Atypical assignment encourages sailor to take advantage of unique opportunities at TRANSCOM
SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – It’s hard to believe, but Information Systems Technician Third Class Emily J. McCowan, a sailor for nearly three years, has yet to be out to sea. Nor has she worked within her Navy-assigned job rate. She praises, however, the valuable experience she has gained while at USTRANSCOM, her first duty station out of advance training, or “A” school.
“What isn't there to like about working at TRANSCOM?” she asked. “I'm exposed to different viewpoints from different branches. I get to see how they approach leadership and decision making. I'm also given tremendous training and education opportunities that I think are truly unique to TRANSCOM and its components.”
In addition to the strategic benefits of working in a joint environment, McCowan appreciates the exposure to unique tactical opportunities USTRANSCOM offers.
As an emergency actions controller in the operations and plans directorate, McCowan processes emergency action messages sent from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. She relays this information to partners and components in order to enable them to meet their commitments.
“We are given a significant level of responsibility here,” said McCowan. “And, I get to see the top level of national decision making.”
Of her accomplishments so far, including her frocking for petty officer third class in December and work with humanitarian relief efforts in Haiti and Japan, McCowan is especially proud of her contributions as a member of the USTRANSCOM color guard. She recently earned the USTRANSCOM Color Guard Member of the Year, and advanced to earn the same award at the base level.
Volunteering for the color guard was one way McCowan felt she could remain competitive with sailors in the fleet for advancement purposes. But more than that, she says, “it’s about the camaraderie, and seeing people's faces at events where we perform or talking to war veterans and getting out into the community. That's really what it's all about and it's truly humbling.”
Some of the highlights during McCowan’s time as part of the team include presenting colors for the USTRANSCOM Change of Command and appearances at sporting events, parades, USO events, and retirement, promotion and award ceremonies.
However, the most interesting thing she’s done, “hands-down, is presenting colors with my team for games six and seven of the World Series this past year,” said McCowan. “I've always been a huge baseball fan and it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to be asked to do this once, let alone twice! I'm just a small town girl, so this was truly so amazing.”
McCowan is from Alliance, Ohio, a small town in northeast region of the state. Her grandfathers and father served in uniform, and her husband is an instructor at the non-commissioned officer academy at Fort Benning. She describes herself as, “extremely patriotic” and joined the Navy because she knew that she wanted to be a part of something bigger, something that had an impact on our future generations.