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    South Carolina National Guard veteran balances family, education, service with an eye toward future

    Annual Records Reviews Helps To Ensure Soldier Readiness

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Brian Calhoun | U.S. Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Natasha Pinckney, a Human Resources Specialist...... read more read more

    COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA, UNITED STATES

    03.17.2024

    Story by Sgt. Alfonso Procopio 

    108th Public Affairs Detachment

    Columbia, S.C. — U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Natasha J. Pinckney, a devoted mother of three, a student, and a dedicated service member, has spent nearly two decades in the South Carolina Army National Guard, demonstrating resilience, ambition, and leadership in a field that demands both strength and compassion.

    Serving as a 42A, human resources specialist, with the Joint Force Headquarters (JFHQ), South Carolina Army National Guard, Pinckney manages crucial responsibilities, such as human resources duties, records and data processing, as well as information management. Her journey in the National Guard began 18 years ago, inspired by an encounter with U.S. Army Sgt. Eric Macintosh during a high school study hall session. The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test opened doors for her that her hometown, Abbeville, South Carolina, could not offer. It was the beginning of a long-standing commitment to service and personal development.

    Before her current role in JFHQ, Pinckney honed her skills as a 25B, information specialist, across various units, including the 111th Expeditionary Signal Battalion (ESB), and the 151st ESB. Her deployment under the 111th ESB to Camp Marmal, Afghanistan, saw her leading the signal helpdesk, supporting the mission by troubleshooting network issues and where she mastered new communication technologies. This technical background laid a strong foundation for her eventual transition to human resources, where she continues to make an impact.

    Education has been a parallel path for Pinckney, achieving a master's degree in social work from Limestone University in December 2023. Her aspiration to work with at-risk teens underscores her commitment to community and positive social change.

    Balancing an 18-year tenure in the National Guard with family life has presented challenges, particularly in managing training requirements alongside childcare and nursing her youngest children. Support from her spouse has been pivotal, enabling Pinckney to fulfill her duties while ensuring her family thrives.

    Reflecting on her career, Pinckney's greatest satisfaction comes from witnessing the slow but tangible cultural transformation within the Guard. She takes pride in seeing the growth and development of younger Soldiers, marking a progressive shift in an environment that historically has been male dominated.

    Looking ahead, Pinckney aims to make a positive change within the organization, exploring new opportunities that can leverage her vast experience and education. Her advice to her younger self and other young women entering the National Guard or similar fields is poignant and empowering. “Don’t put your career in someone else's hands, you navigate it, speak up for yourself and don’t be afraid to use your voice,” she added.

    For Staff Sgt. Natasha J. Pinckney, the journey with the South Carolina Army National Guard is far from over. It's a testament to her dedication to service, family, and education, embodying the spirit of resilience and change she hopes to inspire in others.

    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 03.17.2024
    Date Posted: 03.19.2024 13:45
    Story ID: 466376
    Location: COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA, US
    Hometown: ABBEVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA, US

    Web Views: 77
    Downloads: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN