September 22, 2015 –
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill.- Army Reserve Lt. Col. Vickie Argueta credits her faith and her parent’s upbringing for the success that she has received throughout her life.
Argueta unexpectedly began her military career at the University of Illinois–Champaign with a purpose to graduate school no matter what the cost.
Argueta, and her brother, were enrolled to the university at the same time, but her father could only afford to pay for one of them. Argueta told her brother she would not leave college; instead, she joined the Army ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corp), and then informed her
parents about her decision to become an Army officer.
“I think my dad was a little apprehensive,” explained Argueta. “I think that’s because I’m the only daughter. My mom was all for it because they could not afford school.”
Argueta earned her commission in 1998, and then attended Army Airborne School.
“I was looking forward to jumping out of an airplane,” said Argueta. “I remember my first jump. I took that first step out of the airplane and looked up. I remember the parachute was OK and seeing the beautiful blue sky.”
After airborne school, she traveled west to Fort Carson, Colorado where she served in a variety of assignments with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment.
“I was assigned to the support squadron as the assistant S-1 [human resources],” explained Argueta.
She also deployed to Bosnia in 2000 serving as the unit movement officer.
After returning from Bosnia, she served as a regimental transportation officer and worked in the community relations section of the public affairs office at (USAG) United States Army Garrison. She also worked at the 7th Infantry Division protocol office.
“A memorable experience was meeting numerous defense attachés and their spouses while I was working in the protocol office,” explained Argueta. “I had an opportunity to interact with them and learn about their countries and culture during a two-day visit.”
After five and a half years on active duty, she decided to attend law school and then returned to Chicago where she now serves as the 85th Support Command’s Equal Opportunity Adviser (EOA).
“I want to continue as the EOA for the next two years,” explained Argueta.
Her future goals include completing the Advanced Operations Course (AOC), which is required for promotion to (the rank of O6) colonel and being selected for battalion command.
When she is not working as a lawyer for the City of Chicago, she enjoys volunteering for her community and others.
“Last year, I had the opportunity to go to Normandy, France for the 70th anniversary of D-Day,” she said. “We joined other brothers and sisters in the armed forces, [and] we had the opportunity to walk through the cemetery. We saw it as an opportunity to meet World War II veterans and hear their stories.”
A few years back, Argueta ran the New York City Marathon to raise money for the non-profit group, Hope for the Warriors. The group provides comprehensive support programs for service members, veterans and their military families.
Argueta finds time to volunteer to keep herself connected with and reflect as hope for others.
“As a leader, I like to stay involved in the community and be a positive role model,” explained Argueta. “I volunteer with high school kids who are considering working in the legal field, and I help kids, that are in first and second grade, learn to read.”
When she looks back at how she has been able to accomplish her goals, she turns towards her parents who valued education and protected her from gang members and drug dealers while growing up in Chicago’s Humboldt Park.
“My parents took higher education very seriously,” explained Argueta. “My mom did a good job of isolating us from the street gangs. She was not afraid of anyone. She would tell them to leave her kids alone.”