JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. –
Spc. Monique Easy, a Saint Catherine, Jamaica, native and tactical power generator specialist with the 321st Expeditionary Military Intelligence Battalion, is a proud team player within America’s Army Reserve.
Easy found her road to becoming a generator mechanic in the Army Reserve wasn’t as easy as she’d hope. At first, she was interested in a signals and systems position. Easy had just moved to the United States when she decided to join the Army. Since she was still a Jamaican citizen, she was ineligible to get a security clearance for the job she had originally wanted. That left her with limited options.
“I have a passion for electrical technology,” said Easy. “So my next best option was being a generator mechanic.”
She developed her handy skills through her childhood experiences. Easy grew up with 13 boys, so when something would break, it would be up to her and her siblings to fix it.
“Back home … we don’t always have the luxury of having everything at our fingertips,” Easy said.
In high school, Easy had the opportunity to learn about electrical technology, and it was a skill that had become second nature to her, so she figured “why not?” That decision led her to study electrical engineering at the University of Technology, Jamaica.
Easy moved to Orlando, Florida, in 2014, where her journey with Army Reserve began. She walked past a recruiter’s office, saw “Army” written in the window and stepped inside.
“I remember her name,” Easy said. “Her name was Capt. Reyes.”
Reyes was also Jamaican, and it gave the two something to talk about. Reyes eventually convinced Easy the Army was for her. Easy followed Reyes’ advice to go online and fill out the application. Easy scored well enough on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery and soon became the target of some of the other branches of the U.S. military. She declined their offers because she wanted to be loyal to the Army.
To this day, Easy is happy with her decision to join the Army. According to Easy, it’s made her a more open-minded and well-rounded person. She has gained a multitude of positive experiences and met several people who had a positive impact on her life.
Easy has been dedicated to the unit and its readiness ever since. Exercise Always Engaged 2018 is the third annual training exercise Easy has participated in. This year, she is learning a new system implemented by the Army called the Global Combat Support System, a program implemented to expedite the process of dispatching vehicles, creating maintenance schedules and ordering parts.
Easy has also had plenty of direct involvement in maintaining equipment during this exercise. She was able to repair the generator being used by the cooks who are participating in the Philip A. Connelly Program, which is also taking place during Always Engaged. Easy sees her role as just being a team player. “At the end of the day, the mission is the priority.” Easy said.
According to Easy, during last year’s exercise there was a generator at the equipment concentration site that hadn’t run in three years. “Myself and another mechanic, we sat there and got that generator up and running.” Easy said.
The full-time technicians were impressed enough to offer Easy and the other mechanics jobs at the Equipment Concentration Site. During the mission, she was also tasked with repairing a generator on a satellite communication device.
“I had never seen that device before,” Easy said. “But because of confidence and knowledge the Army has given me, I was able to do my job.”
Since then, Easy has become a team leader in the 321st E-MIB, based in Orlando, Florida, and does everything she can to be a good leader.
“I grasp all the knowledge; I take whatever I can,” Easy said. “To me any criticism whether good or bad is criticism to propel you, it’s to make you better.”
According to Easy, she would rather receive constructive criticism because if she always receives positive reinforcement then she isn’t doing a good job. She feels there’s always something that she could improve upon.
“The big thing for me is self-development,” Easy said. “The more I develop myself, the better leader I become.”
In the end, Easy feels like the Army has made her a better person. She appreciates the opportunities and experiences Army Reserve has provided her.
“My advice to people is, whatever opportunity you get … take what you can from the people around you and use it,” Easy said. “It might not be useful now, but further on in life, you’ll be glad you have it.”