By Ms. Vickey Mouze (USAG Hawaii)March 16, 2009
FORT HOOD, Texas - When Sgt. Samantha Hollimon-Beverly completed basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C. in 1993, she had so much fun that she wanted to go through it again.
At the time, Hollimon-Beverly, now the noncommissioned office-in-charge of the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center's Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, was in her first semester of college. "I got a letter in the mail, stating that I had to report for basic training," she said. "I had such a great time at Fort Jackson."
She had watched family members serve in the military and knew that she would grow up to join the military. "I loved it when I saw them in uniform, and told myself, 'I'm going to be in the military, that I could do that.'" While in high school, she joined Air Force Reserve Officers Training, and then later signed up for the Army's delayed entry program. She said that the Army's old slogan, "Be all you can be" also influenced her decision to enlist.
An Army reservist from Florida, she is a Health Care Specialist assigned to the 865th Combat Support Hospital out of New York State. Before working at the TBI clinic, she worked at the Soldier Readiness Processing Center here. "I finished my tour there, went home to Florida, and was back here a month later," she said.
Hollimon-Beverly has been instrumental in setting up the Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic that opened in October 2008. "She has done a tremendous job." said Maj. C. Alan Hopewell, the clinic's officer-in-charge. "She manages the entire building, which is considerable considering that everything is new."
As the clinic NCOIC, Hollimon-Beverly handles administrative tasks, like ordering supplies and working with the case managers from the Warrior Transition Brigade. She describes herself as a "coordinator/liaison" since there are no enlisted Soldiers working at the clinic for her to supervise.
However, she knows that she can supervise. She recalled two senior NCOs who taught by example. She considers them her mentors. "They taught me how to be an NCO and how to take care of the Soldiers," she said. "As an NCO, you have to put the junior Soldiers ahead of yourself. And, you make sure you take care of the commissioned officers and help guide them. And working with my mentors, I saw that doing so works."
She said that she is honored that 2009 is the Year of the NCO. "The NCOs are the backbone of the Army, so to be specially recognized is great. Being an NCO means having pride, taking care of the Soldiers, leadership."
Future plans call for pinning on staff sergeant stripes and perhaps eventually getting a commission to become an administrative officer. If and when she does become a commissioned officer, she already knows what she will do. "I will seek out an NCO to teach me and guide me."