Imagine what it would be like starting a brand new job no one has ever held before?
That's exactly what one woman is doing at the Rock Island Arsenal.
From the constant sound of helicopters and planes at the home of army airborne in Fort Bragg, North Carolina to right here on the Rock Island Arsenal, Command Sergeant Major Melissa Judkins new job has a whole new ring to it.
"It is probably as close as anyone would get to being in a combat zone," explains Judkins. "So being here, [it's] very quiet, very very quiet. So it's a nice change for me."
She worked her way up as a paratrooper to running a military installation.
"When you get out and your chute open, there's such an intense silence, its unbelievable," she says.
Just two weeks ago, Judkins became the first Command Sergeant major of the U.S. Army Garrison on the Rock Island Arsenal.
"My job is to take care of the welfare of all personnel working here on the arsenal," she explains.
Just like Judkins says she was taken care of, coming from a humble beginning, and joining the military, at age 17.
"The army was a way for me to not take away from my parents and to give back," she says.
And as a woman in the military, the Command Sergeant Major says she feels the need to keep giving back, like the female mentors, before her.
"As a woman in the military, I'm very proud," says Judkins. "A year ago I considered retirement, I chose not to because I wanted to open the door a little bit more for younger women below me. In the same aspect, I try to mentor younger soldiers, because they have to understand where we came from, and where the future of the army is, and the future of their role is."
And over the next three years, Judkins says more and more of her duties will be helping workers, civilian and military, adjust to the draw down.
"Our role at the garrison is to help transition personnel whether it be military or civilian into the future life for them."
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