Gaining experience in military service

Published 7:00 am Saturday, May 23, 2015

Petty Officer Second Class Select Alyssa Torres has been serving in the United States Navy for almost two years.
As an aerographer’s mate, Torres observes, collects, records and analyzes oceanographic data.
However, Torres did not initially plan on joining the navy.
“I was going to college for nursing, and had not ever given much thought to joining the military,” said Torres.
After a year of college Torres decided it was time for a change, and started considering the military.
“I was still on the fence about it, but after talking with my recruiter I got the final push I needed,” said Torres.
When Torres first entered the Navy she took an exam that tested her basic math and science skills. From that test, Torres was presented with three different career choices from which she ultimately chose aerographer’s mate.
Torres is not allowed to discuss much of what her job entails due to government security reasons, and she admits at times that can be hard.
“Sometimes it can get frustrating when I just want someone to vent to, but I know I can always talk to my coworkers,” said Torres.
Torres is currently serving a two year tour, which will be up in October. From there, she will go to C School in Biloxi at Keesler Air Force Base. Currently, Torres is classified as a forecasters assistant, but after she completes the additional training she will be classified as a 7412 forecaster.
Torres enjoys what she does, but she said one of the toughest parts is not seeing her family.
“It is really difficult being away from my family, but the group of people I work with have become just like family,” said Torres.
Torres admits being a woman in the military presents challenges, but she encourages women thinking of pursuing a military career to not let anything stop them.
“We can do just as much as a guy can do, don’t let intimidation hold you back,” said Torres.
Looking back on the journey that brought her to where she is today, Torres said she would not change anything.
“I would make the same decision again 100 percent, I love serving my country,” said Torres.

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