Ed. note: This post is part of the Spotlight on Commerce series highlighting the contributions of Department of Commerce African American veterans during Black History Month.
The 2018 Black History Month theme, “African Americans in Times of War,” provides the framework for many stories related to African American soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, veterans and civilians. The following is part of a video series created to showcase the diverse stories of some African American Military Veterans who served during times of war and now work for the Department of Commerce.
Rachael Wilde currently serves in the Department of Commerce’s Office of Budget as Division Chief of Trade and Information Programs. Rachel joined the Commerce Department in 2016 following her military service. Rachael joined the military in 2005 and proudly served the U.S. Marine Corp specializing in administrative personnel and financial payroll. In 2007, she requested to serve in combat in Operation Enduring Freedom. During her time in Iraq, she served as a lioness in an initiative to protect women and children while the infantry units did their normal search and safety procedures. The lioness role was a joint effort by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps to engage female marines and service members with Iraqi families, particularly the women children. It was important for the U.S. to have service members serve in these lioness positions due to the cultural differences and to assist in providing a sense of normalcy to service members. Being in Iraq provided Rachael with a better understanding of people and that we all have a lot more in common than others would think and that we all want the same things in life. Overall, Rachael feels her time in the military provided her with good communication and discipline, ultimately allowing her to be effective in current position within the federal government.
Rachael views Black History Month as a time to actually acknowledge how far we have come and acknowledge the role she played in serving her country and being able to be recognized for her personal accomplishments.
Watch the full video at https://youtu.be/2yrC2SUDF4E