My Mom Called the Army Recruiter

Rachael was headed down the wrong path so her mom decided to call the Army recruiter and her life was forever changed. The Army recruiter convinced her to join the Army and shortly after joining she learned about how she could attend West Point and become an officer and eventually an Apache pilot. Hear Rachael’s story from a lost girl to an Army officer. 

My mom called the Army Recruiter

Listen to the full episode here.

This episode is made possible by Freedom Sisters Magazine

Freedom Sister Magazine is a premier digital magazine app designed to share the stories of women veterans. It launches in January of 2021. Learn more here.

Rachael Jackson is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, a former Army Captain, and an Apache helicopter pilot. She holds a degree in Engineering Physics with a minor in Nuclear Engineering, but she found her passion for entrepreneurship and helping connect people to a more meaningful life. Rachael believes in the power of strategic storytelling to connect people in more meaningful relationships and to resources for hope, help, and purpose. She wants to partner with leaders to help them create stronger, more inspired, and more resilient organizations.

Army Recruiter

Rachael was not making the best choices and her mom didn’t know what to do. A friend at church suggested she call an Army recruiter. So she did. Rachael listened to the Army recruiter and decided to join the Army. She attended Bootcamp and while at Advanced Individual Training her friend told her about a program to become an Officer by attending West Point. Her uncle had told her if she could find a way to be an officer she should. So she applied.

West Point

Less than two years after being on active duty, she began her West Point journey. Rachael began at the prep school and then completed her degree in Physics and graduated from West Point branched as Aviation. She eventually became an Apache Helicopter Pilot.

Deployment to Iraq

When she was preparing for her deployment to Iraq, she started to notice some odd medical issues. She pushed them aside and continued to prepare and headed off to Iraq. Her symptoms began to worsen and she started blacking out for no reason. She was quickly grounded and soon after was sent home from her deployment early. The military ran a number of tests and within six months of returning home, she was medically discharged from the Army.

Medical Issues

It was devastating to leave the Army. She had planned to make a career out of the Army and felt her identity stripped away from her. She went through depression, but through it, she grew stronger in her faith and as a person. Rachael ended up getting a call from a former West Point professor who connected her with an opportunity to work at SAIC. There she learned about entrepreneurship, with the first book being Good to Great. She eventually left and worked a government job, but recently felt called to start a business and which you can learn more about here.


She said the Army was a great place for her. It got her away from the bad influences in her life and helped her with discipline and changed her path. But the Arnt has bad and good people just like the world and you need to go in knowing that you can’t trust anyone. I loved the advice, “don’t take advice from someone who is not where you want to be.”

Connect with Rachael:

Mentioned in this episode:

Beyond the Point by Claire Gibson

Good to Great

Related Episodes:

The First Female Thunderbird Pilot – Episode 95

Before Women Could Be Fighter Pilots – Episode 29

A Navigator in the Air Force – Episode Episode 62

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