Women In Service Profiles

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1st Lt. Tia Beck, New York Air National Guard
1st Lt. Tia Beck New York Air National Guard

First Lt. Tia Beck, 106th Operations Support Squadron, New York Air National Guard, joined the military in 2015 at 27. After attending college at SUNY Geneseo, Lt. Beck decided to pursue a J.D. with a focus on maritime security. While working in the corporate sector, Beck realized that she would never feel truly satisfied until she served her country. Beck's father, a combat-wounded Marine, helped foster that desire to serve from a young age and that influence has shaped many of her personal and professional ambitions. Her educational background and corporate experience has brought a unique perspective and valuable skill set to the 106 Intelligence flight. She quickly became the point person for three intelligence programs and serves as a critical liaison between the OSS and operational squadrons. Currently, Lt Beck is serving as the Intel OIC in a deployed location, providing crucial support to the Rescue Triad while coordinating with joint entities. When she is not in uniform, she is serving as an ocean lifeguard and volunteering at an animal shelter.

Sgt. 1st Class Jessica L. Biggins, Massachusetts Army National Guard
Sgt. 1st Class Jessica L. Biggins Massachusetts Army National Guard

Sgt. 1st Class Jessica L. Biggins, of Hull, Massachusetts, is a recruiter for the Massachusetts Army National Guard. She is a proud mother of two children, Connor, 10, and Molly, 8. She has served in the Army for over 16 years. Sgt. Biggins comes from a strong and devoted military family. Both of her grandfathers served. One was a sailor in the Navy during World War II. The other fought in the Korean conflict, where he was captured and became a prisoner of war. Sgt. Biggins began her own military career as an 88M, or motor transport operator. In 2003 and again in 2010, she was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In addition to carrying out her primary duties with the 1058th Transportation Company, she volunteered to act as the unit's first and only female machine gunner. From that post, she provided security on the most treacherous and peril-ridden roads of Iraq. On three occasions her convoy was struck by improvised explosive devices which were followed by more complex attacks. Her quick thinking and cool-headedness in combat allowed Sgt. Biggins to provide decisive and effective fire. For her bravery, Biggins was awarded a Combat Action Badge.

Capt. Megan Binkley, 168th Wing, Alaska Air National Guard
Capt. Megan Binkley 168th Wing, Alaska Air National Guard

Alaska Air National Guard Capt. Megan Binkley is the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) for the 168th Wing at Eielson AFB, Alaska. Binkley, who joined the the 168th Wing in 2006, deployed to Al-Udeid Air Base, Qatar, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2009. In 2013, she was selected as the Air National Guard Young Health Care Administrator of the Year, and the Outstanding Health Services Administrator of the Year. Capt. Binkley recently completed the requirements for her private pilot's license, and has been selected to attend Joint Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training with the Air Force Reserves. She will be attending training in 2019, and is fulfilling a lifelong dream.

Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Lynn Blood, West Virginia Air National Guard
Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Lynn Blood West Virginia Air National Guard

Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Lynn Blood, 167th Civil Engineering Squadron, joined the Air Force in 1999 as a Korean Linguist, but separated in 2001 to become a stay-at-home mother of twins. She reenlisted with the 167th Airlift Wing in 2006 as a command post controller and has also served as a fire protection specialist where she broke barriers as the only female firefighter in West Virginia and the first fully trained firefighter for the 167th AW. She transitioned to become the base emergency manager and has served in that role since 2016. She was born in Wichita, Kansas, and grew up in Liberal and Moscow, Kansas. Blood volunteers her time to her community outside of work as a fitness instructor, coach for youth sports and for five years, she was a state representative for Operation Military Kids, an organization that recognized children for being the "hero at home" while parents were deployed.

