Spotlight on...Sgt. 1st Class Ranada Lowe

When Sgt. 1st Class Ranada Lowe left Cape Giradeau, Mo., she took with her blessings from her mother and grandmother as she started a new life in the U.S. Army.

"I have to give thanks to my mother and grandmother for making me the person I am today," said Lowe, the noncommissioned officer-in-charge at Army Contracting Command -- New Jersey's Team Picatinny and a contracting NCO with the 723rd Contingency Contracting Team supporting the Combat Ammunition Center.

"I didn't have a lot growing up, but they taught me how to be strong."

Growing up in a small town, Lowe's elders knew there weren't many opportunities so when she approached them about joining the military, she was pleasantly surprised by their reaction.

"They were happy because the town I grew up in, it was difficult to grow up and be somebody so they were very happy that I decided to do something positive," said Lowe, who enjoys basketball and football and follows the Philadelphia Eagles and the Miami Heat. "Now when I go home, my mother's and grandmother's friends are always thanking me for my service and I have to thank them just as much for their support.

"I received my master's degree in acquisition and procurement management from Webster University and hopefully I'll get my Level 3 (Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act) certification in June when I apply," said the single mother of Shamar, 14, and Rayana, 10.

"My kids are so special and I love them with all my heart. They understand when I have to deploy, for which I am so thankful and grateful."

Lowe's goals for the future have at least two endings.

"I'd like to stay around and become a command sergeant major," said Lowe, who has two-and-a-half years in military contracting. "I love to help Soldiers and to make a difference in a person's life. As a command sergeant major you can definitely make an impact on someone's life."

Once her military career has run its course Lowe has set her sight on becoming a teacher.

"I see the trouble young men get into and I want to help guide children in the right direction," said Lowe. "I can be both firm and understanding and provide them with the support and discipline they need."

Lowe said every day is a highlight because each day there's something different.

"I learned that from my mentor at ACC- N.J., Therese Grimm. She's very knowledgeable and understands me both as a contracting professional and as a Soldier, so I couldn't ask for a better mentor," she said.

Page last updated Thu February 21st, 2013 at 16:58