Welcome to episode 14 of the Women of the Military Podcast. Today’s guest is Kris Newton.
Kris spent 14 years in the Air Force both active duty and Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) in the reserve. When she got out, she earned my Bachelor of Science in Microbiology at Bowling Green State University. She has worked in Food Safety since until recently when she took a sales position that allows her to be her son’s high school hockey team manager.
Kris enlisted into the Air Force after high school. She had a twin sister and a half brother who was six months older than her and she knew her parents couldn’t afford to send three kids to college. She had debated on taking a year off and saving up money for college but ended up joining the military instead.
Cross Training to the Medical Field
She had wanted to be part of the medical career field, but the job she wanted required a long wait before a spot would open up. Worried she would chicken out and not join the military if she had to wait so long, she enlisted without a job declared and ended up being assigned to Security Forces.
Three years into her military service she was given the opportunity to cross-train into a new job. She tried to get into the medical career field again, but was unsuccessful and instead cross-trained to become a paralegal.
Active Duty to IMA
While she was a paralegal she switched from active duty to an IMA. She joined the military to be able to pay for college and with her time and service and the GI Bill, she was able to go to school and get her degree. The flexibility of the IMA program worked great with her college schedule and she was able to do things she hadn’t been a part of while on active duty.
She talked about the struggle of being a military spouse and how she was looked at differently when she wasn’t in her uniform. She specifically talked about a struggle she had with housing where she was not given a chance to talk and only when her husband spoke the housing officer listened to the concerns. She was still serving in the military in the Reserves, but was assumed to be a spouse and was treated disrespectfully.
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