By Chief Warrant Officer 3 Hannah Hill
Hello Timberwolves. I am Chief Warrant Officer 3 Hannah Hill, and I joined the Division last year at this time as the Human Resources Technician or 420A. Since Women’s History Month just passed, I’ve been asked to share a bit about myself and my career, a 20-year plus experience so far.
I am currently the Division IPPS-A instructor and am responsible for training administrative personnel on the functionality and capabilities of the system that will go live in September. Before arriving here, I served with the 652nd Regional Support Group from 2018 through 2021, deploying to Poland during that time.
WHY I JOINED
It’s been 21 years since I raised my right hand to become a Soldier, joining the U.S. Army Reserve at 17 years old in 2001. Admittedly, the college money was a motivator, but the allure of travel, expanding my horizons, and developing myself professionally was also attractive. I spent 12 years enlisted before deciding to try my luck at going warrant officer. I put in my packet as a staff sergeant in 2013. To my surprise, I was accepted. The very next week, I also found out I was pregnant with my first child.
Before I became a mother AND a Warrant Officer, I was a human resources NCO. I served as a squad leader, handled the PERSTAT, tracked evaluations, screened junior promotion packets as well as other duties assigned. My responsibilities back then helped me to understand many of the HR aspects a G1 section does currently. I have always been TPU, but got accustomed to being very hands-on to daily operations in the personnel office early on.
In 2007, I participated in the NCO of the Year Competition held by the 3rd Battalion. I ended up winning and advancing to the division competition. I was the only female and the entire experience was a series of huge ups and downs. I won the first round of combatives. However, I dealt with building and barracks debacles, and my grandmother dying while I was there. In the end, I was coined by the Brigade Command Sergeant Major.
Another command sergeant major, Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Huston, was a mentor. At 11 years of service, I was nearing my ETS and had every intention of getting out. I finished the degree I originally set out to get, but I had just moved out of state and there was no reenlistment bonus available to me. Then my 3rd Battalion, 415th Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 95th Training Division Command Sergeant Major pulled me aside. Huston witnessed me mentally checking out, but fortunately, also saw my potential. He took the time to investigate my lack of motivation and saw an opportunity to inform me of the potential of me going warrant. Without being pushy, I walked out of that office with a new career prospect and a plan to stay in another ten years.
I FOUND MY GROOVE
The warrant officer role and position also appealed to me. I really enjoyed working in my specific field and found the duties of an NCO distracting. As I climbed the NCO ranks and the responsibilities of a leader increased, the less I was able to focus on my job. Becoming a warrant officer afforded me an opportunity to get back to the skills I enjoyed performing.
BECOMING A MOM WHILE SERVING
I found out I was pregnant soon after I was scheduled for Warrant Officer Candidate School, so I had to postpone a year. Leaving a baby at home was difficult and emotionally draining. Challenging, but I was able to face it. Ironically, I then became pregnant before Warrant Officer Basic Course and ended up attending anyway.
SELF-AWARENESS IS KEY
I’ll be transparent and say this about 420A school. It was mentally exhausting. I was ill-prepared and had no idea what I was getting into. I learned immediately to shut my mouth and open my ears, and am certain that is the only reason I got through it. It’s also my only advice to candidates! I will say I did enjoy the warrant training…I’m AG after all.
I write this article as a seasoned Soldier and warrant officer to provide perspective to young Soldiers not sure where to direct their future career in the Army. I want to reassure military moms that your families can thrive when you’re away at a PME or on deployment. I want anyone struggling with burnout to understand that there are other career paths in the Army besides their current track. I experienced all these insecurities and hurdles over two decades of service. Learning to recognize these internal struggles was the most important piece to overcoming trials and making the Army part of my life.
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Hannah Hill is a Human Resources Technician with the 104th Training Division (Leader Training)