From Airman to Doctor

Dr. Ann James joined the Air Force after leaving high school and needed a way to pay for college. She was able to use the benefits to go to school and went from Airman to Doctor.

From Airman to Doctor

Listen to the full episode here – From Airman to Doctor

She first went to North Dakota and next was transferred to Italy. She got married had her daughter and was divorced while in Italy. As a single mom, she knew that her daughter was depending on her and so she planned to stay in until retirement. At two her daughter was diagnosed with delayed development. This force Ann to make sure they were financially stable and make the right choices to take care of her.

She worked on her degree online and took classes at the education center. At 12 years of service, she had the opportunity to complete ROTC and become an officer. She used her GI Bill to get her masters while attending ROTC and then went back into the Air Force as a Lt.

She struggled with being a Lt since she had previously been an E-6. As an enlisted person, you are more in the weeds than officers and it often felt easier to fix whatever problem she had instead of delegating it. But she learned this important trait throughout her career.

She took a special duty assignment as an ROTC instructor.

She loved being able to help mold and shape the next generation of officers. But having not deployed her whole career she was tasked with a 365-day deployment to Iraq. She worried about how her daughter would be with the change, but luckily her mother was able to come and live with her daughter. This allowed her daughter to not have to change her routine and that gave her the peace of mind she needed.

She left the military when an opportunity to retire early came available.

She was ready for the next phase and because she had prepared financially, she was able to take a year off, and then she was able to go to school using her GI Bill to get her doctorate. Today she helps military women gain control over and conquer the battle over their finances.

Connect with Dr. James:

Freedom: Battle Buddies of Color

Mentioned in this episode:

Girls Guide to the Military

Girls Guide to the Military on YouTube

Related Episodes:

Being a Single Mom in the Army – Episode 35

Challenges faced by a Single Mom – Episode 46

A Muslim American in the Army – Episode 98

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