s episode your host Amanda Huffman interviews Erin Sears.

Erin served in the US Air Force on Active Duty from December 2006 through July 2012 as an Acquisitions and Engineering Officer. She earned her commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Program at Embry-Riddle. Listen to her experience of why she joined the Air Force, military life and why she left the military behind to be a stay at home mom and military spouse. Erin met her husband in college, but decided before getting married she wanted to see the world. This meant they were stationed in two locations for their early career. She married her husband on paper in a story not uncommon to other mil to mil spouses. They ended up with 3 different wedding dates and picked one to celebrate each year.

She and her husband were eventually reunited and able to be stationed together for the rest of her career. Even if it included a over hour commute to make it happen. When she decided she wanted to leave the military the first request was rejected as they saw her as to valuable to leave. But then when she applied through a different program, she was able to leave the service shortly after her son was born.

Favorite part of Military Service

Her favorite part of her military service was when she was able to go out in the field with the civilian crew. They would go out to help troubleshoot problems that the regular mechanics couldn't figure out. Not all the officers had the opportunity to go out in the field. But the guys she worked with trusted her and brought her along to learn. It was also a chance to get out of the office. If you are considering joining the Air Force as a Developmental Engineer this episode will give you a peek into the early years of what your career might be like.


Are you considering joining the military? Check out my free guide to help you prepare for military life. Click here.


Would you like to be a guest or know someone who might want to share their story for the Women of the Military Podcast? You can sign up here and I will be in touch with you shortly.

Feb 14, 2019
The Struggle of Coming Home from War - Episode 7
00:33:36

Welcome to episode seven of Women of the Military Podcast. In today’s episode your host Amanda Huffman interviews Ashley Metesh-McCoy.

Ashley grew up as a military brat. She served in the Army National Guard while attending college and participating in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program. While doing this she was able to combine her Montgomery GI Bill and ROTC scholarship to graduate from college with almost no debt.

Off to Afghanistan

Her guard unit was mobilized to deploy shortly after she graduated from college. She was not slated to deploy since she was still at training for her job as a new 2d Lt. When her unit had almost completed training her boss asked if she would be willing to go she said yes and a day after Christmas, she found herself headed to Fort Sill to prepare to deploy to Afghanistan.

When she arrived in Afghanistan she found herself tasked to the S1 (Personnel) shop. After getting the unit up and running she was ready to do something else. She was able to get assigned to a Human Intelligence Exploitation Team (HUMINT) team. In this job she was able to go out and see different parts of Afghanistan and felt she was making an impact. She also helped to hand out and collect shoes to girls and boys in Afghanistan that she saw on missions outside the wire.

Coming Home from War

Upon coming home from Afghanistan, she struggled to find a job in the civilian world. Her only job experience after college was going to Afghanistan and with a recession and being unable to translate the work, she did overseas she struggled to transition back to civilian life.

This episode talked specifically about the way that viewing the world after a deployment can be dark and black and white. We dived deep into the loss of purpose and the struggle to find meaning after spending time overseas. This episode talked about so many things I experienced, but hadn’t been able to put into words. I am so thankful for Ashley’s willingness to share her story. I hope this episode can help those struggling with coming home. And hopefully help military spouses and significant others understand some of what happens inside the head of a service member upon coming home.

Ashley today:

Ashley loves bringing people closer through unique travel experiences. To her, travel is an opportunity to grow individually and in relationships through shared experiences in new cultures. Ashley is a US Army Veteran, mom of a curious and energetic four-year-old daughter, wife of an Army Soldier, dog lover, foodie, self-proclaimed artist, and empathetic soul. Through her business and volunteer activities she is always seeking ways to give back to the military community.

Learn more about Ashley here: Kinship Vacations

Mentioned in this Episode:

Changing the conversation about Mental Health

Coming Home from Afghanistan


Are you Leaving the Military? Get my free guide: Navigating Life After the Military!


Would you like to be a guest or know someone who might want to share their story for the Women of the Military Podcast? You can sign up here and I will be in touch with you shortly.

Feb 12, 2019
Do I Belong in the Navy - Episode 6
00:23:08

Welcome to episode six of Women of the Military Podcast. In today’s episode, your host Amanda Huffman interviews Mandy Snell. Mandy was accepted and attended the Naval Academy. She served in the military (10 years on active duty and 10 years in the Reserves) for a total of twenty years before retiring as a Lt Commander.

While attending the Naval Academy, Mandy was told that she didn’t deserve her spot at the Academy. She was told that she was an example of why women shouldn’t serve in the military. As a Ensign, she became a mom and faced complications due to being both single mom and serving in the military. Despite facing these challenges in her early career, she was able to serve in the military and retire as a Lt Commander.

