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    Chief remembers 9/11, career at JBMDL

    Where's the beef?

    Photo By Senior Airman Maria Rella | Chief Master Sgt. Amanda Marotta, an emergency management superintendent assigned to...... read more read more

    JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, NJ, UNITED STATES

    09.13.2021

    Story by Senior Airman Maria Rella 

    108th Wing/Public Affairs

    Chief Master Sgt. Amanda Marotta, an emergency management superintendent assigned to the 108th Civil Engineering Squadron, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., recalls beginning her military career on September 11, 2001.

    Marotta was 18 years old and thought she was going to take the world by storm. She said she wanted to leave her small, upstate New York town and do something meaningful. Marotta thought she would be one-upping her older brother in the Air National Guard by enlisting in the active-duty Air Force. But Marotta remembers that basic military training brought her back to reality quickly and she sought to be stationed close to home.

    Marotta completed basic training, emergency management technical training, and her first-term Airman orientation at JBMDL in September. 2001. She reported in for her first day of work on the 11th ready to put the skills she had learned to good use. Marotta recalls thinking her job would primarily involve natural disaster relief. Little did she know that she would be thrown into the fire of a real-world terrorist attack that changed the outlook of the country and her military forever.

    Following the terrorist attacks, Marotta slept at work for the next two weeks as part of the Emergency Operations Center on JBMDL. The EOC housed over 500 FEMA officials and Marotta helped take care of them and protect base security by checking vehicles.

    Marotta says her experiences in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001 helped her grow up and realize what emergency management meant to her. She then began dreaming of making the military her career and becoming a chief one day.

    Throughout her career, Marotta has run the gamut of statuses within the Air Force, serving on active, Reserve, and Guard duty respectively, but has continued to be stationed at JBMDL. In her changing roles, her duties have also changed dramatically, ranging from looking for suspicious activity on active duty to training for deployed missions and educating others in the Reserve and Guard.

    Traditionally, in the CE career field, if an individual holds an emergency management or firefighter Air Force Specialty Code, they cannot become a CE chief. So Marotta knew that in order to achieve her dream of becoming a chief, she would have to cross train into a new career field.

    “I knew that the squadron needed someone to focus on the personnel arena and I felt like I could be that person,” Marotta said.

    At the age of 38, Marotta sojourned to Texas with two of her three children to learn operations management. Although experiencing tech school after a lengthy career with her young kids in tow was difficult for her, Marotta says she enjoyed the experience, making something as banal as doing her laundry an adventure for her kids.

    “You can commit 100% to your job but you can also make your family a priority,” reflects Marotta, “and the Guard has allowed me to do that.”

    In her new role as superintendent,, Marotta values her interaction with the different career fields within CE and the sides of the job she did not get to experience as an emergency management airman.

    “The squadron I manage can go into a bare base and build up the infrastructure to make it a living, working space,” says Marotta.

    Marotta has also worked on her education throughout her career, most recently receiving her Master’s Degree in Homeland Security.

    “Your need and desire for learning and growing, it doesn’t stop; it only grows. Keep committing to being the best version of yourself,” advises Marotta.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 09.13.2021
    Date Posted: 09.14.2021 15:57
    Story ID: 405189
    Location: JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, NJ, US 

    Web Views: 321
    Downloads: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN