FORT KNOX, Ky. – She worked as an intelligence analyst in several U.S. joint commands, to include the Indo-Pacific, European, African, and Southern Commands, and for the past two years, she’s focused on the U.S. Central Command, monitoring strategic and tactical threats.
Racheal Parks, an intelligence analyst with the 1st Theater Sustainment Command, helps maintain mission effectiveness with the work that she does here.
“I monitor and analyze any threat to ensure the 1st TSC can safely complete its sustainment mission in its area of responsibility,” Parks said. “ARCENT has a larger foot print in the realm of intelligence that helps support out mission of intel in the AOR, and our focus here is any threat to logistics,” she explained.
Her work in different regions of the world has taken her to many countries including Cuba, Greece, Italy, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Afghanistan. With experience working in so many different regions, Parks describes herself as a “Jack of all, master of none.”
She grew up in the small town of Morocco, Indiana, and joined the Navy in 1990 with a close friend after graduating high school. The two set off on a journey that continues for Parks.
That’s where she found her niche working in the intelligence field. Parks initially served 10 years as a supply specialist and then spent some time as a military policewoman before fully embracing work in intelligence. She ultimately retired from the Navy in that role.
Transitioning from working in intelligence for the Navy to working for the Army has been easy because the work is similar, except for some of the service-specific lingo.
“My shop is great about helping me with the ‘Army-isms’,” she said.
A confident Parks said that she fits in anywhere. “I feel comfortable wherever I go,” she proclaimed.
She developed this confidence in her 20s as a Sailor, which grew along with her skills, experience, and education. The intelligence analyst graduated from Columbia College of Missouri with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice.
Her confidence is also derived from the security she felt in being a military member and not worrying about job security and other things that some of her friends, who didn’t serve, did.
“I’ve never had to worry, and that makes you more secure in yourself too,” she said.
During her career as a Sailor, she watched women’s opportunities expand as more leadership jobs became available to them.
“When I joined the military, you didn’t see a lot of females,” she shared.
“Now there are women in leadership roles, commanding battalions, brigades, and ships. Women have made leaps and bounds from how things were 25 years ago in the military.”
She has seen opportunities expand for women in the intel community too.
“I worked for the highest ranking female intelligence officer, at the time, a two-star Navy admiral,” she said.
Parks believes that women previously had to choose between being a mother and having a military career because there wasn’t as much flexibility in allowing them to do both.
“Things have come a long way since I’ve been an adult,” she noticed. “I hope in my lifetime that I can see equal rights improve even more for women and for all people.”
With 22 years dedicated to working in the intelligence community, she describes a good day as one where she sees her work yield results and is happy to see “bad guys taken off the scene.” And she likes doing this work specifically for the Department of Defense.
“You go with what you know,” Parks shared.
With an established career, Parks explains that working as an intelligence analyst is a great job with security.
“If you can maintain a clearance, not get into trouble, and be financially smart; there are plenty of job opportunities,” she said. “There is always going to be a place for good intelligence analysts.”
In her free time, Parks enjoys traveling and wants to visit Crete and Vicenza again, which were her favorite duty assignments. She is also an experienced gardener and is looking forward to spring planting at her home.
After working in Europe, the position with the 1st TSC has been a good one for her to return to because she is able to visit family and friends in the region and from her hometown in the Hoosier State.