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Women of the Military

Women of the Military

By Amanda

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.
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Going through MEPS in the Air Force - Episode 34

Women of the MilitaryAug 06, 2019

Women of the Military Continues...

Women of the Military Continues...

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Apr 01, 202000:29
When Public Affairs Changed - Episode 67

When Public Affairs Changed - Episode 67

This episode is sponsored by Insure the Heroes Inc.

In this episode we covered:   The changes the Navy went through when women were allowed on new ships throughout the fleet  Switching from being  a Surface Warfare Officer to a Public Affairs (PA) Officer  How the internet and social media changed the PA career field Transitioning from Active Duty to Reserves Deploying as a Reservist and coming home

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 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:



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, 202034:56
Sacrificing at War and at Home - Episode 66
Mar 17, 202025:51
Climbing the Ranks to Brigadier General - Episode 65

Climbing the Ranks to Brigadier General - Episode 65

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, 202050:35
10 Things I Learned from Deployment - Episode 64

10 Things I Learned from Deployment - Episode 64

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


Changing the Conversation About Mental Health

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above

Kevin Barba

Mar 03, 202037:41
Satellite Communications and Beyond - Episode 63

Satellite Communications and Beyond - Episode 63

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, 202035:10
From Refueling Missions to The Transportation of Remains - Episode 62

From Refueling Missions to The Transportation of Remains - Episode 62

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:

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, 202042:20
Working on Jet Engines in the Air Force - Episode 61

Working on Jet Engines in the Air Force - Episode 61

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, 202024:20
Q & A with 'The Spouse Angle' host Natalie Gross - Episode 60
Feb 04, 202040:06
Transitioning from the National Guard Isn't the Same - Episode 59

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

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, 202032:24
Overcoming Rape in the Military - Episode 58

Overcoming Rape in the Military - Episode 58

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:

Thank you to my patreon sponsor:

Kevin Barba

Jan 21, 202047:50
Serving During Desert Storm - Episode 57

Serving During Desert Storm - Episode 57

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, 202046:10
Giving Back After Service to Find Healing - Episode 56

Giving Back After Service to Find Healing - Episode 56

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, 202036:41
Top Most Played Episodes of 2019 - Episode 55

Top Most Played Episodes of 2019 - Episode 55

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, 201940:49
How Far Women of the Military Podcast Has Come - Bonus - Episode 54

How Far Women of the Military Podcast Has Come - Bonus - Episode 54

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, 201927:40
Being A Counterintelligence Agent in the Army - Episode 53

Being A Counterintelligence Agent in the Army - Episode 53

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, 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, 201940:16
Deploying For Other Reasons Than War - Episode 52

Deploying For Other Reasons Than War - Episode 52

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:

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, 201933:12
Serving as an Officer in the Marine Corps - Episode 51

Serving as an Officer in the Marine Corps - Episode 51

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:

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, 201940:36
The Importance of Self-Care - Episode 50

The Importance of Self-Care - Episode 50

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

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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, 201922:34
Do You Know the Stories of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) - Episode 49

Do You Know the Stories of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) - Episode 49

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.

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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:



Nov 19, 201937:45
How to Deal with the Grief of Losing Your Military Service - Episode 48

How to Deal with the Grief of Losing Your Military Service - Episode 48

Episode 48 is sponsored by

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

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Nov 12, 201926:54
Mourning the Loss of Military Service - Episode 47

Mourning the Loss of Military Service - Episode 47

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, 201926:56
The Challenges Faced by Single Moms in the Army - Episode 46

The Challenges Faced by Single Moms in the Army - Episode 46

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, 201941:21
Overcoming Adversity in the Army - Episode 45

Overcoming Adversity in the Army - Episode 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: 

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, 201951:45
Helping Others Find Jobs - Episode 44

Helping Others Find Jobs - Episode 44

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

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Oct 15, 201936:37
Joining the Army While Still in High School - Episode 43

Joining the Army While Still in High School - Episode 43

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.

