LANDSTUHL, Germany – Sgt. 1st Class Chasidy Tenison has always been interested in the military but she did not seriously consider pursuing a career in the military until she attended her Aunt Jody Wilson’s graduation from advanced individual training. Within a year, Tenison enlisted in the U.S. Army.
“When I watched my aunt graduate, it really sparked my interest and I looked into it,” said Tenison. “I have always wanted to work in the medical field and truly enjoyed it, but it also felt like I reached my peak as a medical assistant in the civilian world.”
Tenison says she was ready for something different so she enlisted as a preventive medicine specialist in the Army. As a Preventive Medicine Specialist for Public Health Command Europe, she directly contributes to Soldier health and readiness by preventing the spread of infection and disease.
Tenison is happy to be a part of the PHCE mission, but an added bonus is that her Aunt Jody is currently working at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center Europe as an operating room specialist.
Little did she know when she enlisted in 2011 that she would have the opportunity to serve with her aunt in Germany.
“The military presents some hard goodbyes, while awakening the courage of our family members who dare to embark upon the challenge to serve,” said Jody Wilson. “I am extremely proud of my niece for accepting that challenge and I love that we have the opportunity to serve together.”
Her aunt was able to pin on Tenison’s new rank during her recent promotion to Sergeant First Class.
“It was great having my aunt here in Germany with me,” said Tenison. She was the one who initially inspired me to join.”
According to Tenison, the different varieties of jobs she has had in the Army, keep her on her toes and make every day exciting. Now with a new rank, things have changed as well.
“Initially, I wasn’t sure what it meant exactly to become a steward of the profession but the NCO creed took on more meaning for me,” said Tenison.
The NCO Creed states, “I am aware of my role as a noncommissioned officer. I will fulfill my responsibilities inherent in that role. All Soldiers are entitled to outstanding leadership; I will provide that leadership. I know my Soldiers and I will always place their needs above my own. I will communicate consistently with my Soldiers and never leave them uninformed.”
Tenison says the NCO Creed is “not just something recited at boards.” She truly believes it and it became her way of life. “It makes more sense once you live it,” she said.
Through leadership and mentoring junior soldiers, she can now see the impact that she has.
“Being a NCO becomes a passion,” said Tenison. “It is a career for me, not just a job.”
Since joining, she has been able to experience many different lanes of her career field.
“Here at Public Health Command Europe, we have entomology and health risk management where we collect environmental samples for deployments or water samples for the garrisons. It’s one of my goals to experience it all,” said Tenison.
In previous assignments, she conducted food sanitation inspections for the garrison, in the medical detachment she learned how to apply the skill set of a preventive medicine specialist in a deployed environment and participated in many field exercises, so the environmental aspect of PHCE was new to her.
“In the military you get trained for a particular job, but it’s not always what you do,” said Tenison. “You get many different assignments, and rarely do the same job because you have a different mission or rank.”
Throughout her career, Tenison has had the opportunity to work with many soldiers. Some of them have become friends and others have reached out to thank her for her leadership she provided at previous duty stations.
“It feels great to know you are appreciated,” she said. “Seeing the impact I’ve had motivates me to continue my career. I like being in the military and everyday my love for what I do as an NCO grows.”