By Sgt. 1st Class Alyn-Michael Macleod, 99th Regional Support Command Public AffairsMarch 21, 2011
JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J., MAR 21, 2011 - Since the formation of the Women's Army Corps in the 1940s, women have faced many challenges and contributed greatly to the U.S. Army through their accomplishments.
The 99th Regional Support Command will highlight one of its many talented and professional women throughout the month of March in recognition of Women's History Month.
Women's History Month began March 1 and continues throughout the month. The national and Department of Defense theme is "Our History is Our Strength" and "Army Strong" has never been a more apropos motto when referring to our women warriors. They have been a major part of the Army's history since its inception and we have continued to honor their service.
This week, Ms. Annette Kalbach, a New Jersey native, is the second in a series of women honored in March.
Kalbach is currently the secretary for the command group at the 99th RSC.
What is your role in the Army/Army Reserve'
I am not in the Army, but I do work as a civilian for the Army Reserve. Prior to working for the Army Reserve, I worked as a civilian for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under the National Marine Fisheries Service at Sandy Hook. I decided to come back to DOD because I missed working with the military so much. Over the years, the military became my family and after working for NOAA for the past 10 years, it was time to go home. So, when the opportunity arose, I took it. A secretarial position opened at the 99th Regional Support Command, I applied, and eventually was hired in the position.
Do you feel like you are making an impact in the community'
Yes, I definitely feel like I am making a difference in the community. In July of 2009, I decided to join our township's first aid squad. After spending some time with a few members from the squad, I decided it was time to join the squad. After completing the three - month EMT course and then passing the state exam, I am now an active volunteer EMT member with Wall First Aid and Rescue Squad. Not only do we provide support on first aid calls, but we provide services to marathons, Relay for Life, Wall Day, and mutual aid for our surrounding communities. The best part of being a volunteer with the squad is knowing that we have helped people who are in pain or are ill. That just gives me great satisfaction knowing that I have saved lives.
Are there any women who you look up to'
Yes, Christine Zetlin. Chris Zetlin was a dear friend/co-worker of mine from NOAA. She passed away from cancer in 2003. Chris could not stress enough to me how important it was to finish my college education. I already had an associate's degree in business management but she told me that I needed to go back and get my bachelor's degree. It's because of her that I am back in college working on my bachelor's degree. I am majoring in business administration with the management and marketing option.
Theresa Fitzgerald/Lisa Remo. Theresa and Lisa are both on the first aid squad. I joined the squad because of their passion for helping people. I would listen to their stories about the squad and I knew that I wanted to be like them.
What are some of the challenges you have encountered since working for the Army'
The biggest challenge that I have encountered is how different the Army works compared to NOAA, the Navy and the Air Force. Every branch of service has their own way of doing business. I started working for the Army without any prior knowledge or experience. It took me a while but I feel that I was able to apply my previous knowledge and experience and apply it to the Army way of doing business.