Teaching future leaders, raising kids similar for female Soldier

Story by Sgt. 1st Class Dennis Anderson, 238th Regiment Unit Public Affairs Historian Representative

Mayes Family pic

Maj. Bobbie Mayes with her family, husband, Maj. Jacob Mayes and sons, Joshua and Zachary. (Courtesy photo)

GREENVILLE, Ky. –– Maj. Bobbie Mayes is the first female commander of the Kentucky National Guard’s Officer Candidate School program. She was also the first female to serve as a Tactical Training Officer for Kentucky’s OCS in Greenville, Ky.

Mayes said she has two of the best jobs on earth, one at home and the other in uniform. The success that she has achieved has been anything but easy, but her two roles prepare her for the best of what both have to offer.

“Being a mom is much like being a commander,” said the mother of two boys. “When your kids are acting, growing and behaving in a positive light things run pretty smooth, but the moment you get a call from the principal’s office or you find something they aren’t supposed to have, it is time for discipline.”

“I love my troops and I love my children and I am a very fortunate person to have the opportunity to do what I do.”

Mayes has served in uniform since 1992, primarily as a military police officer. With tours of duty at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and with Kentucky’s Agriculture Development Team in Afghanistan, Mayes has held many positions in her career. She doesn’t bother herself with the importance of being the first female Teaching, Advising and Counseling (TAC) officer or OCS commander, to her, it’s about doing your best at your job.

Mayes and Mayes pic

Majs. Jacob and Bobbie Mayes. (Courtesy photo)

When asked about being the first woman to serve in those positions, Mayes said, “The cool thing about this is that nobody really made a big deal out of it. I measure this as success.”

“Throughout history a big deal is usually made of folks who have broken a certain barrier or glass ceiling. The attention they are given is great, however, in my case without the attention, I see this a being very successful.”

Mayes’ husband, Maj. Jacob Mayes agrees that her jobs are similar, knowing when to turn the “drill sergeant” on and off.

“She relishes in her continual commitment to shape and mold those who follow her into something better.”

Being the best at her job has provided Mayes a solid reputation with members of the Kentucky Guard and with future officers in the ranks. Not just as a female Soldier, a woman in uniform, but as a leader.

“If someone just sees you as the OCS Commander, then they see you as one person, not male, female, black, white, short, fat, etc. They see you as a leader because of merit, perseverance and the leadership you give them.”

“I can say that being at the Regiment, I have never felt more like myself because of the caliber of folks I get to work with and being able to produce the finest Soldiers in the world. Who wouldn’t want my job, I am pretty lucky.”

Womens poultry grad

Maj. Bobbie Mayes speaks with a participant at a Women’s poultry course taught by members of Kentucky’s Agribusiness Development Team in Afghanistan, 2010. (Courtesy photo)

Col. Hal Lamberton, commander of the 238th Regiment said the best thing about Mayes is the quality she brings to the OCS program in professionalism and responsibility.

“There is no gender issue with her as the commander because she does the job of teaching, advising, and counseling the OCS candidates that well,” said Lamberton.

“Major Mayes is not seen as a female TAC Officer Commander but as the TAC Officer Commander. The officer candidates, unit cadre, and others outside the unit view her as reliable, responsible, and caring. Which I believe are desirable qualities of all officers regardless of gender.”

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