Active Duty | 5 Years in the U.S. Army
What do you do in the service?
I’m a 12 Bravo, also known as a combat engineer. We work with explosives, but we also drive tanks and build obstacles for the Infantry.
What area of your life has the military helped you grow in the most?
It helped me connect with more people because I’m somewhat of an introvert. Meeting new people, getting to know them; kind of opened me up which I appreciate. Also, the military has helped me grow in my education. I was able to take classes while I was deployed. Even though I couldn’t finish my degree while active duty to have the education benefits to use once I get out is amazing.
What is your perspective of patriotism?
I believe a patriot is someone that has love or devotion to their country. I love what I got to do for my country. I appreciate the opportunities my service has afforded me.
What has been your experience while you’re transitioning from active duty to civilian life?
I am currently in the process of transitioning out of the military. I have amazing leadership that allows me to do what I need to do to have a smooth transition. The Army’s transition program: SFL-Tap has also been beneficial. The counselor assigned to me through the program was amazing. I feel prepared and excited for my next chapter in life.
What do you plan on doing post active duty?
I am thinking about joining the reserves. I’m a mom, so having the continuation of benefits is important to me. I know my time in the reserves will also go towards my retirement. One weekend out of a month and two weeks in the summertime seems like a very doable commitment. Once I’m done with active-duty status, I will be able to be with my child more. I have plans to go to school full-time, to finish my degree in health care administration.
What advice would you give to others transitioning into civilian life?
Pay attention to what is being taught in SFL- Tap; even if you feel you don’t need the information immediately it could be useful later. Some resources offered have an expiration date; so be mindful of that. Do not be afraid to take advantage of any programs or services offered because they are specifically designed to make your transition smooth.
What are some things that people should consider before they decide to serve their country?
Definitely, do your research. Also, seek advice from trusted prior military friends and family. They have the experience and normally can provide really good advice. Gathering information from people you trust can really help you understand how the military works. Different jobs in the military have different commitments; some jobs deploy more which means more time away from your family. It’s important to understand what kind of sacrifice you will be making that way you aren’t shocked once you’re active duty. The more you know beforehand the better prepared you will be. It will make your time in the service that much better.