OTF Soldier Story for February 22, 2010 - Capt. Marci Hodge
Current Unit: B Company, 450th Civil Affairs Battalion
Current Position: Team Leader
Component: Army Reserve
Current Location: Riverdale, Md.
Hometown: Memphis, Tenn.
Years of Service: 9
Even as a young child, Marci Hodge had an interest in the Army. After hearing stories of her mother’s sister and cousin serving in the Women’s Army Corps, the women's branch of the Army during much of the twentieth century, including World War II, she knew she wanted to serve one day. Although Hodge recalls that her relatives reported to their first duty station without firing a weapon at basic training, it is quite the contrast from Hodge, who currently serves as a captain in the Army and has deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
She notes the progress that women in the military have made in past decades and is proud of the female Soldiers she serves alongside.
“Women continue to prove themselves in theater time and time again,” said Hodge. “I’m feminine, and I don’t feel like I need to act like a man to do my job. But if I need to get dirty, I will do what I need to do to complete the mission. I am a Soldier focused on my mission, regardless of my gender.”
Most recently, she served with the 401st Civil Affairs Battalion in Baghdad, Iraq. In her role as a humanitarian officer, she was responsible for developing strategic plans and policies for upcoming missions to better the lives of Iraqi locals. For meritorious service, she was awarded the Bronze Star Medal.
During that deployment, a female Soldier in her battalion was sexually assaulted. Realizing that she could be an asset to the leadership during this time, she served as a victim advocate. Inspired by the positive impact she had in that role, she now works for the Department of Defense’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office. As the only one in the office with recent overseas service experience, she uses her deployment experiences to explain how policies will affect other service members.
“It is just phenomenal to see the work they are doing. I am excited to see the progress and I know the work we do makes life better,” she said.
Originally from Memphis, Tenn., Hodge currently lives in Riverdale, Md., and serves with the 450th Civil Affairs Battalion. In the future, she wants to serve as an executive officer and hopes to be promoted to the rank of major later this year.
“I am serious about my military career. I want to keep performing at levels to be competitive with my peers regardless of gender. I want to continue to serve my country the best way possible,” she said.
After researching the role of women in Middle Eastern politics for her master’s degree, she also hopes to pursue a doctorate degree in women’s studies to influence the training provided to female service members.