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    Reservist Tackles Trio of Responsibilities

    LS2 Meghan McWain Tackles Trio of Responsibilities

    Photo By Leslie Hull-Ryde | Petty Officer Second Class Meghan McWain has three important roles, all of which carry...... read more read more

    HOUSTON, TX, UNITED STATES

    06.16.2021

    Story by Leslie Hull-Ryde 

    Military Sealift Command Far East

    This reservist has three important roles, all of which carry a lot of responsibility.

    Despite, the diverse requirements and competing priorities, Petty Officer Second Class Meghan McWain enthusiastically and successfully accomplishes her missions.

    First, as a reserve logistics specialist for Military Sealift Command, she ensures deployed U.S. Navy and partner nations’ ships receive the critical supplies they need to sustain underway operations. That might include ordering, tracking port loading of MSC ships all over the globe, and then scheduling delivery of food, cargo, mail, repair parts, personal protective equipment and uniforms to deployed assets.

    “MSC ships are basically floating warehouses, ready to support any naval mission anywhere in the world,” the Centralia, Illinois, native said.

    “No mission can be successful without the proper supplies. Ships cannot move, and our aircraft can’t fly without fuel; Sailors cannot function without food, and the mission cannot be defended without ammunition.

    “I make sure these MSC ships have the inventory our naval ships need, and I schedule the time and place for these supplies to be dropped off.”

    For the deployed force, McWain’s logistics support to MSC for almost three years has been – and continues to be -- rather important.

    That’s her reserve responsibility.

    When she’s not supporting the Navy in a reserve status, the future cardiothoracic surgeon is part of a research team at McGovern College of Medicine’s Institution of Molecular Medicine in Houston. Much like in her reserve job, there, McWain is behind the scenes making things happen. In her lab, she conducts breast cancer research, specifically working with patients who develop lymphedema after surgery and or radiation.

    “It is one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve had,” said McWain who served on active duty for five years as an aviation electronics technician.

    “Just being able to help in any way trying to better the lives of breast cancer survivors.”

    That’s her civilian responsibility.

    At home, McWain is simply, mom. As the mother to two “beautiful boys,” McWain stays busy carting the duo to school, soccer practice, or hockey games.

    To those little ones – and the world -- motherhood is her most critical mission, McWain says.

    “The future of our world rests on the upbringing of our children.

    “It’s up to me, as a mother, to prepare my children to lead happy and successful lives. One day they will be in control of something bigger than themselves. They will be leaders. In one way shape or form, they will have an impact on this world,” she says.

    “The size of their impact will come down to how well I prepared them for it. So, being a mother, or a parent in general, doesn't just impact myself and my children, it impacts everyone.”

    Regardless of her role or her responsibility, McWain says the skills and training in one aspect of her life directly impacts the others.

    “All my jobs keep me on the alert. My mind is always turning and I’m always ready for whatever is next.

    “In my civilian job, I work autonomously. I run my own tests, and I analyze my own data. My boss allows me to take control and develop my own self confidence in the work I perform.

    “This transfers over to the military side because it shows a sense of responsibility and trust that when tasked with the job, I will perform to the best of my ability.”

    Why did you join the reserves?
    After I left active duty to pursue my career in medicine, it didn’t take long for me to feel like something was missing. The Navy taught me a lot. It taught me about respect, authority, leadership, hard work, and most of all, about family. The Navy is family. I missed the camaraderie, and I missed wearing the uniform that meant so much to me.

    Why is serving in the reserves important to you?
    The mission has always been important to me. It’s a different kind of joy when you know how much one little job actually affects the bigger movement. Reservists do more than a lot of people realize. And because I can’t get enough of giving back, in my spare time, I perform military honors for all fallen veterans in the Houston area. It’s my way to give back to those who came before me and served the same purpose I do every time I put on the uniform.

    What's the most gratifying part of your job?
    I am glad to simply know that I did something, something helpful and meaningful. I got food to Sailors. I got fuel to ships. Whatever it may have been, I helped support the mission. The ammunition that I scheduled to be delivered to the ships could have saved hundreds or thousands of lives.

    What's the most challenging part of your job?
    There are several systems you have to be able to understand and use in order to complete the mission. Thankfully, if you don’t know something, there is always someone who does. The hard thing was getting over the fear of not knowing something and asking for help. At the end of the day, your superiors know you will not be perfect, and it’s okay to ask questions because the most important part of my job is completing the mission.

    What are some of the advantages of working with MSC?
    There are a few advantages to working with MSC. The first is all of our work is done overseas. That means, anytime we deploy or go on AT’s or other work, it’s always to places like Naples Italy, Southeast Asia, Bahrain, Australia, and more. Another advantage is that we work with a lot of civilians who also ensure the MSC ships are stocked and ready to deploy to help the naval mission.

    Anything you'd like to add?
    I love the military. I love the active component and being underway with my shipmates. I love the reserves. As a reservist, my role is to support the active duty component, and we support every mission. It is my role to uphold the Navy’s core values and perform with nothing less than my very best. I never thought I’d enjoy being in the military as much as I do, but it has become a family to me, and I think that’s the main reason why I can’t get enough of it. The morale and the camaraderie is something else!

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 06.16.2021
    Date Posted: 06.16.2021 05:35
    Story ID: 399033
    Location: HOUSTON, TX, US 
    Hometown: CENTRALIA, IL, US

    Web Views: 63
    Downloads: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN