Signaleer Spotlight: Staff Sgt. Walker honored as 'Instructor of the Quarter'

By Laura LeveringMarch 4, 2024

Staff Sgt. Niara Walker, an instructor assigned to Bravo Company, 551st Signal Battalion, at Fort Eisenhower, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Laura Levering, U.S. Army Signal School) VIEW ORIGINAL

Staff Sgt. Niara Walker, Network Communication Specialist (25H) Course instructor stationed at Fort Eisenhower, Georgia, reflects on her time in service.

Hometown: Dorchester, Massachusetts.

Enlistment date: November 19, 2012.

Current unit: Bravo Company, 551st Signal Battalion.

Why she joined the Army: “I am a domestic violence survivor, and I joined the Army as a way to break free. The Army has helped me start over and rebuild my life.”

Any family history of military service or influence? “My aunt was in the Navy for 30 years, so she really emphasized how the Army would take good care of me.”

What do you enjoy most about being in the Army? “The benefits. The fact that I can still pursue other things like civilian education and certifications for when I want to get out of the Army, and they’re paid for. I used my VA loan for the first time when I moved here … and there are a lot of resources for my kids.”

How has the Army shaped you into the person you are today? “The Army has taught me to be resilient, professional, and to know how to adapt to my audience. It really taught me how to connect to people with different backgrounds. You learn a lot about the Soldiers, yourself, your peers … I think learning how to work with people of different backgrounds and using their experiences has made me more well-rounded.”

What sort of impact do you hope to have on your AIT students? “I hope the impact that I have is for Soldiers to understand that NCOs are there not only to support and give knowledge, but also that the Army isn’t what the media sometimes portrays it to be – like this traumatic, damaging life experience. There are benefits to the Army. You can be a lot of things in the Army. We have a lot of stability and a lot of structure.”

What are your future plans? “I hope to continue to progress in the ranks and continue to help Soldiers know that they can rely on us when they’re facing adversity. Having a good foundation will help you continue in your career.”

Any advice you can offer someone contemplating a career in the Army? “Think about the major struggles that you might have in your life and know that the Army can help. Whether it’s mental health, financial, education-wise, there are a lot of benefits. The Army will help keep you stable and you can still change careers. There are a lot more benefits than people realize, especially if you have children.”

Hobbies: I like to spend time with my kids, reupholster furniture, and I like to travel. I got to visit my dream country, which is Portugal, when I was stationed in Germany. I have been to 12 countries, and Portugal was my favorite. I’m a University of Georgia fan and a New England Patriots fan.”

Bio snapshot: Walker earned her bachelor’s degree in liberal arts last year and is currently pursuing a masters degree in Cloud computing systems. She is married to Sgt. 1st Class Kuajimari Walker, of 369th Signal Battalion. They have two sons, ages 5 and 3.

From her leadership:
Staff Sgt. Niara Walker is the consummate professional, leader, teammate, and an excellent 25H Advanced Individual Training instructor. Her dedication to duty and commitment to excellence are always on display during classroom/lab observations and high-level VIP visits which culminate at Patrol Base Ready Capstone training area where she serves as an outstanding noncommissioned officer-in-charge.

Walker has consistently proven herself to be the go-to instructor/subject matter expert for multiple critical tasks within the course, which has earned her praise and admiration from her students, peers, and leaders alike. Her vast knowledge, skills and technical acumen clearly sets her apart from her contemporaries and is constantly demonstrated during the installation, operation, and maintenance of the Tactical Communication Node (TCN), Satellite Transportable Terminals (STT), Transportable Tactical Command Communications (T2C2), cable markings, along with routing and switching protocols. Walker has provided outstanding leadership to over 400 students in the past nine months with 100% pass rate.