DVIDS – News – Chef remembers 9/11, career at JBMDL

Chief Master Sgt. Amanda Marotta, emergency management superintendent assigned to the 108th Civil Engineer Squadron, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ, recalls starting her military career on September 11, 2001.

Marotta was 18 and thought she was going to take the world by storm. She said she wanted to leave her small town in upstate New York and do something meaningful. Marotta believed she would surpass her older brother in the Air National Guard by enlisting in the active-duty Air Force. But Marotta remembers that basic military training brought her back to reality quickly and that she sought to be stationed near her home.

Marotta completed her basic training, technical emergency management training and her first Airman Orientation mandate at JBMDL in September. 2001. She showed up for her first day of work on the 11th, ready to put the skills she had learned to use. Marotta remembers thinking that her job would mostly involve natural disaster relief. Little did she know that she would be thrown into the fire of a real-world terrorist attack that would forever change the outlook for the country and its military.

Following the terrorist attacks, Marotta slept on the job for the next two weeks as part of the Emergency Operations Center on JBMDL. The EOC housed more than 500 FEMA officials and Marotta helped take care of them and protect the security of the base by checking vehicles.

Marotta says her experiences following September 11, 2001 helped her grow and understand what emergency management meant to her. She then began to dream of making the army her job and one day becoming a chef.

Throughout her career, Marotta held the full gamut of status within the Air Force, serving on active, reserve and guard duty respectively, but continued to be stationed at JBMDL. In his changing roles, his duties have also changed dramatically, ranging from finding suspicious activity on active duty to training for deployed missions and educating other Reserve and Guard members.

Traditionally, in the CE career arena, if a person holds an Emergency Management or Air Force firefighter specialty code, they cannot become a CE leader. So Marotta knew that in order to realize her dream of becoming a chef, she would have to undergo a cross-training in a new career field.

“I knew the squadron needed someone to focus on the personnel arena and I felt like I could be that person,” Marotta said.

At 38, Marotta traveled to Texas with two of her three children to learn operations management. Although the experience in tech school after a long career with her young children was difficult for her, Marotta says she enjoyed the experience, making something as mundane as doing her laundry an adventure. for his children.

“You can be 100% committed to your job, but you can also make your family a priority,” recalls Marotta, “and the Guard allowed me to do that. ”

In her new role as Superintendent, Marotta values ​​her interaction with the different career areas within CE and aspects of the job she has not been able to experience as an Emergency Management Aviator.

“The squadron that I manage can go to a bare base and build the infrastructure to make it a living and working space,” says Marotta.

Marotta has also worked on her education throughout her career, recently receiving her Masters in Homeland Security.

“Your need and desire to learn and grow, it doesn’t stop; it just keeps growing. Continue to commit to being the best version of yourself, ”advises Marotta.

Date taken: 09.13.2021
Date posted: 14.09.2021 15:57
Story ID: 405189
Site: JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, NJ, United States

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