Senior Airman Erin Boris, New Jersey Air National Guard
Senior Airman Erin Boris New Jersey Air National Guard

Senior Airman Erin Boris, of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, decided to join the U.S. Air Force in September 2013 to enhance her education and to learn a new skill that could benefit both the U.S. Air Force and her civilian job as an information security analyst for a large hospital. She began her career with the U.S. Air Force Reserves as a cyber systems operator for a combat communications squadron. After two years, she transferred to the New Jersey Air National Guard and re-trained into intelligence analysis where she provides operational support for the 140th Cyber Operations Squadron, 108th Wing at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. Since joining the Air National Guard, Boris has specialized in performing research and analysis for cyber threats and delivering precision intelligence products to her cyber protection team. To date, she has provided more than 1,000 hours of vital cyber intelligence to the 108th Wing's first cyber mobilization and was an instrumental part in the construction of the new, state-of-the-art Cyber Operations Center at JBMDL.

Sgt. 1st Class Jenny D. (Beck) Bos, Nebraska Army National Guard
Sgt. 1st Class Jenny D. (Beck) Bos Nebraska Army National Guard

Sgt. 1st Class Jenny D. (Beck) Bos, of Clarks, Nebraska, was a Nebraska Army National Guard specialist and a truck driver with the 1075th Transportation Company out of Columbus, Nebraska, when she was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor device for exceptional heroism and gallantry during an enemy ambush that occurred near Salmon Pak, Iraq, on March 20, 2005. While under attack she extracted a wounded Soldier trapped inside a damaged vehicle, moved the Soldier to safety and returned to her vehicle while under direct and indirect enemy fire and led the convoy out of the kill zone. Bos was the first woman in the Nebraska Army National Guard to be awarded the Bronze Star. "I'm definitely not as shy or as reserved as I used to be," said Bos, who is now a truck driving instructor for the Nebraska Army National Guard's 3rd Battalion, 209th Regiment (Regional Training Institute). Bos enlisted in the Nebraska Army National Guard 16 years ago. She is married with three kids and works full-time as an elementary school teacher.

Staff Sgt. Heather R. Carreathers, Illinois Army National Guard
Staff Sgt. Heather R. Carreathers Illinois Army National Guard

Staff Sgt. Heather R. Carreathers serves multiple roles. She's among the top Illinois Army National Guard recruiters. She's also an assistant professor at Western Illinois University, teaching military science in the Reserve Officer Training Corps. And she's a single mother of two, who maintains balance between the demanding hours of recruiting, teaching and raising a family. Born and raised in Quincy, Illinois, Staff Sgt. Carreathers started out in the active Army in 2000, but returned to Illinois and joined the National Guard in 2002 and pursued a degree in Women's Studies with a minor in Sociology at WIU. She deployed to Iraq in 2009 as a section chief with the 1-150th Assault Helicopter Battalion, and returned to teach other Soldiers in the 129th Regional Training Institute before becoming a full-time recruiter in 2015.

Capt. Kayla Christopher, Oklahoma Army National Guard
Capt. Kayla Christopher Oklahoma Army National Guard

In her short career, Capt. Kayla Christopher continues to blaze a trail in Oklahoma. She enlisted in the Florida Army National Guard in 2010 while a cadet at the University of Florida, then commissioned in the Oklahoma Army National Guard in 2012. Christopher was the first woman from the Oklahoma Army National Guard to graduate as a field artillery officer from Fort Sill, Oklahoma. She became the first qualified female combat arms officer in the Oklahoma Army National Guard. She graduated as the only woman, only lieutenant and the only Guard member in her class. After graduation, she was assigned as the fire direction officer with Bravo Battery, 1st Battalion, 160th Field Artillery, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and attended annual training, putting her skills to the test with her new unit. She is currently the Personnel Officer for 1-160th FA. In 2017, Christopher deployed with the 45th IBCT in support of the Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine mission as the public affairs officer.

