Feel Good Friday: Charting a New Path

A local Ohio National Guard member hopes to encourage girls to pave their own path to success
Published: Oct. 21, 2022 at 6:35 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - A young woman is charting a new path, and hoping to encourage more girls to do the same.

Sgt. Kelsey Madison, 22, made the decision to enlist in the Ohio Army National guard in March 2018, when she was a senior at Whitmer High School.

“My mom actually reached out to the recruiter for me because I was scared,” she recalled with a laugh.

Though no one in her family has served in this way, Sgt. Madison was drawn to the career opportunities enlisting brought, including full tuition to study education at Lourdes University.

“It’s not just sleeping out in the field. There’s so much you can do in the National Guard that’s good for your career,” she said.

The training wasn’t easy, but Sgt. Madison kept her head down and did what was required, and her hard work was noticed with a promotion right out of basic training.

“I graduated from there, went to my unit, and sat down and my sergeant for the first time. He was like, ‘you are the only female here. You’re the only female in the State of Ohio, in the whole battalion,’” she remembered.

Sgt. Madison’s specialty, known as the 13-series, is field artillery. This means, while she’s not always shooting the weaponry, she’s doing the calculations behind what kind of rounds and shells her fellow troops need to be using.

She shared her story with 13abc’s Sashem Brey in hopes of encouraging her young daughter - and girls everywhere - to try something new.

“Don’t hold yourself back just because this looks like a male thing or it’s too intimidating,” she advised. “Joining the guard, it really has changed my life!”

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