TUCSON, Ariz. –
Since she enlisted in the U.S. Army a decade ago, Staff Sgt. Krystal Wright has traveled extensively, with Hawaii, Alaska and Australia being a few of the locations she has under her belt.
Now she finds herself back where it began, serving as a station commander for Tucson Recruiting Company – the same city she was born and raised in as a child, before enlisting there in March of 2010.
But Wright wouldn’t have it any other way, as she continues to serve proudly, helping provide the Army with its next generation of Soldiers and leaders.
For Wright, station commander, Foothills Recruiting Station, her childhood was an active one, being the second youngest of seven children.
“I played a lot of sports; basketball was my ultimate sport. I always stayed as active as possible,” Wright said. “I attended Cienega High School out in Vail, Arizona, from freshman year until junior year. I graduated six months early my senior year from Bisbee High School, when I moved down there to help out with my grandmother.”
Wright found herself with bigger goals in mind, ones that involved the military.
“I’d always wanted to join the Army, to give back and be a part of something bigger than myself,” she said. “My great aunt married someone that was serving in the Army, and he completed 20 years in service, retiring as a CW3, other than that I do not have any immediate family members that have served. I was the first child in my family to join.”
Wright was 22 years old when she shipped off to Basic Combat Training in October 2010, beginning a journey she hasn’t looked back from.
“My Army experience has been a blessing of opportunities afforded to me, things I know I would not have been able to do without serving,” Wright explained. “My first assignment was in Hawaii with the 25th Infantry Division. I went on a lot of missions and worked with a lot of other military branches from other countries.”
“I attended a multi-national mission in Brisbane, Australia, for a few weeks and was able to visit some of the visitor attractions when the mission was over, before returning to Hawaii. I ranked up pretty fast, came in as a private and made sergeant just before 3 years in service,” Wright recalled.
With her pending reenlistment, Wright opted for the frozen tundra of Alaska as her next duty station, where she continued to excel.
“I worked with a signal company for about a year and a half before moving up to run the schools section for the entire battalion,” Wright said. “After cleaning up and changing the dynamic of the schools section, I was afforded the opportunity to attend the Army’s Equal Opportunity course, MRT (Master Resilience Training) Course and Battle Staff Noncommissioned Officer Course as the distinguished honor graduate.”
Wright then had to consider her next move before reenlisting once more. This time she made the choice to become a recruiter, joining the Phoenix Recruiting Battalion in 2018.
“My first year recruiting in the Foothills station, I received an award for the top recruiter for FY (fiscal year) 2019. For FY20, I stepped up to help the station out by taking over as the station commander until the position is filled,” she continued.
After almost two years of recruiting detail, Wright said she has enjoyed being able to share her own experiences in uniform, with those wanting to join.
“I love that I am able to talk to the community and inform them of the opportunities that await them in the Army. I share my personal experiences and how the Army has helped me so much in life and for my family,” Wright said. “I like what I do so much, that I want to continue to do this and put in my request to convert to permanent recruiter, which I am half way through.”
Although recruiting during the current coronavirus pandemic has been challenging, Wright said her station is adapting and continuing the mission as usual.
“Recruiting in the current environment with the pandemic situation has been an adjustment for all, but the Army will continue to roll along,” Wright said. “I have been the station commander through all of it so far and it has been a different experience for me, recruiting and learning new job requirements. As long as we are ensuring that information is provided to the community and discussing their options, we can keep pushing along to do our absolute best.”
For Wright herself, she is positive about her future in recruiting and said everything is a learning opportunity waiting to be taken advantage of.
“I can see my Army future developing into a successful learning opportunity that I can dominate … I consider every opportunity given to me as a challenge to be the best I can be and continue my success,” Wright said. “I believe there are many paths that I can choose in my future. By converting to become a permanent recruiter, I feel I'm going to be successful moving forward helping others.”
Thanks to the Army, Wright said she has achieved things she never thought possible and wants others to share the same experience.
“I believe that you must prove yourself in everything that you do, work hard and be honest with yourself and others. Never be afraid to ask for help and ensure others know your intent,” Wright added. “The Army has been the best thing that has ever happened to me ... I honestly do not know where I’d be at this point if I hadn't enlisted.”