STUTTGART, Germany -- Veterinary Food Inspector earns Bachelor of Science with a focus on health care management from the Excelsior University in New York, while serving as noncommissioned officer in charge of the Stuttgart Veterinary Treatment Facility.
Ohio-native Staff Sgt. Lenee Williams, veterinary food inspector and noncommissioned officer in charge of the Stuttgart Veterinary Treatment Facility, initially enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2009 as a cargo transport specialist but after a nine-month tour to Bagram, Afghanistan, she decided to change her military occupational series and retrained.
“Before the military, I was in University, but I had to leave school due to financial reasons,” Williams said. “I joined the U.S. Army to be able to pay off student loans but I stayed in once I realized that I will be able to make a career out of it and explore options outside of Ohio.”
In 2014, Williams talked to a warrant officer who back then was a veterinary food inspector.
“I thought being a health inspector equivalent in the Army was pretty cool and my friend had a lot of good things to say,” Williams said. “The medical field has fascinated me since I was a little child, and I was curious to see a different side of the house.”
“Being a Romeo is a silent military occupational series, a lot of people don’t know about it but when I explain it, they think it’s cool,” Williams said. “I enjoy knowing that we keep people safe without putting ourselves out there. We also have the opportunity to work with a lot of different services.”
Williams has worked with the Marines and the Navy and enjoyed her times as a ship rider in Europe.
“It’s a one-person job, I accompanied a Navy supply ship and was in charge of inspecting the food products and their distribution,” William said. “It was great learning about their operations on the ship.”
As the noncommissioned officer in charge of the Stuttgart Veterinary Treatment Facility, Williams makes sure that her section runs efficiently.
“I ensure that the food mission is complete, and I work on overcoming any food related challenges that arise,” Williams said. “But it also involves a lot of training and mentoring soldiers, attending meetings or motivating and building a cohesive team.”
Williams firmly believes in “to always continue to learn” and that “it’s never too late to make a change or try a new direction in life.”
“In 2017, I decided to pursue a degree in health care management.” Williams said. “Being a Branch NCOIC has given me the necessary tools and I feel like I already have a leg up, being in a supervisory role and managing a clinic.”
Juggling family, school and being in the Army does not come easy.
“It’s not for the weak, it was a struggle,” Williams said. “Luckily, I was only deployed once and my school worked with me that I was able to split some of the courses. I would’ve not been able to do it without the support of my spouse and daughter. There were times I didn’t have much of a personal life.”
Williams graduated in July 2023.
For the future, she is hoping to achieve her next goals, but she understands “that the means of getting there might change.”
When Williams retires from the Army, she would like to work in the nursing field.
“As of next year, I have six years left in the Army,” Williams said. “While I’m in the Army, I would like to obtain the rank of Sgt. First Class and continue to work on my prerequisites for nursing and towards my nursing degree.”