Operation Tribute to Freedom

Faces From the Front for June 6, 2011 - Maj. Lisa Maly and Capt. Sean Maly

Major Lisa Maly

Name: Maj. Lisa Maly
Current Unit: 228th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade
Current Position: Future Operations Officer-in-Charge
Component: South Carolina National Guard
Current Location: Bagram, Afghanistan
Hometown: Hopkins, S.C.
Years of Service: 22

Captain Sean Maly

Name: Capt. Sean Maly
Current Unit: 228th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade
Current Position: Headquarters and Headquarters Company Commander
Component: South Carolina National Guard
Current Location: Bagram, Afghanistan
Hometown: Hopkins, S.C.
Years of Service: 23

Many Soldiers will say that their comrades become as close as family, especially when they are overseas. Yet for Maj. Lisa Maly and Capt. Sean Maly the phrase has literal meaning—the sister and brother duo are currently deployed to Afghanistan, where they both serve with the 228th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade.

During their current deployment, the pair’s unit is responsible for providing communication planning, engineering, coordination, oversight and management of the Combined Joint Operating Area – Afghanistan infrastructure.

“Signal is a very important role in today’s Army; we are just as important as the guys that go on daily patrols. We try to give them every advantage in order for them to be successful and as safe as possible,” said Maj. Maly. “It seems the world is all about technology and that is what we have to offer in today’s Signal Corps.”

Her brother agrees.

“Signal Corps provides our war-fighters with the ability to communicate in real-time voice and to push data, and both are the cornerstone of an effective fighting force,” he said.

For both the brother and the sister, the chance to serve together overseas has strengthen their bond.

“Even though she thinks I don’t listen, I value her opinions the most,” said Capt. Maly. “She is a great leader, and she is fair, competent and an excellent role model.”

“I love getting feedback on how good of a job my brother is doing as a company commander,” she said. “The pride just swells when you hear things like that. And if it makes me proud, I can’t imagine how proud my mom and family members are of him back home.”

Yet this isn’t the first time they have served together—the duo worked with the same medical unit when they were both enlisted Soldiers. Although the medical mission is very different from their current mission, they have been able to leverage the skills learned earlier to succeed in their careers today.

“I really enjoyed the hands on experience as an enlisted Soldier, but I also love having the responsibility to make the critical decisions when called upon,” said Maj. Maly. “I think that enlisted Soldiers can tell when they have a leader that has enlisted experience, and that has helped me in the relationships I’ve formed with the enlisted Soldiers in my command.”

The Maly’s are a military family. Both Maj. Maly and Capt. Malys have followed in their father’s footsteps—beginning as enlisted Soldiers and then transitioning to service as officers. They also have a brother and grandfather who have retired from military service.

The Malys are scheduled to returned to the states in early 2012, but for now they’re enjoying the opportunity to serve together overseas—and they aren’t the only duo in their unit.

“When they say that the National Guard is a family affair, South Carolina proves that with our unit,” she said. “We have two father and sons, a husband and wife and of course myself and my brother all serving in the same unit.”

Telling the Army Story: Community Relations

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