“Once you go, you’re desirable because you have the experience. It’s a resource for the military.”
U.S. Navy veteran
Sunday, January 6, 2013
U.S. Navy veteran and reservist Pat Frede is taking the skills she learned as a fundraiser for ECU’s College of Allied Health Sciences to the Horn of Africa.
Frede has been called to active duty for the second time in three years, this time as part of the Maritime Civil Affairs reserve unit for the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command. She will leave ECU this month for training before deployment, where she will help lead several five-person teams with a mix of skills: health care, construction, communications and boat coxswain.
The unit will establish and enhance relations among military forces, governmental and non-governmental organizations and civilians. Frede’s group will advise and assist local populations with their needs, which could range from establishing community watch programs to teaching villagers about protection of natural resources.
“It’s not doing things for them, but teaching them to do for themselves,” Frede said.
She will be in an area that is a major shipping route for commerce on the east coast of Africa, the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.
Packed in Frede’s bag will be the ECU Skully flag, the same flag she took in 2009-10 to Afghanistan, where she served in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
There, as part of her mission, Frede was embedded with the U.S. Marine Corps Female Engagement Teams, who worked to develop relationships of trust and mutual respect with Afghan women, who generally are not allowed to have contact with men outside of their families. She also taught a course on the teams’ relevance in counterinsurgency and stability operations.
Building trust and respect parallels her work at ECU.
“Each one has honestly taught me how to do the other better,” Frede said. “We (in the Navy) have a saying, ‘honor, courage, commitment.’ In fundraising, you tell the truth and you do what the donor says. You are building trust that will be beneficial to the individual and organization.”
The deployment is Frede’s fourth in her almost 20-year Navy career, which includes 15 years in the reserves. It is unusual to be called so soon after the last deployment, but it all depends on what expertise, occupational specialties and operational units are needed at the time, Frede said.
“Once you go, you’re desirable because you have the experience,” she said.
“It’s a resource for the military. It takes less time to get up to speed.”
In 2010, ECU and North-Carolina-based Food Lion were among 15 employers nationwide to receive the Department of Defense’s Freedom Award – the highest recognition given by the U.S. government to employers for their support of employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.
via The Daily Reflector.