Kayla is working to help improve military leadership through life coaching and what she calls preventative maintenance to help leaders and those serving throughout their careers instead of waiting until they are at the breaking point. She served in the Navy for six years as a Surface Warfare Officer. In this week’s interview, we talk about her career in the Navy and what she is doing today, and her passion to help make the military better.
Kayla decided to join Jr Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) because besides the fact her friend was doing it. If you did you got to park on campus as a junior because it was a cross-campus program. And getting to drive to school at 16 was desirable. But she didn’t know that choice would change her future as she enjoyed the program and decided she wanted to serve in the Navy.
She applied to the Naval Academy, but as a backup option, applied to the Merchant Marine Academy and a few other civilian schools with Navy ROTC programs. She ended up being selected for the Naval Academy. But had to get a medical waiver to attend. She had dreams of becoming a pilot but was medically disqualified and became a Surface Warfare Officer (SWO).
Her first assignment was in Florida and she deployed on a ship and had the experience of learning hands-on the work of a SWO. She wanted to go to Hawaii next and was excited to get orders. Then after her stuff was already in route to Hawaii those orders were canceled and she was sent to Maine to commission a new ship the USS Michael Moore that would be making its home in Hawaii. While she wasn’t there until late in the game of preparing the ship she did get to experience the tradition of the Navy in commissioning a new vessel. She also was integral in helping the ship get prepared and tested to be deployment-ready.
Differences aboard a new ship
Besides things being newer and nicer the biggest change with a new ship was the technology. And while pencil and paper are still important because technology is great until it isn’t. It was interesting to be in such a different environment than her previous ship with the new technology.
Losing her identity
She met her husband in Hawaii and the plan was for her to one day get out of the military. The military moved up the timeline when his tour in Hawaii was cut short and he moved to Virginia. She put her package for separation the day they found out about the change in plans. And while she felt ready to leave the military she wasn’t ready for the loss of identity.
And through a few twists and turns, she learned about life coaching and is working today to help military leaders. She thinks joining the military is a great option and recommends people consider joining. There are so many benefits that will help you throughout your life.
Mentioned in this episode:
Military Families Magazine article: https://militaryfamilies.com/military-veterans/opinion-veterans-are-not-recruiters/
Instant Friendship: https://www.airmantomom.com/2018/01/instant-friendship/
Women of the Military Mentorship Program
Girl’s Guide to Military Service is available where books are sold.
Signed copies of A Girl’s Guide to Military Service
Girl’s Guide to the Military Series