Herlong, Calif. – (May 12, 2021) When Babe Fain arrived to Sierra Army Depot as a newly-hired employee 32 years ago, she had little idea of what the future had in store for her career as an Army civilian.
“I was hired to go to supply,” Fain said. “But they put me in the director’s office. So, I came on as a clerk-typist. We were just getting computers. We had typewriters back then.”
These days, Fain – now 75-years old -- serves as a training assistant, managing training records for the depot’s 1,500 Department of the Army civilian employees through the Total Employee Development system.
“Babe has been the TED guru for years and years,” Barbara Evans, a fellow Sierra Army Depot training assistant, said. “I worked on another part of the depot, when I first started at Sierra 10 years ago. I had to come to the training office several times. Babe was always willing to help me. She made me feel right at home when I first started here. I won’t forget that.”
Since Fain began her Army career in February of 1989, she has served in a variety of roles on the depot. She served as administrative support for several mission managers and division chiefs and also an additional duty as an Equal Employment Opportunity counselor before moving to training.
“Being in the training office, my job is to work with people,” Fain said. “I love to work with people one-on-one. I’ve found that people learn easier one-on-one than they do in a group.”
Fain may know at least a little about training -- and to some of the most challenging audiences. Outside of her role on the depot, she has also taught pre-school and worked as a kindergarten teacher’s assistant. She has also been active leader in her local 4H group as well as Girl Scouts.
“She is definitely willing to help,” Evans said. “And she takes her job seriously. She’ll argue a point with you if she feels strongly about it.”
Fain said the friends she’s made and worked with over the years has been the most enjoyable aspect of being an Army civilian. She also appreciates the training and travel opportunities that she has had through being an Army civilian – even without a college degree.
“I have to say that the Army has been very good to me,” Fain said. “All of the travel I’ve been able to do, I don’t know that I would have been able to do that outside of the Army. I know that the Army is trying to build a more professionalized civilian workforce. So, there a lot of training opportunities in many different areas. I think sometimes people don’t take that into account.”
Sierra Army Depot is located in Herlong, California, approximately 60 miles north of Reno, Nevada. The depot provides long-term life cycle sustainment solutions for U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, U.S. Army Materiel Command, the U.S. Army and the Joint Force. Sierra Army Depot employees a diverse workforce of Army civilians, contractors and servicemembers.