Written by Master Sgt. Lorene M. Edwards
It seems like yesterday when I was sitting in a Recruiting Office in 1985 waiting for my friend to get finished so we could go to the lake. It was the Marine Corps Recruiting Station in Madison, WI. I was comfortable sitting with my feet propped up on the coffee table, until a raspy, loud voice said; “Get your feet off my table.” It was then that I looked around at the posters, studied the portrait of a General and the ribbons on his uniform and asked the question, “What did he do to get all those?” Then the question that sealed the deal was; “This really doesn’t look that hard; I mean this looks easy, anyone can climb under a log with mud on them, right?”
I had no reason to join the Military; I was one of those kids that “Just Did It”. I served for 8 years in the Marines and of the four that I did on Active Duty, it was there that I learned that “the door to opportunity swings on the hinges of adversity.” Being a female in the Marine Corps wasn’t easy; but it made me into the woman I am today. Determined, confident and goal oriented.
After a several year break in service, I walked into the Army Recruiting Office and told them; “white lies leave black marks on reputations and my only question is, can you make me a Drill Sergeant?” Within months I was in DS School trying to adjust to the differing sounds and steps of cadences and learning that in the Army if I wanted someone to swab the deck I had to be prepared for mass confusion.
I have learned in my 22 years of Military service that all branches are equally important to America; each bringing its own skills to the fight. I have learned that determination and overcoming of obstacles don’t have to be alibi’s but opportunities. It has been an honor to serve in all my capacities within the ranks of the Army over the last 15 years. These all taught me how to be a better person, subordinate and Leader. These years have taught me that our organization is built and maintained by investing in others; by taking care of each other and solving problems with level headedness.
When people ask how I could be in the Military so long; I just say that any man’s life can be a coincidence but I prefer to make mine a reflection of me. I am grateful that the Army has trusted me to hold the rank of MSG. This is an accomplishment that I only accept due to the diligent leadership of all those I have served under; Army and Marine Corps alike. Rest assured that I will fulfill my greatest obligation and I will not fail in your trust.