SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii – “Before I joined the Army, I enrolled in Fresno City College, but it was there that I realized I aspired to achieve something greater,” said Sgt. 1st Class Kacie Chavez, 8th Military Police Brigade. She conveyed this realization during an interview commemorating Women’s Equality day at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, on July 14, 2023.
Driven by her aspiration to seize better opportunities for herself, Chavez made the life-changing decision to enlist in the Army thirteen and a half years ago.
“I kind of went on a leap of faith and joined the Army,” said Chavez, a native California resident.
Chavez said she strives to set a positive example for her Soldiers and inspire them through her relentless dedication, genuine concern for others, and passion for her role as a Military Police Officer. Through her actions, she instills in her troops the belief that they can achieve anything while emphasizing that gender should never be a barrier to pursuing their aspirations.
During her career in the Army, Chavez served as a drill sergeant for 30 months at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.
“The biggest lesson I learned from being a female drill sergeant is that gender has nothing to do with acceptance in any organization,” said Chavez. “My favorite part about being a drill sergeant was simply the fact that both my peers and the trainees respected me for my hard work and dedication to training future Soldiers for the Military Police Corps.”
As service members, we all wear the same uniform, perform the same duties, and are all held to the same standards.
Chavez said, “Equality for me as a service member is important because I believe that we’re all created equal. We all have different strengths and weaknesses, but at the end of the day, we’re all human beings who should be treated with dignity and respect.”
Showing respect towards Soldiers is part of the core Army values.
“The constant support we gave to one another through good and the bad was like no other support I have seen throughout my Army career,” said Chavez. “That passion, support, and genuine care we had for one another is something I cherish so much; so much in fact that I strive to ensure that I bring that same passion, support, and genuine care in hopes that it will continue to be emulated by Soldiers, and leaders in the organization,” Chavez says.
As a leader, garnering the respect of your Soldiers demands a sincere dedication to genuinely caring for their welfare.
“When you care about the wellbeing of the Soldiers, and leaders that fall underneath you, you will never have to question if they would be willing to follow you into battle because they will,” Chavez said.
While earning the respect of your Soldiers holds significance, nurturing and upholding that relationship is equally important.
Chavez says, “I maintain the respect of my Soldiers by getting to know who they truly are and their capabilities; I believe that in order to maintain the respect of my Soldiers, I have to treat them with dignity and respect.”
Chavez finds immense fulfillment in her role as a leader, cherishing the opportunity to witness the transformative impact she has on Soldiers’ lives.
“I loved the fact that I could train civilians and not only watch but contribute to the molding of the Soldier they became,” said Chavez. “Being a drill sergeant was absolutely the best because I got to see the trainees from start to finish and watch them leave to do great things in the Military Police Corps,” she said.
Chaves says that as women, it is crucial for us to serve as role models for others to aspire to follow.
“One female that inspired me is retired Master Sgt. Reachel Edwards,” said Chavez. “I don’t believe we have enough female mentors as senior leaders in the Army that impact the junior Soldiers as we’re being brought up.”
Edwards inspired Chavez and reminded her she can accomplish anything she sets her mind to, regardless of her gender.
|Date Posted:||08.17.2023 23:51|
|Location:||SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, HI, US|