SMDC member blesses others with her voice

By Ayumi Davis, USASMDCFebruary 14, 2024

Clara Moore
Clara Moore serves as a financial specialist with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command. She has worked with the command for nearly 24 years. (Photo Credit: Ayumi Davis) VIEW ORIGINAL

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. - Clara Moore went to church every Sunday as a child, diligently listening to sermons, but as a teenager, her mother and other churchgoers told her listening was no longer enough. They told her it was time to participate in church.

Amongst the nudges was encouragement to join the choir. Seeing it as an easy activity, Moore joined, starting a lifelong love of singing.

“For me, singing is therapy. And I love to share the gift that God has blessed me with with others,” said Moore, a financial specialist with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command.

Thousands of ears have been graced by the dulcet tones of Moore’s singing at nearly every command ceremony for years. Her rendition of the national anthem is beloved by current and retired members of USASMDC and receives standing ovations time after time.

“I feel honored to sing at any ceremony because they thought enough of me to ask me to sing,” Moore said. “Each ceremony is special.”

Moore started singing for ceremonies when she would sing with a choir for Team Redstone’s Martin Luther King Jr. celebration annually. Singing for Team Redstone naturally turned into singing for USASMDC, she said.

Since then, Moore has sung for thousands of people, having performed at more than 1,000 ceremonies, Moore said.

“It’s never repetitive,” Moore said. “It’s a different feel every time. And everybody will tell you that. I don’t sing it the same ever.”

Moore first came to government as a temporary worker for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers while attending Drake Technical College. She recalled her first impression, saying it was overwhelming.

“I saw all of these people and this big organization, and I wondered where I fit in it,” Moore said. “It was a bit intimidating at first, but I worked with some great people that took me in and helped me really see where I could go with this career.”

She dropped out of college, seeing work as more important and college boring. William Reeves, her supervisor at the time, did not see it the same way, she said.

“He saw something in me,” Moore said. “He said I needed to get my degree, and, at first, I wasn’t on board because I didn’t want to go to school. I went from high school straight into college and I got burned out. So I was working and he just continued encouraging me to go back to school.

“After poking and prodding for a couple years, I decided I would go back to school. And I loved it.”

Once receiving her bachelor’s degree in business, Moore took on an internship with USASMDC’s G-8 and has now been with them for almost 24 years.

“I love working at SMDC. I’ve been here so long that it’s just my family. Just one big happy family,” Moore said.

As she looked back on her career, Moore said she never dreamed she would be where she is today.

“It’s been a really great experience,” she said. “Coming in as an admin and working my way up the ranks through the federal government, it’s been wonderful. There’s been road blocks, but you just stay the course and it all works out.”

Moore has strived to follow her mother’s example in life, calling her a role model.

“She was one of the kindest and sweetest that you would ever meet,” Moore said. “She was always willing to lend a helping hand, give you her last.”

A life lesson Moore learned from her mother is to treat others how she wants to be treated and to find the good in others.

“We can always find the bad, but always look for the good in others,” Moore said.

Moore is looking forward to retirement, and, to answer a popular question, has no plans to sing at her own retirement.