Saturday, January 2, 2010
Who Fights This War?--Task Force Commander's Assistant
In 2009 her life has gone through more changes than a chameleon walking on a rainbow. Spc. Andrea Magee, 27, of Pleasanton, California, began the deployment as Andrea Whitacre working in flight operations for Task Force Diablo. Also, when the deployment began she was engaged for a year to Staff Sgt. Jeremy Magee, a former Marine Sniper who is an Air Traffic Controller attached to 28th Combat Aviation Brigade.
In March, things began to change. On March 18, they changed more. That was the day Andrea and Jeremy got married. They were going to wait, but waiting meant living in separate CHUs for the entire deployment, marriage meant the same CHU. So they were married in their ACU uniforms in Commanche Courthouse. During the next month they made plans to share a CHU at Joint Base Balad.
Then in mid-April, the commander of 28th Combat Aviation Brigade decided we would not be going to JBB, but to Tallil Ali Air Base. So after a couple of weeks in tents in Kuwait, they got their CHU at Tallil in May. Then in June another change. Andrea became the assistant to Lt. Col. Scott Perry and Maj. Joel Allmandinger, the commander and the executive officer of Task Force Diablo. Andrea went from shift work in the TOC (Tactical Operations Center) to maintaining the schedules for Perry and Allmandinger, as well as removing some of their paperwork burden.
Her first instruction in her new job was that
nothing she hears in the command building gets repeated outside. She also found out that one of her important duties was controlling the traffic into the commander’s office. “Not everyone who wants to see the commander right away actually needs to,” she said. Another important task was rebuilding the schedules of the commander and executive officer when a crisis throws the whole schedule off for hours or a whole day.
“If one of them is on Reserve and gets called to fly, the other has to cover the most important meetings and everything else has to get pushed to the next available date,” Magee said. “And the call always comes a day when both of their schedules are packed.”
Magee currently has more than 60 credit hours in college and plans to finish a bachelor’s degree and attend Officer Candidate School within the next two years.