How Katie Vail Went From Military Officer to the Pentagon It almost seems as though Katie Vail has lived multiple lives within her lifetime having grown up in Georgia, gone to West Point, served as a an active duty Army officer with a deployment to Afghanistan, worked at the Pentagon (working toward achieving equal opportunities for all women in the military, might we add!) and being a member of the Army Reserve. And now: living in Hawaii workingwith high schoolers interested in joining the military, being a mom, AND a lifestyle blogger. We know, she really does do it all. Read on to learn about her career path that brought her to the Pentagon, how she got into vente de coque iphone the world of blogging and influencing with a military background, coping with grief and loss, and what it like to live in Hawaii with her family. My first job out of college was as a Second Lieutenant in the Army. I was assigned to a Brigade Combat Team at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii and I was the personnel officer for a unit of 800 Soldiers. Less than two years after graduating from West Point I deployed to Afghanistan. What inspired you to go into the armed forces Service is very important to my family, and I come from a long line of Army officers. One of my grandfathers served in Korea and in Vietnam, my other grandfather did coque iphone 5 protection integrale two tours in Vietnam, and my dad is a West Point graduate and is an Iraq War Veteran. Duty to country was instilled in me from the very beginning, so choosing to serve wasn’t too far fetched of an coque iphone 6 dybala idea, though it did shock a lot of people. I’ve always loved a physical and mental challenge, so West Point was very appealing to me. I also liked the opportunity that West Point provided in terms of a free education and 100 percent job placement upon graduation. I spent my first three years as an Army officer stationed in Hawaii (including the deployment to Afghanistan) and then I was promoted to the rank of Captain and attended the Army’s six month educational course for human resource officers in that rank. At the end of the course, everyone receives their follow on assignments, and I happened to receive the one nominative assignment to the Pentagon. I worked on the Army Staff within the personnel office and was on a small team that completed all of the Congressional and legal requirements for opening all Army units, schools, coque iphone 6 en or positions, and occupations to women. Up until that time, women were limited from serving in certain capacities within the military, and it was a monumental effort to complete all of the necessary assessments, legal reviews, surveys, etc. before notifying Congress of the Army’s intent to make these changes. Now, several women (including one of my West Point classmates) are qualified Army Rangers and women across the military can serve in almost any capacity, as long as they meet the necessary requirements. How has your life changed since moving from active duty to the Army Reserve How has it changed since having two children and coque iphone 7 plus or having another on the way Leaving the Active Duty Army was a huge transition. I spent over nine years wearing a military uniform and having every aspect of my life be very regimented, and then all of the sudden I was released from all of coque iphone 6 apple noir it. Being able to choose what I wore every day coque iphone 5c luxe (and even having the option to paint my fingernails) was so exciting to me! I did feel a coque rhinoshield coque huawei p9 iphone 5 s licorne bit lost in the beginning though, which is why I ended up transitioning to the Army Reserve. I realized it didn’t make sense for me to just throw away all of the education and years of service I’d put in. I spent some time doing the traditional “one weekend a month, two weeks in the summer” Reserve thing for a year when we lived in Kansas, but once we moved to Hawaii I transitioned again and am now a Military Academy Liaison Officer for West Point, and I get to work with local high schoolers here in Hawaii who are working through the application process. It’s rewarding to be able to continue to serve, but I appreciate the flexibility I have so that I can devote most prix coque iphone 7 of my time to raising my children. It’s especially important to me since we live so far from family and we don’t have much outside help. coque iphone 5 Staying at home with my children is incredibly valuable to me, but I’m also the kind of person coque huawei p9 crane who needs a number of side hustles to keep me busy and fulfilled, so this is the best of both worlds. I’m the kind of person who needs a number of side hustles to keep me busy and fulfilled, so this is the best of both worlds. The Army Reserve and the National Guard provide a great opportunity for people who want to hold civilian jobs, but also serve their country. There are units across the country and many different career fields to suit your interests, the military’s needs, and your education level. Many Army Reserve Soldiers never served on active duty and have always been in the Army Reserve, but then there are a number of Soldiers like me who used to call the Army their full time profession. You typically have “drill” with your unit one weekend a month, and then you complete a two week training event in the summer. You’re paid for your work, you do almost everything like an active duty Army unit would (meetings, physical training, qualifying on your rifle) but it’s all condensed and done primarily on the weekends. Occasionally, Reserve units will be called up during times of conflict to help supplement the regular Army, and during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq many Reserve units were activated and spent time in a deployed environment. It typically provides great flexibility, though, and it’s been a really good fit for me. Your husband is still active duty Army, so your family relocates often and now lives in Hawaii. What is that coque iphone bleu like Moving frequently is the life I’ve known for the past 10 plus years, and I’m thankful that I’ve been able to spend much of that time in Hawaii. We can see the Pacific Ocean from our living room, we wear summer clothes year round, coque iphone 6 officiel and beach trips and hikes happen frequently. iphone 11 case kate spade As a Georgia girl, I never dreamed I’d raise a family in Hawaii, and it’s been the most wonderful experience. We’re already sad thinking about leaving next year! I wake up around 6am and my husband and I get the kids ready for school together. I normally leave the house at 7:15 and drop my son off at school, and then my daughter and I will head to the YMCA, where she attends school twice a week. I’m normally a distance runner, but since I’m currently almost eight months pregnant, I’ll often walk on the treadmill and do