• December 25, 2014

A salute to women serving in uniform

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Posted: Wednesday, August 6, 2008 12:00 pm | Updated: 5:05 pm, Wed Aug 15, 2012.

By Iuliana Petre

Fort Hood Herald

Every day, women, alongside their male counterparts, make significant contributions in their field of work, be it in the corporate sector, civil, military or any another organization.

In honor of the upcoming Women’s Equality Day observed later this month, the Herald would like to honor just a few of the women who make the military a better place.

Lt. Col. Linda R. Carmen

“The race is not won by those who are swift, but those who can endure,” said Lt. Col. Linda R. Carmen in a speech she gave during her assumption of command of the Carl R. Darnall Medical Center’s human resources division on Fort Hood Friday.

Carmen’s new job is a dual-hatted one. She will serve as the commander of troops for two companies worth of soldiers belonging to the medical center. And as chief of personnel, she will oversee actions for a 2,800-person military and civilian staff assigned and employed at the medical center ranging from neurosurgeons to medical support specialists working the front desk.

Not only that, but Carmen is serving in what Col. Casper P. Jones III, the commander of Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, refers to as the “organization that is the centerpiece for soldier and family satisfaction,” and one that manages the Warrior Transition Unit, which in itself is a growing organization.

Managing that many people and their many individual needs, whims and concerns, Carmen will have to be nothing short of a rock — strong and unbreakable.

Jones is not worried since he screened Carmen from a list of eligible officers, and her selection for the position only proves her leadership and potential for greater service, Jones said on Friday following the ceremony.

Carmen has already proven to be a tough cookie.

After 21 years of service, Carmen is not at all intimidated by the work load.

Afterall, her first assignment was at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in D.C. where she served as a hospital administrator.

Despite the unorthodox start where she was a second lieutenant — low on the totem pole — dealing with administrators far above her level of experience, she came out unscathed and still positive about her contribution to the organization and its people.

Since her days at Walter Reed, Carmen has served in a variety of positions to include: adjutant, company commander, instructor, executive officer, career manager, chief of the military personnel division, executive assistant to the Army Surgeon General, personnel policy integrator, and chief of the enlisted personnel proponent division.

She views every previous assignment as a contributing factor to who she is today.

“Each level was a step to the next level,” Carmen said.

Carmen is hopeful about the fact that she can continue to help people, something she’s always loved doing.

Capt. Lindsay Ryan

When Capt. Lindsay Ryan was a little girl she wanted to be taller.

The now 5-foot-10-inch Blackhawk pilot wanted to be 6-foot-6-inches tall.

She loved basketball, played the sport often and ended up at the United States Military Academy after several of her friends shared with her their knowledge and experience about the academies.

Ryan found West Point to be everything she wanted academically and athletically, and in an interview with the Herald on Monday, she shared that she couldn’t see herself going any other place.

West Point also sparked Ryan’s interest in aviation.

As someone who’s not from a primarily military family, West Point was a place for her to learn about the opportunities available to her.

“West Point showed me that aviation is a branch (of the military) where women can excel,” Ryan said, adding that from her perspective aviation had the most opportunities for women.

Now in Iraq, Ryan is assigned to Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division.

As a pilot in the general support aviation battalion she primarily flies upper-level commanders to locations throughout the Multinational Division Baghdad, a job which she refers to as a good break from the office environment.

“I enjoy flying a lot,” Ryan said, adding that “if it ever came to a point where my job or future limited my flying, it´d be hard to comprehend (the change).”

Sgt. Jamiell Dominguez

Sgt. Jamiell Dominguez’s maiden name is Goforth — a name that brings to mind the phrase, “go forth and do great things.”

Apparently, she has and she also lives up to her own advice, “you can do anything if you have the drive and determination.”

A combat medic assigned to Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Dominguez is the first ever female to win the U.S. Army Forces Command Soldier of the Year competition. She competed for the title in 2007 after winning the 4th Infantry Division’s and III Corps’ Soldier of the Year competitions.

Her performance during the competition led to an offer she couldn’t refuse. Dominguez was offered a scholarship from Viterbo University in Lacrosse, Wis., where she would receive full coverage of her tuition, books, room and board, as long as she agreed to participate in the Reserve Officer Training Corps and accepted a commission in the Army as a second lieutenant.

And although she didn’t refuse the offer, Dominguez simply asked Lt. Col. Stewart Fearon, the Viterbo University’s senior professor of military science, to understand how important it was for her to deploy for a second time.

The outcome was Viterbo University’s ROTC department would hold the scholarship for one more year while Dominguez deployed to Iraq for a second time with the 4th Infantry Division.

“It was really important for me to deploy one more time,” Dominguez said about the decision to delay entering Viterbo´s nursing program.

But, winning the soldier of the year competition was only one of Dominguez’s accomplishments.

The medic from Washington State also received the title of distinguished honor graduate while enrolled in the expert field medical badge course in San Antonio.

Of the 150 candidates who completed the course, Dominguez was one of 14 to graduate, and one of three female soldiers to graduate.

“It’s almost as challenging as the combat infantry badge,” Dominguez said.

For someone who joined the Army after September 11 in order to help others in the areas of health and fitness, Dominguez said she was drawn to the medical field because it offered her the opportunity to provide help on a global scale.

Who knew that her accomplishments could be measured on that same scale?

Contact Iuliana Petre @ ipetre@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7469.

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