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. – For Capt. Meghan Kubesh, the military is a family business. Her great-grandfather served in World War II as a pilot, her grandfather served during the Vietnam War, and her father served in the U.S. Air Force. Now she serves as a Solider in the Army Reserves.
“My dad is a graduate of the Air Force Academy, which makes me the black sheep of the family but we have a lot of great jokes about it with each other,” she said.
As part of a military family, Kubesh has always felt compelled to serve. Her parents encouraged her to go to college and there she found her opportunity to support the nation.
“When we toured the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, they had us park right by the ROTC building, so we immediately saw this huge ROTC logo when we got out of the car. My dad just casually mentioned checking out the office because they usually have scholarships,” she said.
Kubesh decided to apply for a four-year scholarship. Her mom found out she applied when the ROTC office called informing her that her daughter had been selected to receive the financial award.
“I figured she couldn’t be too mad since I was going to be able to attend school without taking out any loans,” she said.
After graduating from college in 2012 with a degree in criminal justice, Kubesh was commissioned as a military police officer. In 2016, she would officially join the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command as a basic training company commander at Fort Leonard Wood
Now, she serves as an operations officer in G-33 at TRADOC HQ, with her primary focus being on COVID-19. She started working with the movement cell, which coordinated transportation and escorts to take trainees to their training locations or their first unit of assignment. After restrictions loosened for the pandemic, she moved into her current role, which requires her to write orders and help ensure TRADOC continues its mission of training Soldiers.
“Even though COVID-19 hit and the world stopped, we couldn’t stop. We had to make sure that the trainees coming in had the ability to start their Army career,” she said.
Though she never could have anticipated being called upon by the Army to work on something like COVID-19 protocols, Kubesh is grateful for the challenges and opportunities the role afforded her.
“I had the chance to work on a decision brief that was going to the Secretary of the Army. Not a lot of captains get the chance to work on something that goes up to that level,” she said.
After years of service in the Army Reserves and prioritizing her Army duties, Kubesh has decided to submit her active duty packet and shift her focus to the Army full time.
“I fully admit,” she said, “I put the Army first.”
She hopes to become a major and to one day find her way back to Fort Leonard Wood, where she served as an instructor at Military Police School Captains Career Course. Regardless of where her next steps take her, she knows it will be as a Soldier.
Why do you serve?
I serve because I want to make a difference. I know that sounds cheesy, but this is a way that I can give back to the community and to the people who have helped support me. It gives me that sense of purpose and drive to continue to do what I’m doing. When I go home and talk with veterans, they're always wanting to talk and engage with me. This is what I want to do.
Why do you continue to serve?
This is why I’m trying to go active duty full time because I want to continue. I want to lead. The Army is big on the people first aspect. I want to continue because you’ve got to be able to connect with your Soldiers and you’ve got to be able to connect with your leadership. You’ve got to be able to bridge those gaps. I want to be a leader my Soldiers can come to and bring their issues to. I want to be able to have solutions; even if I can’t find the solution, I will find someone to help.
What is your personal mission statement?
Trust, training, and family. Not only do I want to be able to trust my NCOs I want them to be able to trust me. I want them to be able to come to me so trust is definitely the big piece.
Training. I want to make sure that I’m bettering myself so that I can be that person who can be looked up to but also making sure my Soldiers get the training they need and want.
Family is so important. They’re the ones who stand up for you. They’re holding down the fort when you’re gone.
How have you seen yourself grow and develop over the course of your career?
I would definitely say in the beginning of my career I wasn’t as fiery. In the beginning, you’re kind of sitting back trying to see how things are going to work out. You’re new to the Army but you’re also supposed to know how to be a leader. So it’s trying to find that balance and that’s where having good mentorship and good leaders is crucial. Having someone who can mentor you so that if you’re going down the wrong rabbit hole they can pull you back and tell you that’s not the right path to follow.
The good leaders I had helped me find my voice. They would challenge my decisions and not in a way where they didn’t trust my leadership, but as a way to make me more confident in my choices, learn how to defend them, and refine my voice. Having that experience, and being able to communicate with senior leaders, to be able to express my point of view respectfully, and support my plan of action, helped me grow into the person I am today.
What would you say to someone who's thinking of working at TRADOC?
Give it a shot. To me, TRADOC has so much potential. We’re shaping the Army. TRADOC is the entity that all people go through, whether it’s from your initial entry level, where you’re brand new to the Army, whether it's enlisted, officer, cadet. To be a part of it means you can have a chance to place your stamp on the Army