Why I Serve: Army Reserve Engineer making the most of her career

By David Overson | 301st Public Affairs Detachment | Oct. 28, 2019

SANTA FE, N.M. —

At 5 feet tall, U.S. Army Reserve Spc. Shaylene Quigley might seem unassuming at first, but by pounding one nail at a time, and staying focused on the larger picture, she’s the shining example of an Army Reserve Soldier – contributing to the most capable, combat-ready and lethal federal reserve force in the history of the Nation.

Despite being only one of three female Soldiers in the 333rd Engineer Detachment (Utilities), and the only female carpentry and masonry specialist in the unit, Quigley loves her career choice.

“I love this job,” said Quigley. “To be able to actually build something with my hands is very rewarding. It’s almost a creative art form for me that I’ve utilized in the civilian world. I’m currently helping my dad build a masonry wall in our house, and previously I helped him build a large cover for our porch.

“Sure, the physical work can be hard at times, but it’s challenging, and I like that challenge. Especially as a female. It’s important to me to prove to my peers that I can do this job as good, if not better, than anyone else.”

Sgt. Brandon Begay, Quigley’s first line leader, had nothing but praise for her.

“She’s very ambitious,” said Begay. “She knows what she wants, and she’s going after it. She’s highly motivated, she’s going to school, and she’s doing all the right things to better her career, and you can see it’s paying off.”

Working on her criminal justice and psychology degree, Quigley must be doing something right as she just accepted a position with the FBI.

“Just like working with the FBI, serving my country is a really big deal to me,” added Quigley. “It’s really one of the main reasons I joined the Army Reserve in the first place. I wanted to do something bigger than myself.”

Quigley’s father was also in the military, and that was another motivational aspect to joining the Army Reserve.

“My dad was in, so I always knew I wanted to serve in some capacity,” Quigley said. “The Army Reserve seemed like such a good choice, and it’s helped me pay for school, which is such a blessing.”

Begay values her as an asset to the team and a future leader of others.

“If you want something done, you really don’t need to give her much direction,” added Begay. “It’s already been done, or she’s in the process of getting it done.”

Quigley views the Army Reserve and her unit as a big family. “The support system is insane! In a good way!”

“I don’t view this job as a male or female job,” added Quigley. “I think anyone can do it. It’s just a matter of putting in the work – the elbow grease.”