Rebekah Kelley is a nonappropriated funds employee who works as an administrative assistant at the Fort Lee Cardinal Gold Club.
Rebekah Kelley is a nonappropriated funds employee who works as an administrative assistant at the Fort Lee Cardinal Gold Club. (Photo Credit: Terrance Bell) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT LEE, Va. (Feb. 2, 2021) --

Place of duty: Cardinal Golf Club, a Family and MWR facility at Fort Lee, Va. Hours of operation and other information can be found at lee.armymwr.com/programs/cardinal-golf-club.

Hometown: Westlake, La.

Time in federal service: five years

Title: administrative assistant

Duties: “I am the purchase card holder. I take care of the financial reports (for higher headquarters). I do payroll, and I help out at the Pro Shop due to staffing issues. I also have been assisting with inventory. I will sometimes help out in the (restaurant) kitchen if they need me.”

Pastimes: “I actually have my own business. I do virtual bookkeeping. I also like to just hang out with my friends, put together puzzles, watch TV, drink wine, etc.”

Describe your personality: “I like to crack jokes and make people laugh. Also, when I set my mind to accomplish something (housework or errands), I almost always push forward until they’re done, much to my husband’s dismay. It’ll be 9:45 at night, and I’ll tell him I need to fold clothes, clean the toilets and fix dinner for tomorrow.”

Worst fear: “Spiders.”

One thing you can’t live without: “Coffee.”

Pet peeve: “So, coming from Germany, I would say people driving slow in the left lane. No more autobahn!”

Favorite book: “‘Wizard’s First Rule’ by Terry Goodkind. I’m not a big Harry Potter fan, but to me this is like an adult version of it. My cousin introduced me to it when I was 14, and I’ve read the entire series. It’s just really fun.”

Favorite food: “Crawfish, boudin (described as dirty rice and pork in a casing), and gumbo.”

What would surprise people about you: “This always gets them – I’ve been riding a motorcycle for 15 years. People don’t think I’m the type, but then I show up on a ‘crotch-rocket,’ and they’re like ‘What?’”

If you could do anything, anywhere at this moment, what and where would that be? “I would probably be staying in an over-water bungalow in Tahiti, the Maldives, Thailand or somewhere in the Pacific. The girl needs some heat!”

First thing you’re going to do when the pandemic is over: (Pointing at her protective mask) “Go outside, rip this bad boy off and burn it (laugh).”

What you would do over: “I would take the opportunity to travel more while we were in Germany. There is so much more we could’ve seen.”

Someone you admire: “I like those (BBC) ‘Top Gear’ guys – Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May (along with Andy Wilman). They do these shows in which they race and test cars. Now they’re on Amazon Prime (Wilman is a producer) doing a show where they get dropped off somewhere, and they each get a boat, get told the conditions and they have to make it from this point to that on their own. I like the trio. They really complement each other and are hilarious. It’s just good television to me. ”

Qualities you admire in others: “Honesty and straightforwardness. I don’t need you to sugarcoat stuff; just give it to me straight. I can take criticism.”

A life lesson to share: “In the grand scheme of things, ‘Is this something to worry about?’ I know this past year was stressful (for people), and if there is something that angers or stresses me, I just take a step back and think, ‘in the grand scheme of things ... (it’s a) drop in the bucket.’”

Talk about your family: “It’s me and my husband, two cats and a stepson, but he doesn’t live with us. We have friends with kids who come over, and they’ll be like, ‘Wow, your house is so clean, and it’s so quiet here.’ I’m like, yeah, that’s what it’s like not having kids (laugh).”

Biggest personal achievement: “Running a half-marathon in October 2019. I’m the type of person who tends to give up when it gets hard. … I’m like ‘Eh,’ it isn’t that important anyway,’ but I had a friend who was vested in it. She had bought a plane ticket to come out here and was ready to run it with me, so I couldn’t quit. It was brutal.”

How you got started in federal service: “We (Kelley has a military spouse) were living in Baumholder, Germany, and I applied to work for the library and got the position. That’s how I started out with FMWR. From there, I’ve worked just about everywhere: Child and Youth Services, the admin headquarters at our last duty station, support services, marketing, the library and now the golf course.”

Describe your work environment: “I work with some fantastic people. We like to joke around and have fun. It’s just a laid back, fun environment.”

Talk about workplace challenges: “When I came onboard, there were just a lot of organization and workflow procedures that needed to be implemented because, for me, it wasn’t very efficient. It was taking twice as long to do something, so I just tried to refine the processes and make sure everyone knew (their role).”

Motivation to perform your duties: “I get to wear blue jeans (laugh). It’s just very laid back. I live three minutes away. It’s convenient to work here and a very fun environment.”

Best thing about civil service: “I’ve just gotten to meet a lot of great people at each of our duty stations. There not all military spouses, either. They come from everywhere. We’ve all got something in common. ... I’ve always worked in FMWR, and our job is to improve the quality of life for Soldiers and their families, so it’s fun just being part of that and having that goal in mind.”

Future aspirations: “I want to travel more – maybe RV through the lower 48 (states). I just got to get the ‘hubs’ on board. He’s like, ‘Living in an RV for a year?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah!’ I also want to grow my business to the point that, once we leave here, I don’t have to scramble. I know military wives understand.”