Sgt. Danielle Cornell, Wisconsin Army National Guard
Sgt. Danielle Cornell Wisconsin Army National Guard

Sgt. Danielle Cornell serves as a radio retransmission team chief in the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team's (IBCT) Signal Company, C CO, 173rd Brigade Engineer Battalion. As a full-time federal technician, she works in systems administration for the Wisconsin United States Property and Fiscal Office (USPFO). Cornell spearheads the unit's "Fitness Culture" initiative which uses social media to engage Soldiers about leading a healthy lifestyle outside of drill. She grew up in Iola, Wisconsin, and enlisted at 17 because she wanted to help people and knew that joining the National Guard would be a great way to do that. In her 11 years of service she has deployed twice: first in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom for detainee operations, and second to Afghanistan in a communication's section. Sgt. Cornell and her husband, also a service member, share their passion for family and service while raising their two children; a 3-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter.

Spc. Alexandra Curtis, Rhode Island Army National Guard
Spc. Alexandra Curtis Rhode Island Army National Guard

Spc. Alexandra Curtis of Warwick, Rhode Island, enlisted in the Rhode Island Army National Guard in March of 2017. She is serving as a human resources specialist in the 115th Military Police Company. Spc. Curtis won the title of Miss Rhode Island 2015 and was named a Quality of Life award finalist at the Miss America Competition 2016 for her work with her platform "Leading Ladies: Equipping Young Women With the Skills to Lead." She graduated summa cum laude from Syracuse University with a bachelor's degree in political science and public relations. In 2017, she received both her MPA from Brown University and her master of science degree, from Salve Regina University's Administration of Justice and Homeland Security program, where she focused on cyber-security and intelligence. Spc. Curtis has worked as a Star Fellow in the office U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) in support of Running Start, a nonprofit organization that trains young women for political leadership.

Capt. Samantha Domingue, Washington Army National Guard
Capt. Samantha Domingue Washington Army National Guard

Capt. Samantha Domingue's journey over the last four years led her to an exciting new assignment in the Army National Guard as the first-cavalry qualified female troop commander. Both physically and mentally tough, Domingue took command of A Troop, 1st Squadron, 303rd Cavalry Regiment (1-303rd CAV), 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT), on Oct. 13, 2017. Domingue is a graduate of the Army Reconnaissance Course, Cavalry Leaders Course and Maneuver Captains Career Course.

Staff Sgt. Kelvia Flores, Connecticut Army National Guard
Staff Sgt. Kelvia Flores Connecticut Army National Guard

Staff Sgt. Kelvia Flores is the chaplain assistant for the 143rd Regional Support Group, Connecticut Army National Guard, specializing in unit ministry. Her father, who was in the Puerto Rico National Guard, was her inspiration to join. She owns her own dance studio, recently featured on local news. She runs a youth outreach as part of her business, which empowers young women through the arts. She is a certified applied suicide intervention skills trainer and a youth representative for Save the Children. She collected and delivered supplies to the victims of the recent earthquake in Mexico and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

SSgt Marie Georgefils, Massachusetts Air National Guard
Staff Sgt. Marie Georgefils Massachusetts Air National Guard

The staff sergeant began her military career in the Army Reserve and now serves full time in the Air National Guard. She was the first in her family to join at 17 years old. "I joined to make a way for myself since my family struggled financially and could barely afford to raise me," she said. She spent eight years in the Army, graduated college and raised a daughter. After 9/11, she enlisted in the Massachusetts Air National Guard as a client systems technician. She also volunteers in the state Air National Guard's Honor Guard.

Tech. Sgt. Jerling Melissa Hodges, Kansas Air National Guard
Tech. Sgt. Jerling Melissa Hodges Kansas Air National Guard

Tech. Sgt. Hodges, a native of Costa Rica, joined the National Guard for the school benefits, she says, and “to give back to my adopted country.” She has given back – and then some. For her service in Afghanistan in 2010-2011, she was awarded the Combat Medic Badge after her MRAP was hit by an improvised explosive device. She also got the Army Commendation Medal for going on more than 80 missions while deployed. Married to her high school sweetheart, she is an aerospace medical technician with Kansas’ 190th Air Refueling Wing.

