native Atlantan | marketing and communications professional | U.S. Army veteran | resident of Germany for 3.5 years | graduate of Druid Hills High School | Cum Laude graduate of Washington University in St. Louis with a bachelor’s in Graphic Design and a concentration in Illustration
When I was little, I can’t say the thought of going into the military ever crossed my mind. Looking back, though, it is probably the best decision I’ve ever made (so far). After earning a full ROTC scholarship to an amazing university, I threw myself into both the art & Army world – a marriage that seemed strange at first, but melded in ways that I’ve found incredibly rewarding.
As a Transportation Officer in the U.S. Army, I was so fortunate to have the opportunity to provide leadership, guidance, and training to hundreds of Soldiers as a Platoon Leader, Executive Officer, and Rear Detachment Commander. The Army taught me (or demanded) incredible skills in management, attention to detail, timeliness, planning, and discipline. An added bonus was the frequent briefings to and meetings with superiors that will make a public speaker out of anyone.
In 2003, after only a few months in the Army, many of us newly commissioned officers found ourselves in the sands of Kuwait and Iraq (a far cry from the grassy quad I’d been in less than a year before). While deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, I served as a Platoon Leader to 32 Soldiers and as a Convoy Commander to hundreds of Soldiers and civilians. And we all learned enormous patience while coordinating with contacts in other companies, departments, and the media.
Towards the end of our tour, I was promoted to Executive Officer where I provided leadership and administrative support to over 150 Soldiers and their families; prepared weekly presentations and statistical briefings for superiors to brief; composed and assembled all company correspondence, including newsletters, articles, and announcements.
While I loved all of my jobs, one of my favorite positions I held in the military was Rear Detachment Commander. The job of the Rear Detachment team fell to five of us who tackled the responsibility of supporting a company of over 150 Soldiers and their families who deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. For a year and a half, we worked long hours to maintain lines of communication between deployed Soldiers and their families, both in Germany and the states. We held informational meetings, coordinated fundraisers, sent countless care packages, developed and maintained training and management plans, sent supplies, took care of Soldiers who returned to Germany, and essentially made ourselves available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I had the pleasure and honor of working with some of the most dedicated volunteers I’ve ever seen.
Which has led me to my current belief that just about anything is possible and that I can, somehow, accomplish the myriad of goals, interests, activities, social events, jobs, and everything else I’ve set out to do in life.