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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




Beyond the Point – Fictional Novel about 3 women attending West Point

Oct 08, 201937:03
7 Things I Wish I would Have Known Before I Joined the Military - Episode 42
Oct 01, 201937:07
Serving as a Nurse in the Air Force - Episode 41

Serving as a Nurse in the Air Force - Episode 41

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


Sep 24, 201934:35
Aim High from a former Secretary of the Air Force - Episode 40

Aim High from a former Secretary of the Air Force - Episode 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.

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Aim High: Chart Your Course and Find Success

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Sep 17, 201929:40
Serving at the Pentagon on September 11th - Episode 39

Serving at the Pentagon on September 11th - Episode 39

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, 201928:30
From the Hall of West Point to Iraq - Episode 38

From the Hall of West Point to Iraq - Episode 38

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, 201938:01
The Challenge of a Dual Military Career - Episode 37

The Challenge of a Dual Military Career - Episode 37

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, 201927:28
Dealing with Infertility in the Military - Episode 36

Dealing with Infertility in the Military - Episode 36

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, 201928:30
A Single Mother in the Army - Episode 35

A Single Mother in the Army - Episode 35

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





Aug 13, 201940:14
Going through MEPS in the Air Force - Episode 34

Going through MEPS in the Air Force - Episode 34

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, 201929:17
Joining the Australian Army - Episode 33

Joining the Australian Army - Episode 33

 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


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, 201945:40
Serving in Iraq (the Kickoff, the Surge, the Drawdown) - Episode 32

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

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:


Want to hear more stories of military women? Check out Amanda's new book Women of the Military, now available on Amazon

Jul 23, 201926:55
When You Don't End Up in the Career Field You Planned On - Episode 31

When You Don't End Up in the Career Field You Planned On - Episode 31

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, 201930:19
Life Is What You Make It - Episode 30

Life Is What You Make It - Episode 30

 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:






Get your copy of Women of the Military Book today! Order here.

Jul 09, 201929:36
Before Women Could Be Fighter Pilots - Episode 29

Before Women Could Be Fighter Pilots - Episode 29

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:

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, 201950:02
Leading From the Front - Episode 28

Leading From the Front - Episode 28

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:


Fundrasing Page


Facebook Donation

Jun 25, 201935:05
Learn More about Post Military Job Recruiting - Episode 27

Learn More about Post Military Job Recruiting - Episode 27

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:

Military Talent Partners links



Linked In:

Linked In for Natalie:

Jun 18, 201932:07
Surviving Military Sexual Trauma in the Navy - Episode 26

Surviving Military Sexual Trauma in the Navy - Episode 26

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. 





Jun 11, 201919:20
Women's Health Practitioner in the Military - Episode 25

Women's Health Practitioner in the Military - Episode 25

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, 201950:48
From Military Spouse to Active Duty and Back Again - Episode 24

From Military Spouse to Active Duty and Back Again - Episode 24

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:



Are you considering joining the military? Check out my free guide: A Girl's Guide to Military Life

May 28, 201927:45
Pam's Road to the Army Episode 23

Pam's Road to the Army Episode 23

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:



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, 201928:55
Information Systems in the Air Force - Episode 22

Information Systems in the Air Force - Episode 22

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 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

Are you considering joining the military? Check out my free guide: A Girl's Guide to Military Life

May 14, 201924:34
In the Coast Guard Far From Home - Episode 21

In the Coast Guard Far From Home - Episode 21

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:

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, 201929:31
Serving Before and After September 11th - Episode 20

Serving Before and After September 11th - Episode 20

 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, 201928:41
Military Child Writes a Book about West Point - Beyond the Point - Episode 19

Military Child Writes a Book about West Point - Beyond the Point - Episode 19

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: 


Book: Beyond the Point

Apr 23, 201927:45