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    Citizen Soldier: Capt. Caroline Martin - National Guard Officer and Medical Laboratory Scientist

    Capt. Caroline Martin

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Katherine Dowd | Capt. Caroline Martin, outgoing commander, 167th Theater Sustainment Command, Special...... read more read more

    ANNISTON, AL, UNITED STATES

    06.07.2020

    Story by Sgt. 1st Class Katherine Dowd 

    167th Theater Sustainment Command

    FAREWELL CAPTAIN

    Capt. Caroline Martin served as the commander, 167th Theater Sustainment Command Special Troops Battalion Higher Headquarters Command for three and a half years, and recently passed command to Capt. Alecia Bailey on April 20, 2020. Due to restrictions put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, there was not a traditional change of command ceremony, so we are highlighting her accomplishments here.

    Martin joined the Alabama Army National Guard 18 years ago, as a petroleum supply specialist. Her desire was to be an aviator, but after many roadblocks she chose petroleum supply specialist because it gave her hands-on experience with aircraft. She spent 10 years serving as a petroleum supply specialist, and after a deployment and completion of Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), she was accepted to flight school and commissioned as an aviator, like she had always dreamed of. However, she caught pneumonia during training and was sent home. While preparing to go back to flight school, she sustained an injury and realized that maybe she was supposed to take a different path aside from aviation. She did not get discouraged, rather dove head first into continuing her career as a transportation officer and became a logistician.
    “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your five and ten year plan. Although I didn’t become an aviator I’m still very proud of myself for giving it my best shot. Things happen for a reason and I feel 100% that this was a sign from the man upstairs that there was something bigger for me as a logistician,” she said.

    As the commander of the 167th TSC STB HHC, Martin oversaw administrative and training support for the 167th TSC command, which is a logistics unit that consists of more than 300 Soldiers and includes 2 general officers. This is a unique position that provides experience in a variety of operations and responsibilities. She excelled during her time in command by focusing on building relationships among Soldiers to strengthen the organization.

    “My favorite part of the military is the people I have met along the way. Getting to know so many religions, cultures, and backgrounds is something that would have taken decades in the civilian world,” Martin noted.

    In her civilian career, Martin is a Medical Laboratory Scientist at the Chemistry Lab at University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Hospital. She graduated from the UAB Department of Health Professions - Medical Laboratory Sciences Program in 2010. She is qualified to perform a wide range of various test analyses, from running a simple cholesterol test all the way to aiding in cloning research. Currently Martin works in the area of specialized chemistry. In her lab they run up to 8,000 different tests in a 24 hour period. There are 11 different instruments that are part of the testing process and they are connected to a 5,600 square foot conveyor belt system – making this a very fast-paced environment. When tests are flagged for review, Martin determines the validity of the reports by reviewing the integrity of the sample and the suspected patient diagnosis and helps determine whether or not to report these results or request a new sample.

    As a Medical Laboratory Scientist during the COVID-19 pandemic, she said that not much has changed in her day to day job, but that the most exciting thing she has experienced so far is when she was recently involved in the process of the initial phase of COVID-19 testing at UAB. She said that aside from that, her civilian job has not changed much in response to the pandemic. Her military life, however, has seen change. The change of command ceremony that highlights her exit was cancelled in response to the pandemic. “The thing that I’ve missed most is checking in on Soldiers face-to-face. I haven’t been able to do that or say goodbye,” she stated.

    When asked what her farewell message was to her Soldiers at the 167th TSC she had one thing to share.

    “I love them.”

    Martin is now the S3 Training Plans Officer at the 731st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion in Tallassee, Ala.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 06.07.2020
    Date Posted: 06.08.2020 09:43
    Story ID: 371646
    Location: ANNISTON, AL, US 
    Hometown: HOOVER, AL, US
    Hometown: MCCALLA, AL, US

    Podcast Hits: 0

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