1st Lt. Lindsey Jefferies, North Carolina Army National Guard
1st Lt. Lindsey Jefferies North Carolina Army National Guard

When 1st Lt. Lindsey Jefferies enlisted more than 10 years ago, she did not know she would one day become a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter pilot, much less the first female African-American helicopter pilot in the North Carolina National Guard. Jefferies, who originally enlisted as an aviation operations specialist, said it was a "no-brainer" for her to stay in the aviation field, when faced with a career change upon commissioning as an officer in May 2012. Jefferies was first exposed to aviation while participating in the Air Force Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps program at Needham B. Broughton High School in Raleigh. "I had the opportunity to fly a small fixed-wing plane," Jefferies said. "After that, the desire to fly was planted. After joining the North Carolina National Guard for the education benefits, I became further exposed to the aviation community through my job as an aviation operations specialist."

Capt. Janelle Johnson, Minnesota Army National Guard
Capt. Janelle Johnson Minnesota Army National Guard

Capt. Janelle Johnson grew up near Camp Ripley in central Minnesota, hearing tanks fire and watching helicopters fly overhead. She always knew she wanted to be a Soldier and in 1998 at the age of 17, she joined the Minnesota Army National Guard, serving 11 years as an enlisted administrative specialist. In 2005, Johnson took part in the longest continuous deployment of any military unit during Operation Iraqi Freedom, leaving behind her husband and two daughters for 22 months. She earned the rank of sergeant first class before being appointed as a warrant officer in 2009, and commissioning as a second lieutenant through the officer candidate school in 2011. She currently serves as commander of Company A, 134th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division. In her civilian capacity, Johnson is a small business owner in Randall, Minnesota. She runs a successful quilt shop and a cottage-style woolen mill that supports local agriculture and wool products for Minnesota.

Capt. Nilofar Johnson, South Dakota Air National Guard
Capt. Nilofar Johnson South Dakota Air National Guard

Capt. Nilofar Johnson is a first-generation American who emigrated from Afghanistan. Her family sought safety by moving to Pakistan then to New York and eventually settled in small-town Pipestone, Minnesota. She wanted to serve this country in a higher capacity, and as a result joined the South Dakota Air National Guard's 114th Fighter Wing in 1998. She made the rank of master sergeant and was later commissioned as an officer. She now serves as the director of inspections for the SDANG. During her career, she has served in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Firecracker and Operation Southern Watch. Capt. Johnson is the second oldest of six children. Because of her influence, her two sisters served the military as well, one in SDANG and another a West Point Academy graduate who serves in the U.S. Army.

Tech. Sgt. Tania Kennedy, Pennsylvania Air National Guard
Tech. Sgt. Tania Kennedy Pennsylvania Air National Guard

Tech. Sgt. Tania Kennedy is a wire technician with the 270th Engineering and Installation Squadron with the 111th Attack Wing, Horsham Air Guard Station, Horsham, Pennsylvania. Kennedy supervises the cable and antenna section with the EIS. The unique operation, one of only 16 in the U.S., is in high demand globally for their installation, modification and repair of communication infrastructure such as fiber optics, copper wire and wireless broadcast hardware. Kennedy, a mother of two daughters, ages 7 and 10, is a 14-year veteran with the Wing and comes from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She moved to the southeast region of the state to join the Air National Guard and secured her bachelor's degree in finance and management at West Chester University. Kennedy, an outdoors recreation and physical fitness advocate, recently participated in the grueling Spartan Ultra World Championship, in December 2017, in Iceland as part of a 5-person Air Force team. The competition culminated in a 24-hour running marathon covering more the 37 miles. She has deployed with her unit numerous times to locations such as Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Qatar, Kuwait, Germany, California, Nebraska and Arizona.

2nd Lt. Julie Keppner, Washington Army National Guard
2nd Lt. Julie Keppner Washington Army National Guard

Second Lt. Julie Keppner, a motor transport officer with the Washington National Guard, has never backed down from a challenge. The Kent, Washington, single mother of two joined the National Guard in 2013, considerably older than many of her peers. She's on track to become the state National Guard's first female Infantry officer and female Ranger. She stays physically and mentally fit while participating in Spartan Races around the country. Her selfless service is on display constantly and it continues to be displayed through her daughter and son as they have followed in mom's footsteps.