Through her career, she deployed twice. Before and after 9/11. And was one of the first Surface Warfare Officers to serve on a ship as a female. Listen to her story to be inspired and learn from her experience in the Navy. My only regret for this episode is that I wish I had asked more questions. I will have to have her back in the future.

Mentioned in this episode:

www.airmantomom.com
31 Day Deployment Series
Do I Deserve Your Thanks of Veteran’s Day?
Women of the Military Sign Up Form
Guide for Joining the Military

Would you like to be a guest or know someone who might want to share their story for the Women of the Military Podcast? You can sign up here and I will be in touch with you shortly.

Are you Leaving the Military? Get my free guide: Navigating Life After the Military!

Want to stay connected with Women of the Military, check out our Facebook Group. You can also follow Amanda through Airman to Mom on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

WILCO LIFE is an online boutique offering minimalist-style bags and accessories that meet military regulations. The company also carries products from veteran-owned companies that can be worn “off duty.” Use the code AIRMAN2MOM to save 15% on your purchase. Order here!

Feb 07, 2019
A Female Vietnam Veteran's Story - Episode 5
00:29:23

A Female Vietnam Veteran - Episode 5

Welcome to Episode 5 of Women of the Military podcast. In today's episode Amanda interviews Janet Apling. Janet was an active duty Army Officer during the Vietnam War.

Military Service

Janet served in the Army during Vietnam. She never deployed overseas, but made critical contributions to the change allowing women to be part of the military. Her husband was a civilian and struggled to be accepted as a dependent. She left active duty when she became pregnant with her first child, which was the standard practice required for women who served during the Vietnam era. She served in the Reserves and was the first woman to serve in the Wisconsin National Guard who was not in a medical coded career field.

Women in the military have always faced a problem with certain reputation, whether it pertained to you or not, by both civilians and the men that we worked with. During this period in our history a large number of military male Officers and NCOs didn’t really want us there and made it known through their attitude and the sexual harassment handed out.

Unfortunately it wasn’t reported because we were accused of asking for that type of treatment. If you reported it your life was made worse. I was lucky in a sense because the experience I was faced with was just before graduation. I was able to leave the post and not have to deal with it on a daily basis. It also sort of prepared me for future encounters of the same sort. These encounters have left me with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder/Military Sexual Trauma.

Considering joining the military?

Check out my free guide A Girls Guide to Military Life. Find answers to questions you have and ones you don’t even know to ask. This guide will give you a firm starting point as you begin your military career. Click here.

Would you like to be a guest or know someone who might want to share their story for the Women of the Military Podcast? You can sign up here and I will be in touch with you shortly.

Feb 05, 2019
Woman Out to Change the World - Episode 4
00:25:29

Welcome to episode four of Women of the Military Podcast. In today’s episode, your host Amanda Huffman interviews Tiye Young. Tiye Young is a Charlotte native currently serving in the North Carolina National Guard after serving on active duty in the Army for over six years. She is also a cancer survivor and is about to celebrate her one-year anniversary of being cancer free. At such a young age she has already accomplished so much, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have big plans for the future. Don’t miss the incredible story of Tiye Young!

Military Service

She joined the military after participating in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Program (JROTC) when a former female service member took her under her wing and inspired her to join the military.

After graduating from high school, she went to college and received a scholarship through the ROTC program which led her to commission into the Army when she graduated college. She was trained as a Chemical Officer, but her jobs on active duty led her to do various tasks and assignments including deploying as an Executive Officer (XO). Her career gave her some amazing opportunities and things that you might not even expect an Army Officer to do.

She was also the 2nd Runner up in the Ms. Veteran America. The Ms. Veteran America competition highlights more than the strength, courage, and sacrifice of our nation’s military women, but also reminds us that these women are Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, and Wives.

She has had experiences where she was overlooked and undermined because she was a female serving on in the military. She is a powerful voice for the female military community. You will not be disappointed when you take the time to listen to her wisdom, experience, and inspirational story.

She also runs Ty M Carolina which is a branding, marketing and consulting business where she advertises veteran business to help them get the exposure that they need.

Mentioned in this episode

Ms. Veteran America
Ty M Carolina

Ty M Carolina on Social:

Considering joining the military? Check out my free guide A Girls Guide to Military Life. Find answers to questions you have and ones you don’t even know to ask. This guide will give you a firm starting point as you begin your military career. Click here.

