Only about 15 percent of Soldiers in the Army stay to serve 20 years, the numbers gets even smaller for those who stay past 20 years. It's something not many Soldiers accomplish.
Command Sgt. Maj. Pamela K. Williams is one of those Soldiers who's dedication and commitment to her Soldiers, sustained by her passion to serve in the Army, has led her to complete 30 years of active federal service.
Thirty years ago Williams accompanied her cousin to the recruiting station and while she waited for her cousin to speak to a recruiter another recruiter decided to speak to her about the opportunities the Army had.
30 years later, she still serves and her cousin, well her cousin never actually joined.
Williams is one of few Soldiers, who have served honorably for so many years although that wasn't her plan. Williams entered the military on October 12, 1988, her initial term was three years but she quickly realized that she could do what she joined for and serve at the same time.
Like many Soldiers Williams joined the military and left her hometown of Brenham, Texas, it was the first time she left home, but she wanted the education benefits. When she enlisted she never imagined she would still be serving today.
"My intent was to come into the Army to go to college, for the college money; however, after being in for a short period of time I realized that not only could I be in the Army but I could go to school and earn my education while I was in the Army," said Williams.
Williams attended basic combat training at Fort McClellan, Alabama then went on to her advance individual training at Fort Lee, Virginia where she graduated from as an Army Equipment Records and Parts Specialist (76C), now an Automated Logistics Specialist (92A).
After graduating AIT Williams reported to her first duty station in Fort Stewart, Georgia, where she deployed from to Saudi Arabia in support of Desert Shield/Desert Storm.
Now four deployments later and having served in various positions of leadership, Williams, a graduate of Central Texas College, Troy University, and North Central University, is serving as the Command Sgt. Major for 593rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command, a one-star command.
The command, which has more than 2,500 Soldiers, is the sole sustainment support to America's I Corps based out of Joint Base Lewis, McChord, Washington.
Supporting America's Corps, providing leadership guidance to senior non-commissioned officers and officers within her headquarters, overseeing a medical brigade and a combat sustainment support battalion, and raising a family as a single parent, is no easy task for anyone.
But Williams has maintained a humble personality and remains committed to taking care of Soldiers.
"What I think has made me most successful in my career is being a servant, because in order to be successful I think we are all here for a purpose and that purpose is to serve others," said Williams.
Williams continues to have a positive impact in the Army, with her actions and level of care she provides to Soldiers around her.
"The Army is about people. CSM Williams is passionate about her mission, her organization, but most especially about her people; her Soldiers," said Command Sgt. Maj. Rocky L. Carr, 21st Theater Sustainment Command. "That's the hallmark of a great leader and I think this is how she has been so successful."
There's always something that influences a Soldier to be great and serve others and for Williams it is her parents and she is thankful for the support they have provided her during her military service.
"It's an honor to be able to serve 30 years and the opportunity to lead our most valued resource; the Soldiers," said Williams. "This journey has been a benefit to me in more ways than I could have never imagined, the Soldiers and leaders that I have stood by have helped me become the Soldier and leader I am today."