Senior Airman Sinead Kirnan, New York Air National Guard
Senior Airman Sinead Kirnan New York Air National Guard

Senior Airman Sinead Kirnan, a loadmaster in the New York Air National Guard's 105th Airlift Wing, has served in the loadmaster section since February 2015. She was the 105th Operations Group Airman of the Year in 2016 and achieved full mission-ready status in her field ahead of schedule. During the last two years she has accumulated 513 total flying hours, of which 109 are combat/combat support hours. She has flown numerous missions in support of the Global War on Terrorism to include critical Aeromedical Evacuation missions. Kirnan has maintained all of her loadmaster qualifications and currencies while attending the State University of New York, New Paltz, as a fulltime student, studying biology and psychology. Outside of the Air Guard she participates in the Hudson Valley Honor Flight Program, chaperoning Korean War Veterans, and volunteers as a physical therapy aide at Castle Point VA Hospital, and as a coach and referee for a local youth basketball program.

Senior Airman Annelise Lane, Idaho Air National Guard
Senior Airman Annelise Lane Idaho Air National Guard

Senior Airman Annelise Lane is an aerospace medical technician assigned to the 124th Medical Group in Boise, Idaho. She calls Boise her hometown, but was born in Seattle. She is a traditional Guard member who works for the Ada County Paramedics full-time and is assigned to their Tactical Medical Team. She is married to a fellow tactical paramedic, Casey Lane. While attending Boise State University, Lane looked into joining the military because it's something she has always wanted to do. She wanted to be a combat medic in the Army, but was told at that time that the job wasn't typically open to female Soldiers. Not wanting to give up on her dream of serving, she reached out to an old friend who was member of the Idaho Air National Guard.

Senior Airman Jessica L. Locci, New York Air National Guard
Senior Airman Jessica L. Locci New York Air National Guard

Senior Airman Jessica L. Locci is a maintenance management production journeyman who plays a key role in generating MQ-9 missions for the New York Air National Guard's 174th Maintenance Wing. Locci, a native of Mexico, New York, enlisted in the Air National Guard in July 2014 while she was earning a biochemistry degree from the State University of New York at Oswego. She's been in her position since October 2017. Airman Locci plans, schedules and organizes the use and maintenance of aircraft, engines, munitions, aerospace ground equipment and associated support systems for the 174th Maintenance Group. In addition, Locci is a seasoned MQ-9A crew chief, directly supporting the Global War on Terror and participating in exercises such as Northern Strike and Combat Hammer. In January 2016, she deployed to Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy in support of Operation Juniper Shield and the Air National Guard's first standalone MQ-9 launch and recovery element. She shares her military service with her brother Joseph, a special operations officer in the U.S Army. In addition to her brother, her grandfather and father both served in the Army, which fueled Jessica's desire to serve.

Sgt. 1st Class Jennifer MacGillivary, Maine Army National Guard
Sgt. 1st Class Jennifer MacGillivary Maine Army National Guard

Sgt. 1st Class Jennifer MacGillivary is an Army National Guard human resources sergeant and a member of the All National Guard biathlon team. A resident of Richmond, Maine, she joined the Maine Army National Guard in 1999 after a short break from active duty military service out of a desire to continue service to our nation. She is a combat veteran, having served in Operation Enduring Freedom in 2009-2010. MacGillivary has placed first in the Women's Masters Sprint Race and Patrol Race. She has also earned first place eastern regionals, securing a spot on the All Guard Biathlon Team two years running. "The Maine National Guard has become my second family," MacGillivary says. "I enjoy coming to work each day and tackling projects both on and off duty."

