Rachael was headed down the wrong path so her mom decided to call the Army recruiter and her life was forever changed. The Army recruiter convinced her to join the Army and shortly after joining she learned about how she could attend West Point and become an officer and eventually an Apache pilot. Hear Rachael’s story from a lost girl to an Army officer.
This episode is made possible by Freedom Sisters Magazine.
Freedom Sister Magazine is a premier digital magazine app designed to share the stories of women veterans. It launches in January of 2021. Learn more here.
Rachael Jackson is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, a former Army Captain, and an Apache helicopter pilot. She holds a degree in Engineering Physics with a minor in Nuclear
Engineering. But she found her passion for entrepreneurship and helping connect people to a more meaningful life. She believes in the power of strategic storytelling to connect people in more meaningful relationships and to resources for hope, help, and purpose. She wants to partner with leaders to help them create stronger, more inspired, and more resilient organizations.
Rachael was not making the best choices and her mom didn’t know what to do. A friend at church suggested she call an Army recruiter. So she did. Rachael listened to the Army recruiter and decided to join the Army. She attended Bootcamp and while at Advanced Individual Training her friend told her about a program to become an Officer by attending West Point. Her uncle had told her if she could find a way to be an officer she should. So she applied.
Less than two years after being on active duty she began her West Point journey. She began at the prep school and then completed her degree in Physics and graduated from West Point branched as Aviation. And eventually became an Apache Helicopter Pilot
When she was preparing for her deployment to Iraq she started to notice some odd medical issues. She pushed them aside and continued to prepare and headed off to Iraq. Her symptoms began to worsen and she started blacking out for no reason. She was quickly grounded and soon after was sent home from her deployment early. The military ran a number of tests and within six months of returning home, she was medically discharged from the Army.
It was devastating to leave the Army. She had planned to make a career out of the Army and felt her identity stripped away from her. She went through depression, but through it, she grew stronger in her faith and as a person. She ended up getting a call from a former West Point professor who connected her with an opportunity to work at SAIC. There she learned about entrepreneurship, with the first book being Good to Great. She eventually left and worked a government job, but recently felt called to start a business and which you can learn more about here.
She said the Army was a great place for her. It got her away from the bad influences in her life and helped her with discipline and changed her path. But the Arnt has bad and good people just like the world and you need to go in knowing that you can’t trust anyone. I loved the advice, “don’t take advice from someone who is not where you want to be.”
Connect with Rachael:
Mentioned in this episode:
Beyond the Point by Claire Gibson
Good to Great
The First Female Thunderbird Pilot – Episode 95
Before Women Could Be Fighter Pilots – Episode 29
A Navigator in the Air Force – Episode Episode 62
Check out the full transcript here.
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Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe
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Wed, 12/2 1:49PM • 34:01
military, stories, people, west, point, called, apache, iraq, women, enlisted, flying, moved, fort rucker, mom, life, podcast, world, good, deployed, medically
Rachael Jackson, Kerrie Jeter, Amanda Huffman
Amanda Huffman 00:00
Welcome to Episode 106 of the Women of the Military Podcast. This week my guest is Rachael Jackson. Rachael was headed down the wrong path, so her mom decided to call the Army recruiter and her life was forever changed. The Army recruiter convinced her to join the army and shortly after she joined, she learned about how she could attend West Point and become an officer and eventually became an Apache pilot. She deployed to Iraq in 2006, and experienced a series of blackouts and neurological symptoms that sent her back stateside. After finding brain lesions and nerve damage, She was medically discharged, but she counts herself incredibly lucky to have Apache pilot as part of her story. And I'm excited to share her story this week on the podcast. So let's get started. You're listening to the Women of the Military Podcast where we share the stories of female servicemembers and how the military touch their lives. I'm Amanda Huffman, I'm an Air Force veteran, author of Women of the Military and a collaborative author of Brave Women, Strong Faith. I am also a military spouse and Mom. I created Women of the Military Podcast as a place to share stories of military women past and present with the goal of finding the heart of the story while uncovering the triumphs and challenges women face while serving in the military. If you want to be encouraged by the stories of military women, and be inspired to change the world, keep tuned for this latest episode of Women of the Military. Welcome to the show, Rachael. I'm excited to have you here.
