Editor’s note: The Army’s People Strategy focuses on the entirety of human performance, developing leadership and optimizing performance for all components of Army readiness. Faces of TRADOC supports the Army's People Line of Effort by highlighting exceptional TRADOC team members through their stories. The campaign highlights the Army’s greatest asset, our people.
JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. – Savannah Herring was looking for a way to achieve her dream of working at the Army Research Lab, when the opportunity to become an intern at the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command was presented to her. She had just graduated with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Kansas but she struggled to find full-time positions as the job market was disrupted by COVID-19. Herring’s father is in the Army so when she saw the chance to work for TRADOC she knew she had to apply for the job.
“This is a great opportunity to give back because I do love the Army,” she said. “It’s a family to me. Plus, it’s a great chance to be able to get your foot in the door of the General Schedule system.”
In September 2021, Herring began working as an intern for the Commander’s Planning Group. She often helps plan trips and prepares talking points for engagements. She sees her job as an opportunity to help out wherever she can. Not only because she wants to be helpful but also as a chance to grow herself professionally.
“Whenever anyone asks for help, I offer to do it, because I want to learn and help them the best I can,” she said.
Her most recent project involves working on the Women’s Initiative Group with Lt. Gen. Maria Gervais, TRADOC deputy commanding general. WIG looks at family care plans, leader education, uniforms, and equipment to make sure the women in the Army are having their needs met.
“We have to ask ourselves how we can help everyone,” she said. “How can we make sure the equipment fits every Soldier? How do we make sure family care plans take into account the full picture of the family? What if the woman is in the Army instead of the man, what do the family care plans need to look like to accommodate that?”
On first glance, these questions can seem far removed from her education in mechanical engineering, but Herring said it all comes down to problem solving. While she studied how to build new medical devices, the ability to assess a situation and find the answer is what she really took away from her degree and she can apply that to any aspect of her job.
Her goal is still to one day work at the Army Research Lab, but for now she’s happy to see what else she can learn at TRADOC to help develop herself for the future.
Why do you serve?
I love the Army. My dad's been in the Army, so I think it's a great family and I like that everyone’s working for the same goal. I serve because I want to give back and I want all the Soldiers to be successful. This is a great place for me and I’ve learned a lot.
Why do you continue to serve?
I think I can go far working here, and there are a lot of opportunities, especially as a government civilian employee. My dream is to get to the Army Research Lab in Maryland, so I'm starting here to work my way there.
What is your personal mission statement?
My personal mission statement is that I want to come to work every day and be kind, and respect others. I make sure I get my job done and also help other people. We can all help each other.
How have you seen yourself grow and develop since you've come to TRADOC?
I've been here six months now and I would say it took me a couple months to really feel confident, even though I grew up around the Army. There’s ranks that I didn't know and I didn’t know how to refer to multiple people in an email when addressing both Soldiers and civilians. I feel like I've really grown confident in myself that I can do this now and be successful. Other people are here to help, too, and I know I can ask around if I’m not sure of an answer because they’re here to help.
What would you say to someone who’s thinking of working at TRADOC?
I think it is an amazing opportunity. Everyone in the Army has to come through TRADOC at some point in their career. I think it's a great place to be because it directly affects every Soldier in the Army, no matter where they’re at. It can really set them up for the future.