RICHMOND, Va. –
Sgt. 1st Class Beatrice Nettles first joined the National Guard to help fund her college career. She started her military experience in Florida in 2000 and then transferred to Virginia in 2006. What she quickly discovered was an environment she absolutely loved. Her favorite part of serving in the deep bonds she’s made with those she’s served alongside.
“When it’s said the Army is family like no other, it’s true,” Nettles said. “I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside some very inspirational mentors. They’ve helped develop me into the leader I am today and continue to provide support, guidance and encouragement. I can only hope to be equally as inspirational to my Soldiers.”
Currently, Nettles is deployed to Kosovo with the Staunton-based 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team headquarters. On Hispanic Heritage Month, Nettles said the biggest way she recognizes and celebrates her culture in her daily life, is with family.
“Family is a huge part of our culture,” she said. “We take care of one another, just like in the Army. Hispanic families pride themselves on being close and taking care of their elders. This is absolutely true for my family. Family gatherings are a way to reconnect with family you don’t see on a regular basis, but it’s also a way to keep our culture alive. It’s important to continue to pass down our traditions, culture and history.”
She credits her parents with her drive and success, explaining that they pushed her and her siblings to keep wanting more in life.
“Because of their drive, I’ve always pushed myself to be a better version of myself, in and out of uniform,” Nettles said.
Her parents were initially apprehensive about her joining the military, and over the course of her decades of service, she’s earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree, completed U.S. Army Pathfinder School and pushed herself throughout her career. Along the way, she's also had incredible support from her husband and daughter, and says she couldn't have accomplished all that she has without their support.
“Ultimately, I want my struggles and accomplishments to be an example to others,” Nettles said. “Despite what challenges are placed in front us, we can get through them.”