Rachael Jackson 01:36
Thanks for having me, Amanda.
Amanda Huffman 01:38
Let's start with why did you decide to join the military?
Rachael Jackson 01:42
Well, to be honest, my mom actually called the army recruiter when I was 17 years old. I was definitely running around with the wrong crowd kind of making some sketchy decisions. Anyways, I was headed down the very wrong path. And turns out I'm much stronger willed and my mom was. So I ended up she needed some help. And so some friends of hers from church suggested that she tried the military. She did and the recruiter talked me into it.
Amanda Huffman 02:12
So was it your idea at all? It was her right. Yeah. And then the recruiter convinced you?
Rachael Jackson 02:17
Yeah, I mean, I didn't initiate it. No, she called him and then he shared back then this was in 1996, when I met him, and I enlisted in 97. But he shared about the opportunities for college for travel, you know, for it wasn't war time at that point. And so it seemed like a no brainer to me. So I enlisted in what's called the delayed entry program in high school. And when I graduated in 97, I was activated.
Amanda Huffman 02:47
So how quickly after graduating from high school, did you go to basic training?
Rachael Jackson 02:51
Oh, well, you asking me to remember over ten or so years ago. Pretty sure it was within a month or two.
Amanda Huffman 02:59
So pretty quickly, yeah. Some people it's like, oh, I graduated. And then the next day, I went to some people, it's really, really memorable. Cuz it's right away.
Rachael Jackson 03:09
So monumental, yeah. Well, I actually didn't, I finished high school in like, December of my graduation years. So I actually moved out to California to go, I was in Virginia, and I moved out to California to go and be a waitress and my mom had moved out there. I did not attend high school. So those 5,6,7 months, kind of, I don't know,
Amanda Huffman 03:34
That makes sense. Yeah. And so you enlisted in the Army, right? I did. Yeah. And then what was your first field?
Rachael Jackson 03:43
Well, so I enlisted as a 31-Sierra, which at that time was a satellite communications operation or satellite operation systems. I forget it, I think is satellite communication systems operator maintainer. I'm pretty sure that's what it is. When I went to a AIT, which was at Fort Gordon, Georgia. I actually met a friend who was applying to West Point, and he had applied before but had gotten medically deferred. Like, I remember, my family was saying goodbye to me and my uncle. He told me, he said, My uncle was a Marine, I can Vietnam, he was not a fan of me joining the military. So he, he told me is that Rachel, if you can find a way to be an officer do that. So when I met my friend, he introduced me to West Point I was I had, I honestly did not grow up knowing anything about West Point at all. And there was no way in hell that any congressional representative would have nominated me for for a spot at West Point. sibility told me I was like, hey, that's cool. And he was going through, basically what's called a command referral process where you do like the testing and the physical assessments and the essays Writing all that kind of stuff, but you go through your commander. And so we went through our commander and he got accepted straight into West Point because he was much smarter than me. And then I got accepted to the West Point prep school or use maps and was blessed enough to attend use maps and they got my academics up and then once you graduate from there, you get an appointment in West Point. So started as enlisted SATCOM and went to West Point after that.
Amanda Huffman 05:26
Okay, so you were an enlisted for very long, because, you...
Rachael Jackson 05:29
No, just just under two years.
Amanda Huffman 05:32
Wow. And now word from our sponsor.
