Throughout her 23 years of military experience, Barbara J. Stephens led by example. Her outstanding performance level, combined with ethical work habits set the standard high for others to emulate. “My subordinates followed my lead,” she says, “and most of them now hold high ranking positions.”
After graduating from Richland College at the age of 35 with an associate of arts in business, Ms. Stephens began working in the finance and personnel departments of the Arkansas National Guard. She also taught finance classes to military personnel at nearby Fort Benjamin Harrison. Ms. Stephens saw her teaching role as a valuable opportunity to encourage military personnel to take advantage of all of the educational benefits offered by the armed forces. “The schooling is what gets you promoted,” she points out, “so I always encouraged the women I worked with to try to study and get as much military education as they can.” She retired in 1998, holding the rank of Chief Warrant Officer.
Ms. Stephens was awarded the Legion of Merit Medal, twice awarded the Army Commendation Medal as well as a Meritorious Service Medal and an Armed Forces Reserve Medal. In 1996, she was named Federal Woman of the Year by the Federal Women’s Program. Continue reading