Proud to Serve: Celebrating Women’s History Month
Women’s History Month is a moment of reflection on women’s achievements in our society. One such woman from the 133rd Medical Group works in two separate career fields with the reward of helping people. U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Sarah Brown-Jager is the Senior Enlisted Leader for the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive, Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP) in the Medical Group and a county attorney in her civilian career.
The two career roles have notable differences in duties and responsibilities. As the Senior Enlisted Leader, Brown-Jager sees herself as the eyes and ears between the enlisted force and the commander. In contrast, as a county attorney, she represents those needing guardianship, protective placement or mental commitments.
“My job [as a Senior Enlisted Leader] is very unique,” said Brown-Jager. “I get to talk with people and experience their highs and lows. One moment, we could be experiencing the emotions of a new baby, and [the next], we may have to discipline someone. People usually look at me and say, ‘Wait, what? You’re an attorney?’ Most people in the Medical Group, [their jobs] coincide with what they do on the outside.”
One of the proudest moments for Brown-Jager came in 2019 when she was selected as a medical administration troop to go on the Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) to Puerto Rico. The experience was emotional but fulfilling. The IRT provided hands-on, mission-essential training while providing health care to U.S. communities and territories. For two weeks, Brown-Jager, checked-in patients and got them to their appointments.
“The last night, people started to line up at 12:30 in the morning,” recalls Brown-Jager. “They were desperate to receive medical services, and they knew that it was our last day. By the time we opened our doors, the sign-in sheet was multiple pages long.”
As a mother of two daughters, she goes out of her way to instill the importance of voting and serving others. She wants to show her daughters that they can do anything they set their minds to and that being a woman and mother should not stop them. By volunteering to go on an IRT and being away from her family, she demonstrated that they, too can be involved and help others. Brown-Jager also recognizes the struggles that women had to go through before her.
“Every time I go vote, I try to bring [my daughters] with,” said Brown-Jager. “I tell them about what a privilege and honor it is to be a woman and to be able to vote. Many women before me have fought so hard to be afforded this privilege. I am trying to expose them to my military life so they can see and understand how the military has positively impacted my life. The girls see me come to drill, and I bring them out to family day.”
As women’s history month ends, Brown-Jager thinks about her achievements as a county attorney, Senior Enlisted Leader, woman, and mother. The most significant piece that has contributed to her success is finding her people, and that is the advice she gives people.
“If you can find your group of people that you can laugh, cry and connect with, everything else is easy-peasy,” said Brown-Jager. “I feel so lucky. My entire military career has been a positive experience and I am incredibly proud of everything I have accomplished and the life-long friendships I have made.”
By Amy M. Lovgren
Minnesota National Guard