Sheila Moore is a proud Marine and mother of two girls who has done two tours in Afghanistan, and is currently an Aviation Supply Specialist. Sheila talked with MadameNoire about her experience in the Marines, the strength she drew from her service, and how she balances military life and motherhood.
Why did you join the Marine Corp?
Recruiters reached out to me in high school when I had no military experience and it was hard, but I listened and paid attention. It was a learning experience. I take with me everything I have learned and I can do anything now because I am a Marine.
What leadership skills have you developed as a result of your service?
Through the marines, I have learned how to always seek self-improvement, and the importance of learning something new everyday. I Learned to look out for others, instead of just myself. One must always set the example for others to follow.
How old are your daughters and how do you balance life as a Marine and mother?
My daughters are 10 and 11 now. I’ve received a great deal of help with family care from my unit. The support of my marine family, the family readiness officer, and me managing my time well has allowed me to both be a good mom and a good marine.
How long were you deployed in Afghanistan and how did you handle being away from your family during that time?
The first time I was gone for ten months, the second time my deployment was three months. At the time, my youngest had just turned one and it was hard. The first time was much harder because of the extended amount of time I had to spend away from my family. It was hard not seeing my kids everyday, as well as being in danger. I experienced rocket attacks during my tours but thankfully made it home safely.
How do you instill the importance of education and community service in your daughters?
I instill those qualities through leading by example. My daughters see me reading books for school, do my own homework, and watch the news. I participate in toys for tots, and take the girls with me to basketball camp on weekends so they understand the importance of giving back.
What makes you most proud of being a Marine?
Just to say that I am one. Everyone didn’t go through that twelve weeks of training. Everyone cant say that and no one can take that away from me.I am blessed to have gone. I am much more decisive in how I proceed through life because of my experiences in the service. The friends I have gained throughout the years…I have friends all over the world. I could go to any state, and know a fellow marine. We take care of one another.
Why should more Black women consider joining the service?
Black women are strong in general. If they can get through what we have [as a people], they can get through boot camp. The sisterhood that one builds in the marine corp is a powerful thing. I have learned that I can do anything.