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Rose Mattie, Arizona Army National Guard
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Rose Mattie Arizona Army National Guard

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Rose Mattie, of Chandler, Arizona, is a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter pilot in the Arizona National Guard, a community mentor and a mother of two. She followed in the footsteps of her WWII veteran grandparents and enlisted after the attacks of 9/11. Since then, she has deployed three times as an enlisted Soldier; twice to Iraq and most recently to Afghanistan as a pioneer member of the United States Army Special Operation Command's Cultural Support Team. As a CST member she was attached to several elite Special Operations Forces where she lived and operated in one of the most austere environments in Afghanistan, paving the way for full female integration into combat arms positions. She cherishes her time with husband Aaron, their son Blaze and daughter Violet. She takes pride in sharing her experiences with schools and the Veterans Heritage Project, which has published her story in the VHP book (Vol. 13, 2017) and is preserved in the United States Library of Congress.

PFC Christina Meredith, Florida National Guard
Pfc. Christina Meredith Florida National Guard

Pfc. Christina Meredith serves in the Florida National Guard just outside her hometown of Saint Augustine, Florida. She serves as a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Specialist (74D) and simultaneously as an ROTC cadet at the University of North Florida on track for a commission. When she was 18, she became too old for the foster child program and became homeless. Since then, she has dedicated her life to reforming the foster care system and advocates for mental health services. After winning the Ms. California competition in 2013, she travels the country speaking to youth, abused children, and leaders offering a hopeful side to suffering. She works in partnership with the Annie E. Casey Foundation and will publish her memoir "Cindergirl" with Harper Collins this fall, complete with a national tour. Meredith serves in the Florida National Guard in hopes of helping people when they need it most.

Staff Sgt. Alicia Midghall, Connecticut Army National Guard
Staff Sgt. Alicia Midghall Connecticut Army National Guard

Staff Sgt. Alicia Midghall is a Watertown, Connecticut, native serving as the Connecticut Army National Guard incentives manager. Joining in 2004, she is a human resources specialist who last deployed in 2013 as an assistant personnel NCOIC for the 143rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion. During her deployment, she handled personnel accountability, evaluations, awards and promotions for her subordinate units. Midghall now supports the force by ensuring Guard members are properly informed on bonus eligibility. "My current position provides me with a way to better my community by helping the Guardsmen serving alongside me better themselves," Midghall said. Midghall lives in East Longmeadow, Mass. with her wife and two dogs.

Staff Sgt. Desiree Ng, Texas Air National Guard
Staff Sgt. Desiree Ng (right)
Staff Sgt. Desiree Ng Texas Air National Guard

Air Force Staff Sgt. Desiree Ng was born in El Paso, Texas, and serves in the Texas Air National Guard, assigned to the 149th Fighter Wing Medical Group as an aerospace medical technician. In September of 2014, she volunteered for a humanitarian mission as a Security Forces augmentee with Border Patrol. During Hurricane Harvey she provided triage and medical support for more than 200 flood victims. As a medical technician she has been on scene numerous times providing life-saving care to both Airmen and civilians. As an NCO she leads and trains large groups of Airmen and Soldiers across Texas in emergency medical treatment. She is very active in her community and volunteers her time to support local homeless efforts, assisting families in need.

Master Sgt. Sarah C. Orwig, Iowa Air National Guard
Master Sgt. Sarah C. Orwig Iowa Air National Guard

Master Sgt. Sarah C. Orwig is a flight chief with the 185th Air Refueling Wing Security Forces Squadron. In addition to her duties managing 13 Airmen, she is also a Phoenix Raven, a program that provides security for aircraft in areas where additional security is needed, and has completed several missions in Africom and Southcom. She was also the first Air National Guard woman to participate in a Raven mission in support of securing the aircraft transporting a first lady. In addition to Raven missions, Orwig has deployed in support of Operation Southern Watch and Operation Enduring Freedom. Orwig was in charge of security operations for a base open house in which over 6,000 visitors attended this past year. In her civilian career, Orwig is a full-time firefighter in Sioux City, Iowa, where she resides with her husband and their daughter. Orwig was inspired to enlist because of her father's naval service during World War II.

