Operation Tribute to Freedom

Faces From the Front for June 6, 2011 - Staff Sgt. Erica Dorsey

Staff Sergeant Erica Dorsey

Current Unit: 580th Signal Company
Current Position: Operations Noncommissioned Officer-in-Charge
Component: Army Reserve
Current Location: Bagram, Afghanistan
Hometown: Augusta, Ga.
Years of Service: 15

The versatility of our Soldiers is part of what makes our Armed Forces successful. Regardless of the mission, they are committed to advancing operations overseas. When Staff Sgt. Erica Dorsey, a wire systems installation maintainer by training, received orders to deploy for a third time, she learned that she would be doing something different. This time she would serve as an operations noncommissioned officer-in-charge (NCOIC).

Despite adapting to a new role when she arrived in Afghanistan, Dorsey learned to balance many tasks, all while ensuring the safety of her Soldiers.

“Being an operations NCOIC requires you to definitely multitask, stay diligent, and be very organized where as a wire systems installation maintainer has a specific job to do and they go out and do that specific job,” Dorsey said. “But this tour has really grown me—being accountable for Soldiers helps you with your level of responsibility.”

Overseas, she is in charge of the movement and housing of all of the nearly 100 Soldiers in her company.

“We have missions throughout the whole theater that require our Soldiers and equipment to be in many different places at once, so we maneuver our personnel like chess pieces. We are responsible for where we put each and every single one of our pieces,” she said.

Even with her enormous logistical responsibilities, Dorsey takes the time to understand the more personal side of her efforts and attend to the Soldiers behind the mission.

“My most rewarding deployment experience has been watching a lot of my junior Soldiers grow into noncommissioned officers,” she said. “It makes me proud to see them take their job by the horns and run with it.”

After all, it was the personal side of service that initially attracted Dorsey to the Army.

“Everyone in my family but my sister has been in the military,” she said. “My mother is currently in the Army, my father is retired from the Army after serving for 25 years, and both my brothers serve—one in the Marines and the other in the Army.”

While her family’s commitment to military service may have influenced her career choice, Dorsey is proud that she is personally contributing to the success of the Armed Forces overseas.

“I wanted to do something different and I wanted to do something that made a difference,” she said. “I’m proud to put on this uniform everyday because I know when I go into work, I am working for a cause. We are supporting missions that I never once imagined that I would be a part of and that makes me very proud.”

Originally from Augusta, Ga., the Soldier is currently working on her bachelor’s degree from Brenau University. She hopes to graduate in May 2012 with a degree in organizational leadership and fine arts, a goal that has been delayed due to frequent deployments.

Dorsey will return home this fall and looks forward to spending time with her teenage children and extended family.

“A whole lot changes in a year, especially with teenagers. This is my third deployment and it makes me sad because I have to go and learn them all over again,” she said. “I’m just glad that they understand about my job.”

Telling the Army Story: Community Relations

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