Jan 31, 2019
A Deployed Mom's Experience - Episode 3
00:36:51

In this interview, we talk about Cynthia's journey to military life. She joined the military through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program. A program she joined just to learn a little more about the military. One of the biggest struggles she had during ROTC was meeting height and weight standards and physical fitness. Listen to how she worked hard to overcome her struggles to become an officer in the Air Force.

She also discusses her recent deployment to Turkey. She talks about what it was like to deploy to Turkey. What it was like to be a mom deployed and what challenges she faced while serving overseas. We also discuss the challenges her husband who is also serving on active duty faced. He was both an officer and dad to their daughter through the deployment. It is interesting how being married to someone in the military (mil to mil) causes a give and take relationship. This is different than what many military spouses experience as they are expected to pick up the slack because they are not in the military.

Cynthia recently launched A Faithful Step. A Faithful Step’s mission is to encourage and equip women to embrace their femininity and understand they are worthy and created with a purpose, inspiring them to live courageously, one step at a time, in every aspect of their life, for God’s Glory.

Check out the full podcast episode here.

Mentioned in this episode:

9/11 Reflection

Ripple Effect of September 11th

A Faithful Step

A Faithful Step on social:

Facebook

Pinterest

Instagram

Are you about to face a deployment? Check out Amanda's free guide for deployment. She has created a guide for military spouses and one for military members. Get yours today!

Would you like to be a guest on a future episode of Women of the Military? Sign up here.

Jan 29, 2019
Air Force Civil Engineer, Amanda Huffman, Airman to Mom - Episode 2
00:27:34

Welcome to episode two of Women of the Military Podcast. In today’s episode your host Amanda Huffman will tell you about her military experience, challenges and more.

Amanda served in the military for six years as an Air Force Civil Engineer. Her first assignment was to Holloman AFB in Alamogordo, NM. There she was assigned to the 49th Civil Engineer Squadron. She worked in both the Environmental Flight and the Engineering Flight. She deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 as part of a Provincial Reconstruction Team. She ended her career at Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio working at Air Force Material Command doing Energy Management.

Amanda was married to her husband the whole time she served on active duty. They met in college while they were both working to gain their commission into the Air Force. They have been married for 12 years. Amanda left the military when their first son was born after experiencing a deployment and dealing with the various challenges mil to mil life brings.

Amanda military experience changed her life and she was able to learn so much about herself through the different military experiences. Now she works as a blogger and podcaster to share the stories of other women who have served or currently serve in the Air Force.

Mentioned in this episode:

www.airmantomom.com

31 Day Deployment Series

Women of the Military Sign Up Form

Want to stay connected with Women of the Military, check out our Facebook Group. You can also follow Amanda through Airman to Mom on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

Considering joining the military? Check out my free guide to joining the military. Find answers to questions you have and ones you don’t even know to ask. This guide will give you a firm starting point as you begin your military career. Click here.

Would you like to be a guest or know someone who might want to share their story for the Women of the Military Podcast? You can sign up here and I will be in touch with you shortly.

Are you considering joining the military? Check out my free guide: A Girl's Guide to Military Life

WILCO LIFE is an online boutique offering minimalist-style bags and accessories that meet military regulations. The company also carries products from veteran-owned companies that can be worn “off duty.” Use the code AIRMAN2MOM to save 15% on your purchase. Order here!

Jan 24, 2019
Why Focus on Women - Episode 1
00:12:30

Welcome to episode one of Women of the Military Podcast. In today’s episode your host Amanda Huffman will share the why behind the podcast, where the idea came from and why I picked military women as the focus point. It is always important to know the why behind the story. So, I’m starting off the podcast with how the podcast came to be and why I am passionate in sharing the stories of women who have served and those who continue to serve in the military.

In 2017, I embarked on a 31 journey of telling deployment stories. My goal was to get back to my original focus when I started the blog, sharing military experiences. The response surprised me. I asked so many people to share the story and the response was always from women. I actually only received one response from a male and it was not from a male I had deployed with or knew. The stories from these women encouraged and inspired me. I had to know more about what women were doing for our country.

I decided to follow up 31 Days of Deployment stories with 31 Days of Women in the Military. In the process of moving and life happening when it came time for the series I was worn out and felt overwhelmed. Even though I had collected over 25 stories I didn’t think putting all the stories in a one-month series was the best option. A friend suggested sharing stories over the year in 2019. An idea was born and then the podcast idea followed shortly after.

I am so excited for 2019. As I launch the podcast and share some of the stories I have collected over the past year on my blog. There are a few more whys, but why don’t you check it out on the podcast right here.

Are you considering joining the military? Check out my free guide: A Girl's Guide to Military Life

Would you like to be a guest on a future episode of Women of the Military? Sign up here.

Jan 22, 2019