Duty Station: Naval Postgraduate School Monterey
Number of Deployments: 2
Number of PCS's: 1
Share your military spouse story:
I grew up in Newport, RI and could hear colors from my bedroom. My dad was a naval contractor, so I knew I wanted to be a naval contractor. Little did I know that my career wouldn't be behind a desk, but rather completing integration and test at sea. As a military contractor, I receive questions about my job such as, "why do you want to ride on a ship" or "why are you always out of contact?" My husband, Matt, and I shared our first date at a Padres game in 2019 and found we had a lot to talk about simply because our worlds overlapped just enough. Soon after our first date, I was going out to sea for a month to support a fleet event. Matt thought nothing of it, asked for my email, and emailed me the entire underway; that's when I knew. Matt and I married in October 2021 in San Diego, CA. Throughout our engagement and marriage, we experienced the unexpected. Sudden assignments, late nights, unexpected underways...and we haven't even talked about Matt's schedule yet! In all seriousness, Matt is an IAMD WTI and is now studying at Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey in an accelerated Strategy program. Technically, we are "geo-baching," but I wouldn't trade this time apart for anything. I am so proud of him, his accomplishments, and his drive. We are very fortunate to understand each other's worlds. We know the acronyms and understand the schedules. That type of understanding and peace is a huge reason to why our story is so strong and our adventures excite us. I cannot wait for the next adventure after Monterey, bringing us right back to Newport, RI and hearing colors every morning.
Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
I have a leadership role within the defense industry. This role allows me to interface with the military community daily, not necessarily the military spouse community. If being a team lead has taught me anything, it is compassion and flexibility. Being a leader (and a military spouse) means rolling with the punches, changing priorities, and flexing, sometimes all within the same hour. As a leader, I have also learned much more about compassion than I would have expected. I lead a team of 10-15 engineers, all who learn, are tasked, and accept constructive criticism differently. We all are going through something, either on the deckplates or as a military spouse. By practicing compassion in my role, I empathize with my team and their situations. The leadership lessons I have learned are key points I want to bring to the forefront of the AFI MSOY role.
Describe your involvement in the military community:
Every day, I cross the brow of Zumwalt Class Destroyers and lead a team of 10-15 software integrators. As a military contractor, I have an incredibly unique experience with the military community. Not only do I work on a destroyer, I typically go out to sea with the destroyers. I've been able to support our military in first-in-class events and fleet exercises for the last 7 years. I have a different understanding of underway expectations and the daily shipboard drumbeat because of how I've interfaced with the military community. I've worked in labs, training facilities, and on the waterfront, and I love being able to see products in use, exercises in action, and truly support the military as best as I can.
Describe how you support your community:
San Diego has given us many opportunities to connect. Our most powerful connection is with our church, Penasquitos Lutheran Church. Within this community, I have found a network of military spouses that I can share my passions, concerns, and questions with. Within our church, I also mentor high school youth and run a bible study for young married couples. In all these groups, I have found military connections. High school kids with a parent in the military. Spouses dealing with deployments. Retired military checking in on Matt and I. That type of inclusiveness and care is something that I try to bring back into our community. I support my community by sharing my stories, working with families, and providing encouragement.
What do you advocate for? Why?
Being a military spouse with a background in contracting is an interesting perspective. Command events are places where I can contribute to the conversation. The acronyms do not confuse me. I find that I have a very personal connection and ability to relate with the military community. I advocate for military spouses building a community. I want to provide knowledge and support to all military spouses, and encourage that same knowledge transfer in a comfortable community forum. Encouragement in person, talking through questions, and sharing experiences with one another is what I advocate for. I advocate for an open forum of communication. I advocate for sharing what we know. I advocate for spouses to speak up and contribute to conversations with courage and power. We can do all these things by creating a community that contributes to our cause.
How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
My platform has stayed close to home and within my current circle. I haven't found a platform yet to share my cause. I believe AFI MSOY is that platform. I am avid on social media, am comfortable speaking with media outlets, and engage the community. I am comfortable speaking one on one at any level, or briefing in front of large crowds. A few years ago, I was able to sit on the Women in Defense panel and speak in Washington, DC. To have a platform is power, and I hope to do that with AFI MSOY.
What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year®
As AFI MSOY, I hope to inspire other military spouses to share their knowledge and build a community. We all have very special insights on what it means to be a military spouse. We need to share that with one another, encourage each other, build our knowledge bases and thrive in our community.
Camille is an amazing human being and has gone through a lot this year. She works on the USS Zumwalt program for Raytheon in San Diego, CA, and her knowledge of the military, specifically Navy, is pretty vast compared to most military spouses. Her husband, Matt, is an O-3 currently on TDOA in Monterey, CA while working to complete Naval Post Graduate school. Both of their jobs are demanding but she's been able to keep her happy go lucky attitude and her marriage strong. I highly encourage you to consider Camille for this award.
- by Emily Bond