Kaiserslautern, Germany--Master Sgt. Cynthia Perryman, 903rd Contingency Contracting Battalion here, has been a leader since she was a child. The oldest of seven children, she's always helped lead the way in her family.

As the unit's senior enlisted advisor, Perryman takes an active role in mentoring noncommissioned officers. She spends time counseling, listening, setting the example and taking a genuine interest in seeing Soldiers succeed.

"I really want to help Soldiers professionally grow, so I take a lot of time with the NCOs," stated Perryman.

With 23 years of service under her belt, she has been climbing the enlisted ladder, always pushing herself to new heights. On active duty for 13 years, Perryman spent the first 10 years of her military career in the Alabama National Guard in logistics. She worked weekend drills and annual training while attending school, being a mother, newlywed and educator.

"My life was becoming routine. I wanted more for myself and my family. I wanted to experience more than just that small town in Alabama," said Perryman on why she joined the Army.

"My challenge to myself is to make a difference. I'm a true believer in Army values and the one that's dear to my heart is respect," she said.

Throughout her career, there have been a number of people that have made a difference in her professional career. One that stands out is retired Master Sgt. Norman Hall, Perryman's first sergeant when she was assigned to the 1st Calvary Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

"He was a great mentor and a positive influence. I joined the Army when I was 30. He sat me down and said, do and know your job, lead from the front. You will have to catch up. I embedded those words within my thoughts," says Perryman, reffering to the fact that her peers were younger but further along in their military careers. "First Sgt. Hall was a motivator and he believed in basic soldiering by counseling and giving sound advice on education, family, military, and being not just an NCO wearing the rank, but an NCO going above and beyond,"

Perrymann's personal goals include earning a master's degree in acquisition management. She would also like to attain the rank of sergeant major before retiring.
"Part of my success has been staying focused and surrounding myself with positive people. There's good and bad wherever you go but you have to be able to know it when you see it and choose the route you want to take," she said.

Reclassifying three years ago from the logistics branch, Perryman belives she has found her niche. "I reclassified into contracting because while I was making great progress in my military career, but I wanted more. The door of opportunity was opened and I walked in," said Perryman.

"I enjoy contracting because it's challenging. I can see my work being appreciated. It's worthwhile because I contribute to the fight and I feel I make a difference. It's a path to a great future after the Army and I'm happy. I think I'll be doing this for awhile," said Perryman with a smile.