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NEWS | March 21, 2023

Wynn steps into new role at R&R, stresses fairness, dignity, respect

By Sgt. 1st Class Terra C. Gatti | Virginia National Guard Public Affairs Office

What first drew Maj. Kim Wynn to military service was the Army uniform of the 1980s and 90s. Catchy “Be All You Can Be” ads were filling the commercial breaks of her TV time, and she thought the Battle Dress Uniform, or BDU, looked pretty good. There was just something about it that she was attracted to and when she started attending Petersburg High School, she participated in Junior ROTC, and then, when she got to Virginia Tech, she decided to join the Virginia Army National Guard.
“It was the uniform that got me,” Wynn said nearly 30 years after starting her military career. Today, she commands the Virginia Army National Guard’s Recruiting and Retention Battalion.
The second of four kids and the only daughter, she didn’t have a family legacy of military service and no one else in her family joined either. She figured she’d use the college tuition benefits of National Guard service to fund college, but, she said, “afterwards, it became a career.”
For 15 years, Wynn served as an enlisted Soldier, achieving the rank of sergeant first class. By then, she was ready to take on bigger roles and started with the Virginia National Guard’s Officer Candidate School Class 50, earning her commission in 2008.
“I’ve been personnel my whole career, so all I know is people,” Wynn said, explaining that taking care of Soldiers has been one of the best parts of her military career. “People who know me know that I will always go above and beyond to get Soldiers what we’ve promised them.”
After commissioning, Wynn worked in positions throughout the Staunton-based 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, including in all but two of the brigade’s battalions. Eventually she worked up the brigade S1 position, which she calls, “the ultimate position in the state.” In that role, she spent much of 2022 deployed with the 116th IBCT to Kosovo as part of the NATO-led Kosovo Force.
In Wynn’s roles within the 116th IBCT, she often found herself as the only woman in the room or on the staff.
“When you have that one female on a staff of males, in an infantry brigade combat team, it takes a lot sometimes to get them to trust you and believe what you say so that they believe in what you’re doing,” Wynn said. “When I’m here, I just want you to treat me like everybody else. I don’t need different standards; I don’t need you to hold my hand.”
With ever-expanding roles available to women in the military, Wynn recognized that being the first is always hard, but encouraged young women breaking into formerly male-dominated fields to be patient.
“Continue to push and to have your voice heard and fight the fight,” Wynn said. “You’re setting the standards and the stage for the next person.”
Military service, Wynn said, is a path she’d encourage everyone to consider.
“The lessons that you learn, the relationships that you build, you can’t get that anywhere else. It’s like having a second family,” Wynn said.
Wynn officially took command of the Recruiting and Retention Battalion March 3, 2023, in a ceremony held at Fort Pickett, Virginia. On this new role, she said she felt “motivated, challenged and excited.”

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