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NEWS | Feb. 15, 2017

Soldiers Bid Farewell to Unit Administrator After 39 Years

By Sgt. Alfonso Corral 318th Press Camp Headquarters

FOREST PARK, Ill. - Soldiers from the 318th Press Camp Headquarters filled a conference room and sat around a large group of tables with a cake decorated with flowers, while she was greeted with handclaps and cheers as she entered the room Saturday afternoon February 11.

Sgt. 1st Class Deborah Hartman’s final weekend with the 318th PCH came to an end after spending 16 years as the unit administrator. Along with the surprise cake, she received a card signed by all of the Soldiers of the unit giving her well wishes for her future and anecdotes of past times.

“I will miss this job. It was my life. I joined when I was 18 and now I’m nearly 60,” said Hartman.

After she joined the Army when she was 18 with a military occupation specialty in finance, she left active duty. However, three years later she joined the Army Reserve as a human resource specialist. She also has a public affairs chief occupational specialty. Her total time in the military adds up to an impressive and hard-to-pass 39 years in the military.

Hartman grew up not far from Forest Park where the 318th PCH is located. She hails from Chicago and later Oak Park. She attended Oak Park and River Forest High School. She joined the Army right after high school.

As the unit administrator for the 318th PCH she has a range of duties. She has multiple responsibilities such as keeping track of personnel records, assuring Soldiers get paid, and being the facility coordinator who’s accountable for building functions. These are only a few of the jobs for which she is responsible.

“I will miss her,” said Army Spc. Alexandra Dueñas, a human resource specialist with the 318th PCH, “I always go to her when I need help going over promotion packets for Soldiers, or when I have questions about pay or other things. She always returns texts right away.”

Army Sgt. Thomas Tallman, public affairs specialist for the 318th PCH said, “I’ve known her for two and a half years. She helped me in-process into the unit. I didn’t know whether or not I wanted to get out or stay in because my records were all messed up. She helped correct my military records.”

During her time in the military she also rose to a senior enlisted position as a sergeant first class. Achieving the rank of sergeant first class (E-7) in the Army is a career milestone.

“I never thought I would ever be an E-7. I only intended to be in the Army three years and then get out,” Hartman said.

She is looking forward to her post-military career. She’s married and has two sons. She plans to volunteer at local museums, and spend more time on her hobbies.

“I would like to volunteer at the Frank Lloyd Wright Museum in Oak Park,” She said about her post Army career, “I also collect miniatures and doll houses.”

She also added that she would deploy today in a heartbeat if given the opportunity. The Army Reserve and her Soldiers will miss her as she is one of the longest serving enlisted females in the Army.