FORT POLK, La. — Army careers can be challenging. Moving every few years, packing up your Family and starting over in a different state is commonplace for Soldiers and civilians alike. Few people can say they began a career with one organization and, more than 45 years later, still enjoy working for that same organization.Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital has a unicorn working within its building. According to Hootsuite Chief Executive Officer Ryan Holmes, a unicorn employee is a member of the staff who possesses unique qualities that make them extremely rare and valuable. Sherlynn White, known by her friends and colleagues as Anne, is the executive assistant to the hospital commander and began her career at BJACH in 1976.White personifies the qualities of a unicorn with her attention to detail and can-do attitude. She is passionate about what she does, humble and respectful and an ambassador for teamwork. She is not limited by her job title — she has true grit, and she gets things done.Col. Judy Dugai, BJACH commander, presented White with a certificate and 45-year pin on Jan. 22. Dugai marveled at how much White has seen during her tenure working for the hospital.She began her career before the current facility was built in 1984, before the Joint Readiness Training Center relocated to Fort Polk in 1993 and has served 12 chief nurses and eight hospital commanders.“On behalf of us, the beneficiaries, the commanders and the rotational units, I want to say thank you,” Dugai said during the presentation. “Anne, you don’t realize how many people you’ve touched, and how important you are to this organization. I don’t have the words to express my gratitude for you and all that you do every day.”White, a self-proclaimed Navy brat, said her Family settled in her mom’s hometown of Allegany, New York, her sophomore year of high school. After graduation, White began taking business courses at St. Bonaventure University. She said she took the typing and stenography civil-service exam as practice.“I never thought a job would come out of it. Other than the Social Security Office, I didn’t think there were any federal jobs in the area,” she said. “However, my scores were high; I was at the top of the list; and I was referred and selected for a job as a clerk/typist with the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program at St. Bonaventure University in 1974. That was my first job, and how I got lucky enough to get into civil service.”White’s husband joined the Army in 1975. Fort Polk was their first and only duty station. She said when they arrived, the McDonalds in Leesville had just opened and there was little else in town compared to her hometown in New York. Her husband was assigned to the 7th Engineer Battalion and, after his initial four-year contract, he left the Army to pursue a career in construction. They decided to make Louisiana home because of the mild winter weather and her position at BJACH.“I got my first job working in outpatient medical records,” White said. “I pulled patient records and delivered them to the clinics. I was only in outpatient records a few months when a position as a clerk/typist opened in the Department of Nursing.”White worked for the Department of Nursing from 1976 until June 2006, when she was selected as the commander’s secretary. “I grew up in the Department of Nursing,” she said. “I never had an unhappy day there. The thing I miss and love the most about it was being a mentor, a sounding board and a confidant to the young Army Nurse Corps officers and the young Soldiers.”White said during her 30 years working for the Department of Nursing, she had the opportunity to get to know the nurses well. She said many of them were far from home, and she was like a surrogate mother to them while they were here. She said the personal relationships she made with the Army nurses was the thing she cherished the most.In 2006, the hospital commander asked her to consider applying for her current position as his secretary. White’s reputation as a stellar employee was well known. White said she had no plans to leave the Department of Nursing; she was happy there. But despite her trepidation, the deputy commander of nursing at the time encouraged her to apply.“When I was asked to consider the job, I figured I should,” said White. “I have no regrets about applying for and ultimately being selected for my current position.”Even though the job as the commander’s secretary was a promotion it wasn’t about money, she said.“Being happy coming to work every day is the most important thing to me,” she said. “The administrative duties are essentially the same, but sometimes the Soldiers avoid the command area. When I left the Nursing Department, I used to joke that I was going to the dark side.”During her tenure, White has seen a lot of changes at the hospital from the building itself, the units stationed here and the makeup of the staff.White said when she first started at the hospital there was no Deputy Commander of Nursing — the head of nursing was called the chief nurse, and that it didn’t change until Col. C. William Fox Jr. took command in1997.“When Col. Fox came to BJACH, he couldn’t fathom why the chief nurse wasn’t a deputy commander,” she said. “He implemented that change when he was here. He said the chief nurse needed a seat at the table with the rest of the deputies.”Looking back and discussing current changes and initiatives in the Army, White said the inclusive atmosphere and “People First” philosophy are good things.“I think the Army is a little more progressive than the civilian sector regarding race and gender issues. Our first female commander was Col. Kelly A. Murray in 2009. She and the subsequent female commanders made it obvious that a woman can command a hospital just as competently as men can,” she said.“Looking across the Army Medical Command, there are a lot of women in leadership roles.”A photo on the BJACH Facebook page about White’s longevity at BJACH resulted in more reactions, comments and shares than any previous post on BJACH’s profile. Friends, colleagues and former coworkers remarked at her dedication and performance. To many people, White is the heart and soul of the organization.Retired Spc. Linda Anderson Poteat served at BJACH as a soldier and a civilian nurse until her retirement in 2011. “Anne was the first person I met when I arrived in 1978,” she said. “Ms. White was always friendly and a wealth of information — she was our go-to person for everything.”Tina Davidson, a former Department of Nursing administrative assistant, said White is a dedicated, caring and selfless hard worker. “I’m so happy to see this special person recognized. We worked side-by-side for many years, and I can honestly say every day was great,” she said. “Anne was diligent in every task put before her; coworkers just don’t get any better than she does,” Davidson said.White said she has enjoyed every day of her career at BJACH. She admitted she could retire at any time, but she is still happy coming each morning.“Army Spouses should try their best to get a job working for the Department of the Army, so they can work alongside their Soldiers,” she said. “The civilian personnel office has made it somewhat easier to get your foot in the door with spousal preference. I didn’t have any spousal preference, I just lucked out and have had a wonderful career here at BJACH.”She said if you work hard, then the sky is the limit.“If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.”