Serving as an Army Pathfinder in the National Guard

What does it take to be an Army Pathfinder? Kelly White graduated from Army Pathfinder School to become the only woman in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard to hold the certification. She began her career with the PA National Guard in 2009 after a year of school. Today she continues to serve alongside her husband in the PA National Guard.

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army pathfinder Kelly White

First Woman Army Pathfinder in the PA National Guard

Kelly White had considered joining the military in high school but her boyfriend at the time didn’t agree with this career path. She graduated high school and began attending college. She found herself gaining student debt and single. When she decided to join the Army she didn’t tell anyone. Instead, she headed off to MEPS days after meeting the recruiter. Then after signing her enlistment paperwork she told her mom about her decision to join. She did not want someone to deter her from service. Her mom was initially mad but now can see it was what Kelly needed.

Army National Guard

She began her career as a 88M (Truck Driver) but her first job was in recruiting. The great thing about the MOS 88M is it gives you a lot of flexibility of what different careers you can do. She initially served in a role where she was a federal civilian during the week and then drilled on the weekend. While she was serving in that role she was able to use the Mongomery GI Bill along with funding from the state to earn her degree. Eventually, she transferred into an Active Guard Reserve position and became eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill. She currently works in Recruiting.

Various training

She has attended a number of training and schools throughout her career. She ended up attending and graduating from Army Pathfinder School. Upon graduation, she became the only woman in the PA National Guard to hold this certification. Another notable achievement was becoming qualified to be an evaluator for the Stryker weapon system. She found that the men she evaluated respected her because she was competent in her job and also worked to help them before their evaluation began. She mentioned her willingness to do the hard jobs, being competent, and standing up for herself has given her a reputation of someone people can rely on.

Giving Back

In 2015, she started a fundraiser called Ruck the Bay. They have raised over $75,000 for homeless veterans. She is planning another Ruck soon you can learn more info here.

Listen to the full interview here.

Connect with Kelly:

 

Mentioned in this episode:

National Guard Shortfall

National Guard Bill Passed by Congress

Related Episodes:

Deputy Director of the Air National Guard – Episode 105

Finding Healing through Mindfulness Meditation – Episode 133

Serving in the Reserves Might Not be what you expect – Episode 102

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