GILLEM ENCLAVE, Ga. –
Lt. Col. Tina Holloway is the 3d Medical Command (Deployment Support) CLINOPS, Division Medical Readiness Coordinator, and she is this week’s 3d MC(DS) Spotlight for Black History Month.
My contribution to Black History is taking the opportunity to be a part of something bigger and greater than myself. I believe there is no special skill or education required to be great; just a desire to give more than yourself. As stated by the late Martin Luther King, “Everybody can be great because everybody can serve”.
The opportunity to provide service and be a part of a cause bigger than myself is the most rewarding and gratifying gift l have ever been given. I did not realize that my journey to find my life’s purpose would lead me to a path filled with great honor, humility, and appreciation for those who have made their utmost priority of service to others so meaningful.
From a very young age the question of my purpose and what I should be doing for the greater good of others has been a question l have asked and answered and asked again. My initial narrow focus was on my purpose as a black woman to be the first in a family of 7 to go to college and settle in a profession that provided a level of security for myself and family that was comfortable.
Graduating at the top of my class and securing a nursing position at the Veterans Administration Hospital allowed me the professional stature and salary l thought was the rewarding end state I was seeking. However, it didn’t take me long to figure out that my personal achievement was not enough and the question of my purpose seemed unsettled.
Caring for Veterans and working with many coworkers who are Veterans or current military reservists, contributed to my paradigm shift from a desire to be a change agent not just for myself and family but to leave a legacy that would benefit others on a larger scale.
I joined the USAR through a direct commission in February 2000. Prior to commissioning, l had received a Master’s degree in Nursing, and completed my certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Already accomplished in my own right, my announcement to my family that l was joining the Army sparked the pointed question of “Why?” They referred to my financial independence and educational successes. I simply stated; l love caring for Veterans and wanted to also have the privilege and honor to serve. I finally felt great significance and purpose in my choosing to also serve our country in the Army Reserve while continuing to care for veterans at the VA who have proudly and selflessly served our country.
I have held many positions to include as backfill health care provider, SRP provider and OIC at several Mobilization Platforms, Executive Officer, assistant deputy of clinical services (ADCCS), Company Commander and now as Medical Readiness coordinator and currently as Assistant Chief Nurse of CLINCON with the 3d MC(DS).
Now, just a few weeks shy of 20 years of service, I feel comfort in knowing that my purpose in words, actions, and life’s work is simply my way of contributing and giving thanks to all the great selfless servants.
When l think about my great heritage as a black woman having the opportunity to serve in the Army Nurse Corp in various roles and entrusted responsibilities; l feel nothing but humility and gratitude and appreciate the chance to personally honor the legacy of all the Soldiers and civilians who left a mark of greatness in black history and beyond.