FORT LEE, Va. – Command Sgt. Maj. Roslyn Floyd wholeheartedly believes in the institution she has served for just over three decades. She is living testament to the Army’s abundance of opportunity and chances for personal development and career growth. It is common for her to promote military service with the line, “It’s a good start on life.”
“I used to tell everybody that,” said the Army Logistics University Support Battalion Soldier who is processing for retirement. “When I’d see people in the store, I’d start talking about the military, telling them, ‘If you don’t have anything else to do and you don’t have any options to take, the military is one. It’s a good start, and you don’t have to make it a career.’”
Pvt. Sharee Floyd, daughter of Command Sgt. Maj. Floyd, was apparently listening. Perhaps it was subconsciously throughout her young life, but at some point, the message resonated and became applicative to her own interests.
Thus, the 19-year old – who heard her mom spit that ‘good start’ line a hundred times – moved to create a new beginning for herself, enlisting in the Army on Feb. 24 and receiving training as a 92Y unit supply specialist.
The former fast food employee earned her completion certificate from the eight-week Quartermaster School course on July 17. Pvt. Floyd's graduation venue is located less than a mile from where her mom served her last assignment. One could say the end of one Army career gave rise to another, at least from the younger Floyd’s perspective.
“I wanted to get a good start on my career, I guess, to follow in my mom’s footsteps,” said the private.
“Really, Sharee?” said a pleasantly surprised and flattered command sergeant-mom, maybe seeing Pvt. Floyd express certain aspirations for the first time.
Pvt. Floyd has three siblings – 12- and 16-year-old brothers and a 28-year-old sister. Her mother, an 88M motor transport operator by training, has endured the usual challenges of a career in uniform – long hours, deployments and multiple moves – mostly as a single mom. Early in her childhood, Pvt. Floyd said she was somewhat introduced to the rigors of military life when her mom returned from Iraq in 2009.
“I didn’t remember her when she came back,” said Pvt. Floyd, her voice trembling with emotion of how difficult it was. “I guess because I hadn’t seen her in so long, and I wasn’t used to her being around.”
Considering a challenging childhood marked by her mom’s deployments, why would Pvt. Floyd be interested in the Army?
Travel, educational opportunities and general self-development are among the reasons she cited, but Pvt. Floyd said she was ready to take the next step. She – like her mom – had worked at a McDonald’s restaurant since her sophomore year in high school and was ready to move beyond “having a job” toward attaining a career. The enlistment contract Pvt. Floyd signed marked the end of a difficult process and a jumpstart to a life of independence, said her mother.
“Oh my, it really did hit home then,” she said of her daughter’s decision. “I was getting nervous because I had been pushing her to do something with her life.”
Furthermore, Command Sgt. Maj. Floyd said the enlistment brought her to the realization that Pvt. Floyd was an adult, ready to fly off into the yonder without her.
“I had anxiety because I knew I could no longer be there for my child,” she said. “At the same time, I had to have faith that she listened to me throughout the years I raised her – that she’d take the guidance I’ve always given her, and what I always instilled, and use that to survive, learning what she needs to become a Soldier.”
There is a strong basis behind Command Sgt. Maj. Floyd’s faith in her daughter to succeed.
“She’s a very loving, helpful and supportive child,” she said. “Me being a single parent with two other children at home, I’ve leaned heavily upon her because of my work schedule. She took care of the house – washing, ironing and folding clothes – all of that while working and going to school. You name it she did it.”
A proud mom-wearing-Command Sgt. Maj.-stripes smile spread across her face as she continued the thought. “I know she’s going to go after her job as a 92Y the same way.”
Pvt. Floyd said she’s looking to attain more job skills and earn a degree in nursing. She has not determined how long she’ll remain in uniform beyond her four-year contract.