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Madii Williams: The Army National Guard

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Winona chapter.
Her Campus (HC): What made you want to join the National Guard?

Madii Williams (MW): I wasn’t sure on what I wanted to do in college and didn’t want to go in blindly. I laid out all of my options: working full time, community college classes, or military. I looked into all of the branches and thought I was set on enlisting in the Air Force full-time. After mentioning this, my sister-in-law took me aside and said that she has been enlisted the in Army National Guard for four years now and told me more about it. She explained what I could expect from the training and working in my unit afterward. After meeting with a recruiter to learn more about the National Guard, I had changed my mind; being able to have military experience and being able to go to college full-time was exactly what I wanted.


HC: What is your role in the National Guard?

MW: I am a CBRN specialist (chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear). My job is to train soldiers in my unit on how to detect and identify airborne chemicals, how to react to chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear attacks, and how to decontaminate yourself, others and equipment.


HC: How do you juggle school and the national guard?

MW: The commitment isn’t too hectic during the year, but making sure I keep up with the fitness standards has been a daily engagement. Otherwise I drive up to Camp Ripley one weekend every month for drill where we get routine tasks completed like attending and going to training sessions, maintenance check on our sections equipment, and lots of paperwork.


HC: Was it hard being away from your friends and family for 10 months?

MW: The first few weeks were the most difficult; before training I hadn’t been away from home for more than twelve days at a time. We were also allowed to send letters home so I was still in touch with my family while I was away. About halfway through training you build pretty strong relationships with your platoon and you are all there to support each other. All of us were going through the same thing so it was comforting to know you had people who really did understand where your head was at.


HC: What kind of active duty (deployment) would you wish for?

MW: Of course all soldiers, including myself, want to be safe and close to our families, but all sorts of deployments have their benefits. I wouldn’t mind going anywhere they sent me. Being able to do my military job every day, meeting civilians and soldiers from around the world, and being immersed in a different culture would be an amazing opportunity.

HC: What is your favorite part about being part of the National Guard?

MW: Probably all of the training I got to do that I would have never done had I not enlisted. We went to the firing range nearly every day for three weeks to learn to zero, shoot and qualify with an M-16. Also, going through all of the obstacle courses and learning different ways to get through each of the problems. More than that, after training I came back the most physically and mentally strong I have ever been.


HC: Do you see yourself using that as a career in the future?

MW: As of right now I do not plan on making the Guard a full-time career, however by the time I finish school, my mind may change.

Hey I am Maddie! I am on the board of soccer club, part of the sorority alpha sigma tau, as well as being involved in Her campus. I love photography and hanging out with friends.
Meet our Campus Correspondent Mariah Mrotek! Originally from Racine, Mariah is a Mass Communication Advertising major with a Professional Writing Minor. You can usually catch Mariah loving up the cats at the local Winona Area Humane Society or getting her last minute shopping fix at Target. She is an avid writer and believer in the power of intuition. As an advocate for the Minnesota Epilepsy Foundation, she strives for change. She really enjoys the fall season and the amazing honeycrisp apples it brings. Her ideal place to vacation at is a cabin up north by the lake. Mariah hopes to continue to see and enjoy the world’s beauty after graduation as she pursues a career in Social Media Content Management or Project Management.