Kerrie Jeter 05:39
Hi, y'all, so sorry to interrupt this amazing conversation between our two beautiful sisters. Hi, I'm Carrie Jeter, founder of Freedom Sisters Media Company. And I'm so excited to announce to the Women of the Military Podcast listeners about a fantastic resource that is launching in January 2021. The Freedom Sisters Magazine is a digital premier magazine app exclusively for women veterans. from cover to cover, you will read stories of our history, our lifestyle, successes wins business, and our healing journey. Every challenge we have ever faced, we have overcome. And this magazine is going to showcase those beautiful stories so well. We have a writing team of 30 different women veterans, including our very own Amanda Huffman. If you'd like to sign up for VIP pre launch access, jump on over to www.freedomsisters.com today.
Amanda Huffman 06:36
Let's get back to the show. So is the prep school a little bit more laid back than last point? Or is it the same level of intensity?
Rachael Jackson 06:46
I don't know that. I mean, I think it's a little bit more laid back and that you don't really you don't have like upperclassmen. So it's, I would say it's probably more laid back. But it's really more academically focused in the majority. I would say the majority, well, I could be wrong. I think there were a lot of people there who were prior service, then there were some like athletes, you know, who were going there to eventually play football and other sports at West Point, but needed to get their academics stronger. So the focus there, the school was very much on academics.
Amanda Huffman 07:23
I'm getting everything to get you prepared for when you go to West Point.
Rachael Jackson 07:27
Amanda Huffman 07:28
So what was the four years at West Point like?
Rachael Jackson 07:32
Oh, that is a long story. I'll keep it short. It's intense. But I remember also, when I joined the military, I was I was very nervous about basic. And my uncle said to me again, he said, you know, millions of people have done this before you have millions of people will do it after you. Like, it's not so intimidating, that she can't, you know, figure it out. And so I think definitely pushed me outside of my comfort zone, but also taught me about you know how to face adversity, hardship, you know, head on, learn greater sense of personal courage. I love how we define courage is not the absence of fear, but just having the courage to step forward and take the action necessary, even in spite of some fear. But it was intense academically, physically, militarily, everything was pretty intense. The first year is, of course, both be harder than the others, in some ways. So yeah, it was good, though I look back on it with my memories probably could have been four years. So.
Amanda Huffman 08:35
So mentioning 20 years, September 11, happened while you were at West Point, that like being a cadet at West Point, and I mean, it changed everything that you guys, like how you were entering the military, and you were entering West Point, and we were not at war. And then September 11, happened that changed the whole dynamic of like, we were at war and deployments. And so what was that experience like? What was the impact of September 11?
Rachael Jackson 09:03
Well, I will forever remember that day. We were in classes at the time that it happened. So I was like, we were in first period class, actually, we had TVs and some of the classrooms. And toward the end of first period, I think there was some cars starting to grow. And I went into my second period class, and it was different equations. And just the professor had it on and we were all just watching in the second airplane come in. And I mean, it's the it was a feeling of incredible helplessness and anger. You know, and, of course, nobody knew exactly what was going on or why but it became very clears. But there's a second airplane and then depending on attack, that we were under attack. And I think I was saying that most of us grew up a lot that day. You know, I think we're all The real world gets a whole lot more real. And when war, it's a whole lot more real, and the necessity of good men and women to stand in the line between those who would want to do evil against us and our citizens or even the innocent people around the world. Yeah, I think we were honored to have that call. So yeah, it was it was definitely a time shift for sure. I remember, we just tried to come up with all kinds of ways that we can help the first responders and they really wouldn't let that go down to your doctor or close to the heart, they wouldn't let us go down. So I'm the we collected songs, we did all kinds of things to send to the first responders to support them in the cleanup efforts. So that was pretty pretty.
Amanda Huffman 10:52
Yeah. And I read Beyond the Point by Claire Gibson, and she, that's a novel about West Point. They started their freshman year was in September of or in the summer of 2001. And it was just interesting to follow the story and hear that perspective, and how much of what she wrote about resonated with what you said. So it was really interesting to hear.
Rachael Jackson 11:15
Yeah, I've heard that. But before I need, I need to read it. I haven't had the time to do much additional reading.
