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NEWS | March 27, 2017

Reserve Soldier strives for academic excellence

By Staff Sgt. Shaiyla Hakeen 354th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Art and Army collide for citizen-Soldier Sgt. Kristin Walch, of Oakmont, Pa. who is determined to get her graduate degree while serving her country.

Walch is a psychological operations specialist (37F) with the 303rd Psychological Operations Company in Coraopolis, Pa. She enlisted in 2011 after obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interior Design- a decision that combined her civilian career with the Army life.

Initially, Walden planned to become a commissioned officer, but has recently decided to remain in the non-commissioned officer ranks where she can work directly with her troops. She said she has gained a wealth of knowledge through interacting and working in teams with other Soldiers.

“The Army has helped me become a lot more professional,” Walden explained, “It’s helped me be a lot more organized and to become a better leader, even in my civilian job.”

Walden says she enjoys the schedule flexibility of the Army Reserve, which allows her to have a civilian and military career. She spent time working at the Carnegie Museum of Art, in Pittsburgh, which enhanced her love for the craft. Currently, she works full time at a day care and still manages to go to school full time toward a graduate degree in Art History.

“I just love art…it’s amazing to study how things have developed in cultures with time,” she said.

Walden is unsure how long she plans to remain in the Army Reserve. However, her current contract continues through 2020. Regardless of future endeavors, she will take the abundance of knowledge the Army has given her wherever her feet may go.

“I have learned so much from the Army,” said Walden, “A lot with leadership, but also with just how to interact and work with different people…it’s been a huge asset for me.”

She continues painting the canvas of her life, one battle assembly at a time.