Warrant Officer 1 Samantha Palos, New Mexico Army National Guard
Warrant Officer 1 Samantha Palos New Mexico Army National Guard

Warrant Officer 1 Samantha Palos is a native New Mexican from Las Cruces who joined the New Mexico Army National Guard because she wanted to serve as a part of the best team in the world that keeps her country and community safe. She enlisted in August 2002 and graduated from Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training in June 2003 as an Automated Logistical Specialist (92A). Upon her return, she attended college for a semester before deploying to Taji, Iraq, from January 2004 to April 2005. She immediately returned to college, graduating with a Master of Communication Disorders degree in May 2011 from New Mexico State University. She began practicing as a speech and language pathologist in July 2011 while continuing her career as a Soldier and now flies Lakota helicopters for 3rd Battalion, 140th Aviation Regiment (Security & Support). She is married to Staff Sgt. Larry Palos, also a member of the NMARNG, who is an officer with the Las Cruces Police Department.

Capt. April Partin, California Air National Guard
Capt. April Partin California Air National Guard

Capt. April Partin, an executive officer in the California Air National Guard, is a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force who enlisted as an airborne linguist. After taking time to be home with the family's two daughters, she joined the ANG in Fresno, California, where she has served as the medical administration officer, director of inspections for the inspector general and now as the executive officer. "I've had the privilege to work with the most talented and dedicated patriots, travel the world and receive an excellent education, while still being afforded the balance of family-priority with service commitment," she says.

1st Lt. Shaunna Reed, Colorado Air National Guard
1st Lt. Shaunna Reed Colorado Air National Guard

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Shaunna Reed, whose hometown is Little Rock, Arkansas, serves as the 140th Wing Deployment Officer in the Colorado Air National Guard. She is a full-time, dual status technician responsible for the systematic deployment, employment, sustainment and return of personnel and equipment for state National Guard missions. She has deployed more than 350 personnel to more than 10 countries, and deployed personnel and equipment in support of domestic operations for the hurricane response efforts in Florida, Puerto Rico and Texas during 2017. Due to her community spirit and desire to serve, she enlisted in the COANG as an ammunitions troop. She holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and in sociology and a master's degree in psychology, which led to her decision to accept a commission in 2015.

Staff Sgt. Liceth Bulla Rey, North Carolina Air National Guard
Staff Sgt. Liceth Bulla Rey North Carolina Air National Guard

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Liceth Bulla Rey, an aircraft technician, is a member of the 145th Maintenance Squadron. She enlisted in the military in 2012, and is originally from Colombia, South America. Bulla Rey was inspired to enlist after seeing military natural disasters relief efforts. Bulla Rey is attending North Carolina State University for a master of science degree in physiology with a certificate in biotechnology, and she is awaiting acceptance into dental school. Bulla Rey wants to become a dentist for the U.S. Air Force and volunteer her services in the community and around the world. Bulla Rey frequently volunteers with non-profit dental clinics, including a planned mission trip to a dental clinic in Peru this summer.

Capt. Chelsea Schellinger, Delaware Army National Guard
Capt. Chelsea Schellinger Delaware Army National Guard

Capt. Chelsea Schellinger hails from the first town (Lewes), in the first state (Delaware), and is the first female commander of an Army aviation unit in the Delaware National Guard. Since researching the events at Pearl Harbor during elementary school, she has always known she wanted to join the military. She participated in her JROTC program at Cape Henlopen High School, earned her commission through the ROTC program in college, and is deployed to Southwest Asia as a UH-60 Black Hawk pilot and commander of the 126th Aviation (Air Ambulance). Schellinger loves the challenge of succeeding in a male-dominated profession and hopes her example motivates other women to pursue a career in the military and aviation.