Amanda Huffman 11:23
It's really good. I highly recommend it. It'll like grab you. And you'll just, I was like cooking dinner? Because I couldn't stop reading. It was so good.
Rachael Jackson 11:33
Cool. I'll check it out.
Amanda Huffman 11:35
So what career filed did you end up picking when you were at the end of West Point, and you got to pick what your job was?
Rachael Jackson 11:44
Yeah, so the end of West Point or in your junior year, will you pick your major in your junior year, and then you pick your branch in your first year, or senior. And I was washed enough to be able to pick aviation, so I knew was going to be an aviator. And upon graduating from West Point, went to Fort Rucker, Alabama, I went to flight school. And the way they do it now I think is different than how they did it then. But we all learn how to fly on th 67 little trading helicopters, bell 206 orange and white little helicopters. And then we moved on to officer basic course. I think they call it like a crown out or something like that. I forget what it's called, like ground navigation in a car lease or something like that anyways, and then once you graduate all that, and then you get to choose what airframe you want to fly. And so I chose I course, it depends on the needs of the army, everything does. So you're not guaranteed anything. And so each class is given a certain amount of slots based on the needs of the army. So whether it's going to be Blackhawk fishing, or Apache then based on that, you can choose that then based on your class rank. So I think our class had to have had some fun, hopefully, nobody's bringing me on. And I was I was lucky enough to be able to get one of those Apache slots. So it was a I ended up being a 15 alpha, which is an Apache pilot.
Amanda Huffman 13:16
That's awesome. And that's what you wanted. That was your first choice.
Rachael Jackson 13:18
It was my first choice.
Amanda Huffman 13:21
So what was it like to after you got done with training Angular and Apache pilot like, well, what kind of missions did you do? And homeside? And then we can talk about your deployment as well.
Rachael Jackson 13:32
Well, I mean, flight school was a long event for me. Yeah, we actually have quite a place called bubbles in between training because it's all based on where the class ahead of you is, again, the needs of the army and funding and all that good stuff. So it took me about two years to get done with Fort Rucker, and then I was stationed with first calf on at Fort Hood. So I was with the first entity, seventh Aviation Regiment on one ACB at first cabinet board. So I mean, we did I mean, regular training, field exercises. We deployed to readiness centers. I think that my unit that I joined had just gotten back from Iraq, when I went it was a good leader. And so it was interesting hearing their stories and then you know, kind of you have a little shuffle of people see so they get out but soon it settled down and I got into the rhythm with being a leader and then maintenance platoon leader and then move that to tie and snap. So the combined supply officer and add us for us one for my career was cut short, and I don't have a lot of more stories or anything like that. We deployed Iraq in 2000. And right before I deployed and I'm with the Advanced Power Going out. For the first minute it was the first of my unit into Iraq. So you go to Kuwait, Iraq, but on the site before we deployed, it started to notice like, weird symptoms, and started to feel like a con on broken glass preflighting the helicopter and just this weird thing, and like the good soldier decided to, I was fine. Anyway, then 36 hour trip over, his wife did not sleep one bit, despite picking him up. And basically found myself in a barrel health was in Iraq started blacking out for a reason. It was rare that they don't like pilots do that. I ended up getting grounded and sent back stateside, and went through an evaluation process. And within the span of about six months, I found myself out of the military, without a career. So it was definitely a change. For me. I had envisioned and push play and on a career as a aviator, an army officer, but God had other plans. Yeah,
Amanda Huffman 16:13
so what was that like going to Iraq? Because I know, you were like, I know when you're like, I'm, I'm ready. I'm fit to fight and I don't need to worry about that medical thing. It's not bothering me. And then you get there and you realize, like, this is something that's bigger than I thought. Was it like a really quick process? Or that they like grounded you? Or how how quickly that happened?
Rachael Jackson 16:36
Oh, no, it wasn't that quick. I mean, I was able to stick around there for about six months, it was definitely different, like you get to have you been?
Amanda Huffman 16:45
I've been deployed to Afghanistan.
