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In her civilian career, Proctor serves as the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) technical lead and peer mentor. Over several years working as the technical lead, she often found herself working alongside Sailors on their information systems. According to Proctor, the frequency and quality of her interactions with Sailors are what ultimately inspired her to join the Navy Reserve.
“Once I started working at NSWCDD, I had the opportunity to interact with Sailors and listen to their stories,” said Proctor. “Their motivation, commitment, and esprit de corps rekindled my desire to serve, and, with support from family, I followed my dream.”
After commissioning, she was temporarily assigned to Amphibious Construction Battalion TWO, Detachment 206. Her time there would be brief, but when the officer in charge made her the HQ company commander, Proctor met the responsibilities of the assignment head-on. In her new leadership role, she oversaw the administration, supply and readiness departments, and got an immediate crash course in Navy Reserve life.
“It was challenging at times because I would get home after a long day at work at my civilian job and then get a call from one of my lead petty officers," said Proctor. "I would help them with administrative work, readiness reports, or whatever they needed help doing."
Despite the challenges of assuming a Navy Reserve leadership workload on top of her civilian responsibilities, Proctor said she was happy for the opportunity to show her initiative and excel in a new role.
“I would say my sense of initiative is one of my biggest strengths,” said Proctor. “I care about what I am doing, so I will go above and beyond. I will ask questions and take an active role in making things better.”
It was this initiative, motivation and love of her job that led Proctor to be recognized as 2021 Technology Rising Star for the Women of Color STEM Conference.
“It is a huge honor,” she said. “It has always been a focal point, especially going through college in my general engineering classes. In a class of 30, only five or 10 are women, so you are already in the minority there. Then as a woman of color, you are then in an additional minority. It’s always been something visible, but it has also changed. I can honestly say that from starting my journey as an engineer in college to now, the profession has exploded in its diversity, from the number of women and minorities that I interact with every day.”
Proctor plans on maintaining her motivation now that she is at her permanent duty station Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 18, where she serves as assistant signal and communications officer. and is looking forward to the opportunity to hone her skills at a field training exercise later this year.
“As the assistant communications officer, I am responsible for establishing and maintaining the battalion’s communications,” said Proctor.
Proctor says she is aware of the importance of her job, but is confident in her training and her ability to succeed.
“It’s a very important job and it can be a lot of pressure, but my time in the military has improved my ability to absorb information quickly,” said Proctor. “There are times in the Navy you get information and need to be able to act on it quickly.”
Proctor isn’t just satisfied with growing in her Navy career; she is looking to grow in her civilian career by furthering her education. One of her major professional goals is to complete her doctorate in systems engineering.
In the Navy, Proctor will continue to grow and excel as a warfighter.
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