Sgt. 1st Class Ontario Flowers is the noncommissioned officer in charge for the 606th Senior Contingency Contracting Team, 903rd Contingency Contracting Battalion, 409th Contracting Support Brigade in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

A Raeford, N.C. native, Flowers has been serving in the Army for nine years. She joined the service after Sept. 11 and enrolled into the delayed entry program.

"I wanted to do my part as an American. By the time I finished basic training and advance individual training I was almost 30 years old. I always felt that I was behind the power curve in comparison to other Soldiers my age. I used that to work hard and motivate me to be the best and excel in the military to get me where I am today," said Flowers.

While she admits she hates being away from family, she does enjoy serving her country.

"The most rewarding part is when a stranger sees me in uniform and thanks me for my service. My reply to them is "thank you for your support."

The oldest of four children, Flowers cites her mother as an influential leader in her life, and continues to share her accomplishments.

"I grew up in a single-parent home. I watched my mother take care of myself and my three younger sisters. As the oldest I felt obligated to ease her burden. Even today I involve my mother in every one of my accomplishments. She is so proud of me and that has a big effect on my motivation to strive to be the best I can," said Flowers.

Formerly a petroleum supply specialist, she got into contracting to secure a future for life after the military.

"I love everything about contracting. It pushes me to be a better me! I'm so motivated about my job. Contracting allows me to think outside of the box and not do things by the numbers. I wanted to be afforded the chance to use my brain."

Flowers' future goals are to continue to excel in the Army and retire as a command sergeant major.

"I strive to be the best leader I can be. I want someone to be able to look at me and just say...hey that's a squared away NCO."