Rachael Jackson 16:47
Okay, yeah. So I mean, it's like a different world, you know, and you're just like, you know, but the cool thing is, is you're with your, your, your buddies, your, your fellow soldiers, whatever it is, you know, so being with people that you know, and like, you know, leaders and being responsible for people, or whatever it is, I mean, just helps you kind of put one foot in front of the other and go, you know, like, and it's not so scary when you got people around you your battle buddy, so to speak, right? So, um, so you got, you just kind of take it one day at a time and things happen. But I mean, you can, you can write before deployment, I mean, you can let it consume you with the fear of the unknown, or you can just stay one step at a time. And, you know, take each battle as it comes and, you know, train as you're gonna fight, train the best of your ability and be ready to respond when you have to, but worrying about it doesn't help anything at all. So yeah, got to come in, and, you know, farm the advanced party to get into Iraq, and we were stationed at Hitachi and Iraq. And my job was to go out there and prepare kantarjian for our unit, all the housing and everything that they would need. I mean, we It was pretty well established. But you know, it's not like we were taking new territory hajis a big operating base, or was a big operating base, I don't know if it's still there or not. So anyways, just swing knew what I had to do. And given that I was a staff officer, I didn't do a whole lot of flying anyway. So it wasn't, it wasn't until I started flying more that I was like, Okay, I should probably help them. Because you don't want to be a hacker and you don't, you don't want to negatively impact your copilot or anybody else if you're flying wingman with anything so...
Amanda Huffman 18:34
And so they set you back, and then they did a bunch of tests. And eventually that you transitioned out of the military, did they figure out what was wrong with you medically? Or is that still something that you struggle with?
Rachael Jackson 18:46
Well, there's some things they know. And there's some things they don't know. They found some extensive nerve damage and a few brain lesions and stuff, you know, but there's weird things like the left side of my body is more numb than the right side of my body. I have delayed sensory reactions. It's weird, but my neurologist said they can explain about 10% of what goes on with your brain. So most, they can tell you something's gonna kill you. So at least, nobody's told me why I have anything that's gonna kill me. And then I was also diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which I was blessed to go to a really awesome six week training course at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, I learned a lot, a lot of the cutting edge. Again, I was at 13 years ago. So but back then a lot of the cutting edge information was I still was a robot. I was able to take that and help other people but there's so many people who've been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I've been able to because of that course really manage my symptoms with nutrition and exercise and sleep. Sometimes some sleep medicine and sometimes, you know, that that has had that has worked for me. So So yes, something But no other things. There's still some other things they don't know. So probably will never know.
Amanda Huffman 20:04
Yeah, that's interesting how much they don't know about the brain like this. It's like it works.
Rachael Jackson 20:10
We don't know why it's minimally working right now. Yeah.
Amanda Huffman 20:16
So how is that like emotionally to your were deployed, you're fighting the fight, you're planning on being in the military and being a pilot, and then all of a sudden, you have this medical issue. And it sounds like within like, six months of coming home from your deployment, you're on your next path. What was that transition? Emotionally? And was it a struggle? or How did that go?
Rachael Jackson 20:40
No, it was devastating at first sight. I actually, I remember, I had the luxury I say, now of being able to go through depression, because I didn't have any kids or anybody counting on me. I was a captain who had the rear, the rear detachment commander, right, the rear D commander was also a captain, and he did not want me to come into work, thinking maybe the battalion commander would think that I could be Rudy commander, and he could go to Iraq. So he wanted me to stay hidden and out of sight. So I was alone, I was isolated, a lot of what's going on right now with COVID-19, you know, the isolation, loneliness, and it was the perfect recipe for depression. And so there were often times, several times I found myself on my bedroom floor, just crying. I'm just like, you know, what do we do in my life? You know, and that was difficult. It was scary to have to go through. You know, and I'm a believer in Jesus. And so I have my own journey, my own story. But at that point in time, I believe that's when things began to shift my identity in me being this Apache pilot, to figuring out okay, what's my next story? What did I learn as an Apache pilot that's gonna help me in my bigger story, and my bigger impact, but he's calling me too. So yeah, it was, it was a difficult time, but I'm thankful for it, because it allowed me to grow closer in my relationship with the Lord. But it also started a new chapter. And I'm very happy in this chapter. So I'm good with it.