some strength training instead. Then I’ll use the rest of my (brief) alone time to work on my computer. Then coque iphone 6 cuir marron we run errands (if needed), head home, eat lunch, and then my daughter will take her nap. I’ll often try to squeeze in a 30 minute nap too, and get some more work done on my computer and around the house. My son rides the bus home and we’ll often go to the pool or for a family walk in the evenings. Bedtime for the kids is 7:30pm, and then my husband and I will eat dinner (I have yet to master meal planning, and we should probably start family dinners now that the kids are getting older) and watch something on Netflix or sit outside on our lanai and play Scrabble or cards. I know I should take advantage of that evening time to get more work done, but by that point I’m just ready to decompress from the day and not use my brain anymore. What’s the most important thing you have learned while serving in the Army I learned pretty quickly how to juggle lots of different tasks at the same time. Sometimes you have to weigh your priorities and figure out what is the most important, especially when you know you can’t give everything 100 percent in the time that’s been allotted. I also learned the importance of accepting responsibility, even when you fail. It not always fun, but it certainly important. Do your research and try to connect with women who have served in the military (though keep in mind that things are constantly changing). Understand that physical fitness is incredibly important, and if you can maintain a high level of fitness your life will be much easier. Don’t get hung up on the idea of wearing a uniform. I’ve loved fashion for as long as I can remember and thought that wearing a uniform would be a big adjustment, coque iphone fila but you get used to it coque iphone 5s a la mode really quickly. It also makes getting ready in the morning really easy! What’s one thing you wish people knew about uniformed service What’s something that a lot of people tend to get wrong about uniformed service or the people who serve Femininity and the military are double coque iphone 7 not mutually exclusive. One thing I assumed back when I was in high school was that any woman in the military wouldn’t be feminine and coque iphone 4s m&m’s that it would be difficult for me to find friends with similar interests. The military certainly takes all kinds (one of the great things about it!), but even if you enjoy makeup and fashion and decorating, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be a successful member of the military too. My entire life I’ve loved to get dirty and push myself physically and mentally, but I am also such a girly girl. It’s OK to be a dichotomy! I think it’s valuable to be well rounded, and thankfully I have so many female friends from West Point and my time in the Army that are exactly the same way. You have experienced unthinkable huawei p9 plus coque silicone loss in losing your first husband, as well as close friends in combat. How did you cope with that, and do you have any advice for someone coping with similar grief The early months and years of grief are crushing. Not only are you mourning the loss of your loved one, but you’re also mourning the loss of the future you had together. I was widowed at 24 years old, and in an instant all of my dreams of happiness and having children were dashed. Running became my biggest form of healing. I signed up for my first marathon shortly after my husband was killed, and spending 16 weeks training and focused on such a big task helped me through those dark first months. It kept me focused and moving forward, rather than wallowing in my grief. It saved me and gave me purpose. Finishing that race after everything coque huawei p9 anime I’d been through was one of the most emotional moments of my entire life. I ran to remember him, to feel just a small amount of the pain he experienced, and was able to use my grief to accomplish something monumental. I’ve now ran six marathons, and I think of him on every training run and along every race course. I never would have had the courage to tackle such a daunting task if I hadn’t lost him, and I like to think he’s proud of how I’ve continued moving forward and living life. Coincidentally, a love of running is what my second husband (Tom) and I bonded over in the early days of our relationship. It saved both of us from unhappiness, and it’s still a huge part of our marriage. I also think it’s important to be able to notice the small forms of beauty in life. Sometimes a beautiful sunrise or a blooming flower can be the spark of joy you need to get you through your day. After nearly a decade of having stifled creativity due to wearing a military uniform and living in military barracks rooms, I decided it was time to find an outlet for everything non military that I was passionate about. coque iphone 5s I’d always enjoyed writing and sharing my thoughts on decorating and fashion, so blogging seemed like a rewarding idea. Back when I was a West Point cadet I’d dreamily study every page of coque iphone 5s gifi every issue of the old Domino magazine, despite having no freedom at all to decorate my military barracks room. I started huawei p9 lite coque silicone licorne out blogging about decorating because I really love the challenge of combining thrift store finds with newer things to create a totally unique look. Once I had kids though, motherhood and lifestyle content became easier to produce since I no longer have lots of time to dedicate towards combing thrift stores and redecorating rooms. I now enjoy sharing timeless fashion and decorating ideas for busy women who don’t want to waste money on chasing trends. coque iphone xs My favorite items in a home and in a wardrobe are classic and won’t go out of style any time soon. They’re such a timeless style! I mean, French sailors started wearing them in the mid 1800s, and the pattern has yet to go out of style. I love that they’re gender neutral (stripes are one of my favorite ways to create coordinated family outfits with my son and daughter) and there are endless ways to wear them. What is your start to finish process in creating content for your blog and Instagram I used to start a bunch of different blog posts as the ideas hit my brain, but then all the unfinished drafts started to overwhelm me. These days I keep a coque animaux huawei p9 lite list of topics I want to write about coque iphone 6s de luxe and tackle them one by one. iphone 11 case review I normally start with photography and then I’ll write the post. I shop in my closet a lot, so I often try to include pieces that are currently available to help women get a similar look. Same with with my decorating posts. Most items I have were found at thrift stores or were inherited or I purchased while traveling, so I’ll try to source things that are available now.