Janell was interested in serving in the military and she began her journey to the military through the Civil Air Patrol program. Once she began the Civil Air Patrol, she knew she wanted to serve in the military and set her sights on attending a military academy. Initially, she wanted to attend the Air Force Academy, but as she began talking to her senator, she was encouraged to look at all the Academies. As she began looking into other options the Marine Corps grabbed her attention and after attending a summer program at both the AF Academy and the Naval Academy she knew where she wanted to go.
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The Naval Academy
The Naval Academy is a risky way to become a Marine Officer because you don’t find out if you will go into the Marines or the Navy until later on in your military career. If she had wanted to be guaranteed the Marines, she could have done ROTC. But she wanted to attend the Academy and took the risk.
The Fewer the Prouder Marine Women
When she went on active duty she went to school at Quantico and during training injured her knee. This delayed her from graduating and it wasn’t until she was close to the 2-year mark that she completed school and was at her first assignment. Shortly after arriving at her base, she was assigned to be part of a new deployment that attached women to Marine Infantry units. She was part of the Cultural Support Team and mentioned that if you want to learn more about that experience you can read Ashley’s War.
Married to a Marine
We also talked about the challenges of being married to a Marine. She met her husband a few months before deploying and they connected and stayed in contact through both her deployment and his that followed. It has been challenging to work to be stationed together and more challenges came when she gave birth to her son. She said she couldn’t have continued to serve without the help of both her mother-in-law and mom. They came out and helped with her son while her husband was deployed and she was working extreme hours.
As her son gets older, she wants to spend more time with him. So, she decided to transition from active duty to the Reserves. At the time of the interview, she was in the process of preparing for the transition and was excited about what the next phase of life will bring.
Janell wants to share the advice of growing where you are planted… and not in the way of shut up and do what you are told, but as in the fact that she planned her career but opportunities came to her she never expected and they changed the course of her life. She encourages people to be open to taking that next opportunity and to do their best in each life situation they are in. You never know who is watching and what opportunity will happen next.
She has enjoyed her time in the military and encourages women to consider joining. If you want to learn more about the Marine Corps or have questions to connect with Janell on LinkedIn and send her a message. You can also contact me if you need help connecting.
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