Amanda Huffman 22:17
Yeah, your story really resonates with me, because even though I chose to leave the Air Force, my husband was still active duty and it was just too complicated when I got pregnant for me to stay in. But I lost that identity. And I like the only thing I could turn to was God, especially because my husband wasn't here. He was training somewhere. And like, it was really, really hard. And like, going through it was really difficult. But like you said, I'm, I'm thankful for that. Because it It got me to where I am today. And it changed who I am. And help me find this new identity where I get to tell stories of women who've served in the military. And I just, I love it. So...
Rachael Jackson 22:56
Amanda Huffman 22:57
So let's talk about what what did you find when you went through that hard time? Where are you at now? Or if there's more to the story, you can tell the beginning part?
Rachael Jackson 23:08
Well, what I found is that there's a lot more, there's a lot more to this world than our little experience our little our own little corner of it, right. And so even if we think one story, like, you know, sometimes when something happens, you go through a breakup, or you lose your job, or whatever it is, it can feel like your entire world is crashing in on you and that that there's no way forward. And the truth of the matter is that just on the other side of that crushed down wall is a whole big world that has a whole lot of opportunity. And a God who loves you, I believe and has a plan for your story. I believe all stories can be used for his good or for our good His glory in the saving of many people. So to that end, I had no idea what my civilian worth was going to be or what my civilian value or story was going to be. And I was blessed enough to have my physics professor from West Point, call me up and say, Hey, Rachel, I just got this call from SAIC wondering if I knew of any junior officers who are getting out of the military with a degree in physics and nuclear engineering. He said no one so that's I ended up that's how I ended up being introduced to sci fi and getting a job with a fellow West Point alum took a chance on me so I'm thankful for that. I fell in love with entrepreneurial ism at SAIC back then they had a culture of business. The first book I was required to read was good to great by Jim Collins five I really did. I really done business. I like building business. So anyways, after a couple of years, my government employee or government customer asked me to come to work, permit and play. My husband wanted me to do that. So I switched to a government civil servant. Yeah. So that is the But, but I'm thankful for that period, I had kids, you know, it was the stable job. But it's, you know, it's rewarding, kind of still being tied to the military I was in my office was by the airport. And so I got to see the test center. So I got to see all kinds of Apaches. Everyday just flying all over the place. There's a little bit of home, but I can see, my mom passed away. And at that point in time, just felt incredible called to go and help people. You know, if I look back on my story, I've been surrounded by folders, a lot of closes with a lot of hearts. A lot of questions, hard questions. A lot of people have a lot of hard questions about how can God be loving in the world at times, and there's no black or white answer stories, and how he moves, you know, relationship with Him. And learning to trust that His ways are bigger than ours, even though we got to kind of help sometimes. Anyways, so. And then the day she died, my mom struggled with depression and anxiety and obesity and addiction and things like that, and, but she loves you very much. And he was able to use her to reach other people, for him, even when he would just be the hospital, you know, people come to her bedside, the first thing she'd say, is, you know, and so it was very beautiful. And it was, it was moving, to see that we don't have to have it all together, it just just be able to move. Anyways, I clearly felt the call to reach out to people who are going through hard times, who had hard stories and can be connected to hope, hope and purpose, honestly, whether they believe in God or not, you know, there's a lot of people who need some help. And some community, there's something bigger than them to be a part of, you know. And so I believe that through the power of sharing stories, and stories will connect people in meaningful relationships, meaningful relationships with people to action, and meaningful often in your communities where we can build bridges to each other and make a bigger impact together. It sounds idealistic, but it's actually very simple. And so we realize that a huge problem really is present. Digital Media, in all forms, has really hurt in consumer lives. And there's an enormous amount of noise, and competing agendas and messages. And things that get in are usually that which divide and bring bitterness and anger rather than that, which brings us together in relationships, you know, and we have this desire for more and more and more and more, you know, life is better by this, do this have more friends, more followers do that, you know, whatever it is, and really figure out how to reconnect with what matters, quality, quality, quality and meaningful impact in our lives. And I think that we really need to figure out how to do that. So that's where I am, I created a platform called tribal mean, Me Myself, I am, I have an amazing, amazing people who have all kinds of skills and gifts and talents and a lot of sweat, blood and tears on the way but we felt the meaning network, which is called tribal.
