Every year, the Army selects high-speed Soldiers to spend a year working with select civilian companies to gain on-the-job experience and skills that they can then take back to the military.
One of these Soldiers is Sgt. 1st Class Tabitha King, an automated logistical specialist with the 404th Army Field Support Brigade.
According to the Army Quartermaster Corps, the goal of the Training with Industry Program “was to create a group of Soldiers who were experienced in higher level managerial techniques and could understand the relationship of their industry as it relates to the functions of specific Army branches.”
Command Sgt. Major Kendra St. Helen, the 404th AFSB CSM, was not surprised to hear King had been awarded such a prestigious position.
“She’s built loyalty, trust and admiration to all she’s come into contact with supporting “People First,’ ” said St. Helen. “Without a doubt, Sgt. 1st Class King has the attitude, energy and drive to succeed at whatever she sets her mind to.”
King, who currently serves as the operations noncommissioned officer in charge for the 404th, has been in the Army for 17 years, and has spent about half of her career working in the Supply Support Activity working in various warehouse-related positions.
“I applied for TWI because I had spent so much time in the warehouse, I was interested to learn how civilians operate in the same environment and what methods and systems they use in the warehouse environment,” said King.
King’s TWI assignment will be at the Kansas City location of Grainger Inc., a company that distributes industrial and safety supplies to private and public sector clients across the nation.
She said she is excited to be working at the Kansas City office because she is from St. Louis, and this will be the first time in her Army career that she has been stationed so close to home.
“(Home) is just a four-hour drive away,” said King. “I am looking forward to spending more time with my Mom, siblings and nieces and nephews while assigned there.”
While working at Grainger, King hopes to use the skills she has honed as an NCO with the civilian leadership – especially in the realm of equal opportunity and the prevention of sexual harassment, and how to take care of employees.
“I also felt like I could offer some leadership skills to the company during my tenure, because the one thing that NCO’s always have to offer is how to take care of people,” said King.