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    Never stop trying and never stop learning

    Never stop trying and never stop learning

    Photo By Maj. Marvin Baker | Cadet Shaneekwa Westry, a non-traditional student and U.S. Army Reserve Soldier who...... read more read more



    Story by Maj. Marvin Baker 

    316th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)

    FORT TOTTEN, NY—“Never stop trying and never stop learning” is the motto by which Cadet Shaneekwa Westry lives. Westry, a non-traditional student and U.S. Army Reserve Soldier who attends John J. College of Criminal Justice and City College in New York City, started her second master’s degree recently to achieve her goal—becoming an officer in the U.S. Army.

    “I always wanted to be an officer,” Westry said. “But I couldn’t get the 110 score I needed on the ASVAB.” In the U.S. Army Reserve, the two most common paths to becoming an officer are:

    1. Officer Candidate School: Located at Fort Benning, Georgia, OCS is 12-weeks of intense tactical and leadership training. Enlisted Soldiers interested in OCS, must have a college degree from a four-year university.
    2. Reserve Officer Training Course: ROTC programs are offered at many schools and allow the student to have a traditional college experience while preparing for his or her future as an officer.

    Westry enlisted the U.S. Army Reserve in 2012 and figured an Army career in the adjutant general branch would be the best way to weave a career through the Human Resources field. For four years, she diligently served as a junior enlisted Soldier while her internal motivation led her to regular promotions toward the non-commissioned officer corps. As a sergeant, Westry said she felt incredibly proud of her success, especially of her role as non-commissioned officer-in-charge of the post office at her base in Kabul, Afghanistan.

    “I really got to know people there, and I am a people-person who likes to talk,” she said.

    People skills helped her with her civilian career as well. For the past 13 years, she has worked for the city of New York in their human resources office. Despite her recent achievements, she knew her future had something more in store.

    “I don’t have any regrets, but I knew I had to make a different decision to get where I wanted to go,” said Westry.

    That’s when she met an old friend from basic training who was then servicing as a cadet in his current unit while attending ROTC. Today, Westry is also serving as a cadet in her U.S. Army Reserve unit in New York. She plans to complete her third master’s degree and earn her commission in June.

    Westry’s story is like many other Soldiers’ stories in the U.S. Army Reserve. The Army Reserve offers Soldiers a multitude of options to pursue their dreams. Fortunately for Westry, she never gave up on her career plans in the Army Reserve and found the answer to her questions in her fellow Soldier, who navigated the field of various options that worked best.



    Date Taken: 03.05.2020
    Date Posted: 03.05.2020 09:30
    Story ID: 364534
    Location: NEW YORK, NY, US 

    Web Views: 94
    Downloads: 1