By Emily Brainard, Army Flier StaffMarch 19, 2010
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Women's History Month, running through the end of March, recognizes dedicated female servicemembers who make contributions to their country.
One of these women is Spc. Keely Misemer, a C Company, 1st Battalion, 11th Aviation Regiment air traffic controller at Hunt Stagefield. The young Soldier has reached many personal goals and recently garnered installation recognition for her service.
Misemer said she followed her retired Marine father's footsteps, joining the military in June 2008 "to pay the country back, further my career and gain job experience."
Since women only account for about 15 percent of servicemembers, even though she is a minority in the Army and her ATC field, Misemer said she doesn't see being a female Soldier as anything special.
"It's great that we celebrate women because women contribute to the military as well as men do," she said.
Females have much to offer the Army, she said. Characteristics she believes she and other uniformed ladies display include strong work ethics, determination and goal-driven attitudes.
Honoring women this month is important, she noted, because they provide diversity and different points of view throughout their career fields.
Some of her role models include legendary aviator Amelia Earhart, and, more locally, 110th Aviation Brigade Command Sgt. Maj. Antoinette Aila, who both "have done everything."
"A lot of females think they can't do things because they're females," Misemer said. "(These women are) inspiring because you have something to look up to."
Misemer was named the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker 2009 Soldier of the Year during a Feb. 5 ceremony at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum, proving her hard work has paid off.
Not one to slow down after achieving success, she added she hopes to try out for the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club later this year as she prepares to transition to the role of a noncommissioned officer.
"It's something I want to do because (the club) recognizes outstanding NCOs. They really test your leadership," she said.
Nurturing her leadership skills is something Misemer takes very seriously. She focuses on others through her volunteer work with the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program. She also recently helped fellow servicemembers better themselves through a remedial physical training routine.
"Learning from my NCOs, everything in their worlds revolves around the Soldiers. That's what makes a good leader," she said.
Misemer recently earned the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge.
The competition involves athletic, laborious tasks, challenging Soldiers mentally and physically.
"Not that many females do it," she said. "I just want to do these things because it's a challenge."
Her fellow air traffic controllers respect what she has accomplished in so little time and view her as a role model.
"She's a hard worker. She offers a different perspective," said Hunt Stagefield ATC Shift Leader Spc. Steven Crittenden.
"She's very goal-oriented, determined and focused," said Spc. Jarod Mills, another shift leader at Hunt. "She spurs people on and pushes them to keep going in their careers and (to) keep learning."
Misemer's peers aren't the only ones who notice her dedication. One of the NCOs she admires is Staff Sgt. Christopher Wilf, Hunt Stagefield training supervisor, who has nothing but praise for her.
"She sets herself apart and shows women can be good, strong leaders," he said.
Wilf said Misemer's dedication is what makes her successful and an outstanding female Soldier.
"She has her goals set in her head," he said. "Each new challenge that comes up, she wants it. It's a personal drive that pushes her to succeed."