Amanda Huffman 28:36
Cool. And if someone wanted to get involved and get get information, what what advice would you give them? Or where would you point them to go
Rachael Jackson 28:44
I would point them to tribalapp.com, you can click on the tab that says experience tribal, we're launching a public beta test for everybody to join. And if you are somebody who wants to share stories, or to apply to be a content partner of ours, there's there's a tab on there for partners, and just get in touch with us that way.
Amanda Huffman 29:08
Awesome. And I'll have the link to that in the show notes. So that if people want to check it out, but you can find it and maybe I'll go check it out as I really I really love what you're doing. It's so in line with what I'm doing telling stories and, and building community and not division. So...
Rachael Jackson 29:25
That's right. And there's a lot of people like you like me who are doing stories who believe in stories. There's a lot of people out there who are leaders who want to lead people towards solutions and impact. There are a lot of people out there who want to connect people to hope to help to purpose, one of our counselors, coaches, mentors, friends, family members, whatever it is, there's so many people out there who want to do good and it's probably indicated by the fact that we have 600 million blogs For the new encrypted every half second, right, this is like, there's a lot of people who are like, gotta do something, you know. And in for us, we're saying, hey, let us be the platform that can make you successful. You know, don't don't define success as a million Facebook followers, because, honestly, that's nothing that means nothing. To me. I'd rather see you'd have 100 ambassadors than a million followers any day. Yeah, that's so true.
Amanda Huffman 30:25
Yeah, I really love what you're doing. And I've loved hearing about your experience. I have one more question. What advice would you give to a young woman who's considering joining the military?
Rachael Jackson 30:37
Ah, let's see. Let me keep it real. It's hard. And it's worth it. But find somebody who has been through it, that you respect, who can mentor you and coach you through it. And an honest to god don't fall into the trap of, there's just, there's just, there's so many things I have about military service, the military can be used for extreme good in somebody's life, it turned me around and gave me discipline, I made lots of bad bad choices in the military. It's not a savior or a safe haven by any means. And just like in regular world, there's good communities and bad communities that you didn't get involved with, you know, and so go in with your eyes wide open, use it to further you and take you where you want to be. Tie into the mentors, the women who can speak in your life, and the men also, who can speak in your life who are where you want to be. Don't ever take advice from somebody who's not where you want to be. And figure out the education opportunities, the experience opportunities, the volunteer opportunities, the community that kind of build you up, and get part of that Get, get involved in that stuff there. You know, protect your reputation, make smart choices, and go out and kick ass.
Amanda Huffman 32:05
I really like that, especially the there's good people and bad people on the military. It's not that everybody is good, because sometimes you think, oh, they're in the military, I can trust them. But unfortunately, that's not the case. So you need to go with your eyes wide open, and then make smart decisions. That's really good advice. And if you're listening to this podcast, and you want to get connected with any of the women that you've heard on the podcast, you can always email me at Aaron to firstname.lastname@example.org. And I can connect you with either that woman or another woman in the branch or job that you're looking for so that you don't know anyone you can get connected that way. So thank you so much Rachel's for being on the podcast. I've really enjoyed getting to talk to you and share your part of your story.
Rachael Jackson 32:51
All right, thanks so much for having me.
Amanda Huffman 32:58
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