Alyssa Hough

Civil Affairs Specialist, Full-time student, U.S. Army, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Alyssa Hough

When I graduated high school my junior year at the young age of sixteen, I had no clue what I actually wanted to do or who I wanted to be. I decided to take about two years to travel and find who I was and what I wanted to do in my life. Between 60-70 hour work weeks to fund my weeks-long vacations, I realized that despite having fun, I wasn't progressing myself for my future. I attended a local technical college studying Criminal Justice with dreams to be the best police officer I could be. But I still didn't feel challenged or that I was sparking my inner fire. I interviewed a handful of local recruiters for a final project I was working on and my life truly began. Not in that moment, oh no! I did not believe the military was for me--I hated running, couldn't do pushups, and couldn't see myself in the stereotypical war movie scene. Looking back, I was probably a little scared. After weeks of thought, I decided to listen to what the branches had to offer. Shortly, I was on my way to enlisting into the U.S. Army Reserves-- a part-time force that would allow me to focus full-time on college. I chose to be a Civil Affairs Specialist which has an array of perks, but the best being the human aspect Civil Affairs brings to the military, the battlefield, and to communities near and far. Not only was I training to speak, negotiate, and mediate groups of people from diverse backgrounds and social standings, I was analyzing and accessing communities, cultures, and more in order to find ways to assist on small and large levels to make the world a better place. In my first year with my unit, I was given the opportunities to go work with locals, organizations, and not-for-profits in Poland, Germany, Norway, and Northern Africa. I opted for a pre-deployment rotation stateside in order to assist and train others to look at situations and help others in the way I was trained. I figured if I could plant the seed in a group of men and women deploying--help them see the WHY-- they could do more good than just one of me going somewhere. Simultaneously, my resume has constantly been growing from the training I have received. The basic core aspects of being a solider include discipline, organization, time management, and so much more--all on top of my Civil Affairs skillset. So, I mentioned college earlier because it's important and the Army recognizes that. Not only do I pay 0% of my tuition and fees, but the Army also has programs to pay me while I pass all the classes I am taking. I am currently studying full-time to accomplish my bachelors of science in business administration with an emphasis in management. Some of my military training even transferred to the college to count for college credits (42 credits of classes I didn't have to take thanks to my part-time military career).
Aside from college and my Civil Affairs work, I am currently a Drill Sergeant Candidate with hopes to join the ranks of the U.S. Army's best leaders that have the honor of training new recruits. I am happily married to a man who took a different route than me and has served twelve years Active Duty in the Army. We have a wonderful little Yorkie, Kona, and live the best life we could have imagined!
My 12, 16, 18 year old self never imagined the Army as an option...let alone a long term career or lifeline, but I am so grateful to have been proven wrong. Not only am I accomplishing my civilian degree to use in my civilian dream job, but I have another family that works with me in order to change the world one step at a time. I am extremely passionate about the Army because it made me the best woman I could have become and opened hundreds of doors I never believed existed.
I can't wait to share more with you all!

The above information was provided by the speaker.

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