Jenny served in the Air Force for six years as an Aerospace Propulsion specialist (Maintenance). She worked on the B-1 and F-16’s jet engines. She decided not to reenlist in early 2019. Today, 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.
First she 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.
Her deployment took her 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 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.
Leaving the Maintenance Career Field
When her cross-training window opened she applied to switch out of the Maintenance career field. She 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. Since she was pregnant when all of this happened and she decided to drop her case instead of pursuing alternate methods. 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 separated from the military. She is currently using her Post 9/11 GI Bill to go to school to be a veterinarian. She also stays at home with her daughter.
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.
Do you want to support Women of the Military, check out my new Patreon site and become a monthly supporter!