McLaughlin Air National Guard Base, W.Va. --
The December Charlie West Spotlight is Master Sgt. Jessica Anderson.
Anderson is a Unit Training Manager (UTM) at the 130th Civil Engineering Squadron, and has been with the unit for just over a year. She is responsible for providing leadership and mentorship to squadron personnel while managing unit training programs during peacetime, wartime, and contingency operations in addition to being an advisor to the 130th CE Commander.
Anderson is a native of Boylston, Mass. and is a proud mother of one.
“It’s hard to say what the best day of my life was, but I’d have to say it was when I gave birth to my son Jake,” said Anderson. “It’s truly the greatest love I’ve ever felt.”
She has been in the military for a combined 19 years. Eight of those years were spent in the Army where she worked as a flight medic while serving over 3 years in Iraq. Prior to her position at the 130th, she served as a UTM at the Air Force Reserve Center (AFRC) Headquarters where she was in charge of 21 directories and over 600 Airmen. She also backfilled as the Major Command Functional Manager for her career field and helped assist as the Civil Engineer Training Superintendent.
Being a Guardsman, Anderson’s impact reaches outside of the military as well. As a civilian, she is a Rating Veterans Service Representative, where she evaluates disabilities for Veterans. She also volunteers with the Veterans of Foreign Wars doing fundraising as well as assisting at her alma mater, Harvard, where she earned her PhD in Strategic Planning and Operations.
Anderson’s goals as a Guardsman are to contribute to every unit she works in the best she can, to work on a project that would improve overall base efficiency and to earn the rank of Chief Master Sgt. In her civilian life, she strives to become a Decision Review Officer for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“When you serve in the military, you become part of a tight knit community and it incorporates a way of life,” said Anderson. “In the short time that I’ve been a member of the 130th CES, I already feel at home that way.”
When asked to explain what her favorite thing about the unit is, her answer was “the people.”
She described how much she enjoyed the units’ interactions and can do attitudes while filling roles as both the UTM and Unit Deployment Manager and preparing deployers to go overseas. She also mentioned how each Air Force Specialty Code plays their part and assists in ensuring members are fully trained and are ready to go.
“Being a part of the military is a career-wise the thing I’m most proud of,” reiterated Anderson. “Not everyone does this, and it's amazing to be a part of such a great community of talented and motivated people.”