Capt. Elisa Shutler, Maryland Air National Guard
Capt. Elisa Shutler Maryland Air National Guard

Capt. Elisa Shutler, operations officer for 175th Security Forces Squadron, Maryland Air National Guard, has served for nearly 18 years. Shutler's desire to serve goes back to when she was 4 years old. At an air show, her leg got stuck in the back door of a KC-135 tanker and responding medics helped her. As she sat on a medic's lap, she thought, "Wow! These people in uniform are really cool and one day I want to do this." After graduating from high school, Shutler joined the Kansas Air National Guard. She was deployed to Incirlik Air Force Base, Turkey, as support staff to air crews and their airlift mission. She became a geospatial analyst for the 161st intelligence Squadron and was activated for three years to support Special Forces troops in OIF/OEF at Distributed Ground Station Kansas. She commissioned in 2012 and served in the 101st Security Forces Squadron, Maine Air National Guard before coming to the Maryland Air National Guard. Last year she was head of the Air National Guard security detail for the Presidential inauguration.

Capt. Anna Vinsonhaler, Tennessee Air National Guard
Capt. Anna Vinsonhaler Tennessee Air National Guard

Capt. Anna Vinsonhaler of Memphis, Tennessee, is a true homegrown Guard member. Raised in Memphis and inspired by her father's military career as an RF-4 and B-52 pilot for the Air Force, Vinsonhaler enlisted in the Tennessee Air National Guard as a loadmaster on the C-5A Galaxy. Then her leadership sent her to get commissioned as an officer and to Air Force undergraduate pilot training. She is now an aircraft commander on the C-17A Globemaster and has logged a total of over 2,500 hours including more than 750 combat hours combined as a loadmaster and a pilot in support of Operations Enduring Freedom, New Dawn and Freedom Sentinel. The missions she has flown include airlifting patients out of combat zones, bringing fellow Guard members home from deployments and dropping off helicopters and supplies in Puerto Rico in support of hurricane relief efforts. Vinsonhaler met her husband Lt. Paul Vinsonhaler in the Tennessee Air National Guard.

Tech. Sgt. Christina Watson, New York Air National Guard
Tech. Sgt. Christina Watson New York Air National Guard

New York Air National Guard Technical Sergeant Christina Watson serves as the senior NCO of the 108th Attack Squadron Field Training Unit at Hancock Field in Syracuse, New York. She is the key enlisted advisor to the commander on matters concerning welfare and mission readiness for her members. She provides direction and guidance to her leadership on the health, esprit de corps, discipline, well-being, and recognition of the unit enlisted members who support the training and qualification of MQ-9 Reaper aircrews. Watson grew up in Syracuse and enlisted in the New York Air National Guard in September 2003 for duties with the Security Forces Squadron, graduating her technical training in April 2004. In addition to her Air Guard position, Watson is a full time emergency medical technician employed by American Medical Response. She also owns and operates a small business that caters to the fitness and life goals of people who have physical and mental disabilities. Her deployments include Hurricane Katrina Relief in New York in 2005 as part of the search and rescue team, RAF Mildenhall in the United Kingdom in 2006, and Manas AFB, Kyrgyzstan. She again served her New York neighbors during hurricane Irene in 2011 and continued with other multiple deployments to Ramstein AFB in Germany. Watson received the Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year for the State Of New York in 2009 recognizing her for working with the Greece, New York, police department in gaining positive control over a barricaded and suicidal unit member.

Pfc. Catherine Zembrodt, Kentucky Army National Guard
Pfc. Catherine Zembrodt Kentucky Army National Guard

Catherine Zembrodt competed at the Division I level in track and field at Northern Kentucky University when she decided to give all that up to serve her country. Already, this private first class with only two years in service has been named the Kentucky Army National Guard Soldier of the Year, winning the state's Best Warrior Competition - the third woman to do so. She recently graduated with a bachelor's degree in exercise science and is pursuing her master's degree in nursing. Even while being a Citizen-Soldier, serving as a human resources specialist and working toward her master's degree, Zembrodt still finds time to give back and volunteers as a coach for her high school track and field team. "The Guard has changed my life in many ways," she said. "I never dreamed I could accomplish the things I have in the Guard."