Army Reserve Lieutenant Gets 'Em Home
December 28, 2011
CAMP VIRGINIA, Kuwait -- First Lt. Jill O'Dell, officer in charge of the theater gateway here, received mobilization orders the day after her first battle assembly as an officer with the 300th Sustainment Brigade, a U.S. Army Reserve unit from Grand Prairie, Texas.
O'Dell attended post-mobilization training that same week at Fort Dix, N.J., and is now working with the 18th Human Resources Company at Camp Virginia, and is part of the 642nd Regional Support Group, a U.S. Army Reserve unit from Decatur, Ga.
O'Dell runs the personnel accountability team at the gateway, and is the primary briefer for all distinguished visitors there. The mini gateway's mission is to redeploy Soldiers to home station after their tours in Iraq or Kuwait.
O'Dell and the other members of the PAT ensure units are prepared to fly home. They also facilitate resilience resources to the units during their stay at Camp Virginia, and provide them with a full complement of snacks, activities, and other comfort items to make their time here pass as quickly as possible.
O'Dell said she doesn't mind working long hours for a good cause.
"We have the best mission in theater," she said. "We get to send Soldiers home to their families every day. We are reuniting families. I honestly do not know of a better job in theater. My Soldiers work with pride, because they know that we are making history and they are a part of it."
The gateway PAT is comprised of many junior enlisted Soldiers, and the officer in charge always leads by example and emphasizes professionalism in all areas. The PAT's mission requires it to interact with many high-ranking officers and enlisted personnel on a daily basis.
O'Dell's hard work and dedication was recognized recently when she received a coin from Lt. Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, Third Army/ARCENT commanding general.
Brooks thanked O'Dell for taking care of the Soldiers and getting them home quickly. O'Dell said Brooks stressed the importance in making the redeployment experience a quick and painless process for the Soldiers on their way home.
"The gateway is a customer service mission," O'Dell said.