Proud to be a mother, a woman, a journalist and a Soldier

Commentary by Sgt. Brandy Mort, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

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Sgt. Brandy Mort was recently promoted into the noncommissioned officer corps and said it’s all thanks to her drive to be the best Soldier for herself and her family. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Brandy Mort)

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Ribbon, lace, high heels and gowns are usually what a little girl dreams of. However, for this girl, my sights have always been set on fatigues and combat boots.

Being in the military is a family tradition on my father’s side. The Mort family has had a man in uniform dating back at least to the Civil War. The ones I knew were my great grandfather, grandfather and father. I was my father’s only child, so I felt that it was my duty to carry on our family legacy.

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Sgt. Brandy Mort is pinned by her step-father, retired Staff Sgt. Chuck Mastin during a ceremony in Frankfort, Ky., March 1, 2014. Mastin served more than 20 years with Kentucky’s 63rd Theater Aviation Brigade. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

The drive to make my father proud has led me to be who I am today. I was recently promoted to sergeant, and I couldn’t be happier. I am excited to be able to be a positive influence on junior enlisted Soldiers and teach them what I have learned throughout my military career.

When I first joined in 2010, I had no idea just where this job would take me. In my first year, I traveled to Reno, Nev. for a Public Affairs Conference. I was also given the opportunity to work the Kentucky Derby. During the Derby I was on the sideline as the winning horse passed the finish line.

Read Mort’s previous commentary at the beginning of her career here.

I have also traveled out of the country during my time in the military. I covered the Yama Sakura mission in Osaka, Japan. At the time, I was a newly promoted specialist. My goal during this mission was to take everything I learned and keep the drive going when I returned home.

While I was in Japan I learned how to have a quick turn around when it came to my stories as a journalist. That tool led me to be one of the first people to report on the devastating storms that hit West Liberty and surrounding areas in Eastern Kentucky in 2012.

As if that wasn’t a whirlwind of an experience, I also became a mother during my time as a Soldier. My son has taught me how important it is to be on the top of my game at all times. Whatever I do for myself, I also do for him. Having a child only pushed me further to make him and the rest of my family proud.

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Sgt. Brandy Mort shows off her new rank to her son Jayden following her promotion ceremony in Frankfort, Ky., March 1, 2014. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

My family has always been a driving force for my military career. If I didn’t have them supporting me I don’t think I would be where I am today. My stepfather was a member of the 63rd Theatre Aviation Brigade for more than 20 years and retired as a staff sergeant. That rank is the highest that anyone in my family has reached. His drive and determination makes me want to stay in for as long as I can, and beat his rank.

I may have just earned my stripes, but I can assure you that I am far from the end of this journey. I plan to serve this great country for as long as I can. I may be the only woman in my family to wear the uniform, but that doesn’t hinder me from showing them what I am made of. I am proud to be a mother, a woman, a journalist and a sergeant.

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