Tuesday, September 17, 2019

From Girl Scouts to the Air Force

Guest post from Maria, Girl Scout alum, Girl Scout Volunteer, and currently serving in the Air Force.

The basic tenets of the Girls Scout Mission that I learned and embraced growing up in Girl Scouting—courage, confidence, and character—made my transition to military life quite a bit easier and enabled me to be successful. Let’s take courage, for instance. It took courage just to enlist in the military, which is not a traditional career for most women. The similarities were apparent right from the beginning. All of the girls were organized in troops and we had to come together to achieve our basic daily goals. We sang songs as we marched, we formed bonds together when times were rough, and we became a sisterhood. It was all familiar to me from my experiences in Girl Scouts, and it gave me a sense of belonging.

It took confidence to make it through basic training. I never gave up, although there were numerous times I wanted to. There’s actually an outdoor series of obstacles called the confidence course that tests everything you’ve ever learned about outdoor challenges. Girls Scouts taught me to embrace outdoor activities so I wasn’t scared at all. It took character to become a good role model and leader. A few years after enlisting, I won the prestigious Airman of the Year award for my entire region. If good character had not been instilled in me from my parents and Girl Scouting, my career in the military would not have been as successful as it was. 

From Girl Scouts to the Air Force to now, I embrace the Girl Scout Promise and Girl Scout Law to build relationships. Girl Scouting was my first introduction to diversity and inclusion, and I’m constantly rewarded both at work and at home for my role. It is an honor to serve as a volunteer for my daughter’s troop and it gives me a great sense of appreciation for the opportunity to help build girls of courage, confidence, and character.