Face of Defense: Soldier Sacrifices Family Time to Serve
By Sgt. 1st Class Rick Emert, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service
CAMP TAJI, Iraq, Nov. 29, 2007 Army Staff Sgt. Rosie Threatt could have been lost in the group of her large family. She’s the fifth of six children, and her siblings have distinguished themselves by working in the medical, criminal justice and teaching fields.
Staff Sgt. Rosie Threatt, senior human resources noncommissioned officer for 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, discusses personnel actions with New Orleans native Spc. Troy Halley, human resources information specialist, at Camp Taji, Iraq. Threatt, a Port Gibson, Miss., native, joined the Army in 1999 to get a college education and make a better life for her family. Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Rick Emert, USA
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Threatt went in another direction: a career in the Army, where she has touched the lives of about 3,000 soldiers in some way over the past 14 months.
“I joined in hopes of being able to take care of myself and my daughter,” said Threatt, a Port Gibson, Miss., native who joined the Army in 1999.
When she first deployed to Iraq near the end of 2003, a few years after deploying to Kosovo for six months, she and her family were concerned about it. There would be more deployments to follow.
“My family was scared, and I was scared,” Threatt said. “When I deployed a second time, I thought that I hadn’t had enough time with my family. When this, the third one, came along, my mom (Angelia Gibson) said: ‘That’s it.’”
While it was hard on Threatt being away from her daughters, Aubri, 9, and Amari, 4, and her husband, Staff Sgt. Cleo Threatt, she said the deployments are a part of an Army career.
“It was difficult, but I had to think about my future,” Threatt said. “I decided that I had come this far, and I plan to take my career all the way up to retirement.”
On this, her fourth deployment, including three in Iraq and one in Kosovo, Threatt serves as the senior human resources noncommissioned officer for 1st Air Cavalry “Warrior” Brigade. All promotion packets, award recommendations and other personnel actions go through her staff.
“She brings a genuine desire to take care of soldiers and their administrative needs,” said Maj. Kevin McPherson, the brigade’s personnel officer, who hails from Aztec, N.M. “She is extremely customer-service oriented.”
While her job is to support all of the soldiers in the brigade with administrative support, she finds time to take care of her own soldiers, too.
“I think what I’m most proud of for this deployment is that every single one of my soldiers got a chance to achieve some of their goals,” she said. “Each got promoted to at least two grades higher than when they deployed.”
She is also proud of her soldiers’ accomplishments, she said. “They have done so much as a section,” she said. “We have processed 3,200 awards and 600 promotions for the brigade. They have worked 12 hours a day six days a week, and half days on Sunday. Most of them are first-time deployers, and they have really stepped up.”
Threatt also is working toward her personal goals of getting an associate’s degree in general studies and putting in a packet for the Warrant Officer Candidate School to become a human resources technician. She said she ultimately hopes to work in the medical field as a radiologist.
But for now, she is focused on the mission at hand -- assisting in the redeployment process for the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade as it returns to Fort Hood, Texas.
Although her position normally is held by someone at least two pay grades higher, Threatt has adapted well to the position, McPherson said.
“She had never worked in a (brigade personnel office) before; she had always worked at a personnel service battalion,” he said. “She came into this shop with the small focus of those services provided at the (personnel services battalion) level, and was put in a position as the (NCO in charge) of a brigade shop. She is a brand new staff sergeant filling a master sergeant position, and she is doing an amazing job.”
While she is focused on the redeployment, thoughts of family reunions are in the back of her mind, she said. “I am excited about going home,” Threatt said. “I just want to spend a lot of time with my family -- with my kids, my mom and my sisters. We are all really close, and it’s been a long time away.”
(Army Sgt. 1st Class Rick Emert is assigned to 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Public Affairs.)