The Sky Is the Limit – May 25, 4-5 p.m.
Commanding a male unit (before turning 30)
May 25, 2022—4–5 p.m.
CPT Rachel Day, Company Commander (Aviation Maintenance Company) and Brigade Logistics Officer, Maryland Army National Guard
Aviation Maintenance Company Commander and Brigade Logistics Officer, Maryland Army National Guard
If you live or work around Aberdeen Proving Ground and hear the thunder of a Blackhawk helicopter’s blades above, chances are it is being piloted by CPT Rachel Day or one of her colleagues in the 29th Combat Aviation Brigade of the Maryland National Guard (MDARNG) based at Aberdeen Proving Ground. When she is not flying or working full-time as the Brigade Logistics Officer, Rachel serves as the Company Commander of the Aviation Maintenance Company, where she commands a unit that is predominantly male and where the average age is 10 years her senior. What does it take to serve in a leadership role like this? How do you handle gender-related issues as they arise? Why is it important for females in male-dominated fields to support each other and maintain their individuality? What are your secrets for success? What was it like to deploy for nearly a year? And when can we take a helicopter ride with you?
Bio: CPT Day started out in the Maryland Army National Guard twelve years ago by enlisting as a chemical operations specialist with the 231st Chemical Company before making the decision to join the Johns Hopkins University ROTC Battalion through University of Maryland Baltimore County. Initially graduating and commissioning as an Air Defense Artillery Officer, she transferred to Logistics to streamline her guard and civilian career, working as a Dep. of the Navy civilian logistician in the PEO Aircraft Carriers office out of the Navy Yard in D.C. As a logistics officer in the MDARNG, she led state-side and overseas aircraft parts supply/maintenance missions as the Aircraft Parts Supply Platoon Leader in the 1100th Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group before attending flight school. CPT Day graduated with a dual rotary-wing rating in the UH-72A Lakota and the UH-60 A/L Blackhawk and gained her FAA Commercial Rotary Wing License with Instrument rating. On the civilian side, she transitioned to contracting as the Operations Lead for the Intel Support Division Chief and subsequently the Army Reprogramming Analysis Team Chief under CECOM-IEW&S before moving to the Foreign Military Sales Program as a case manager in ARAT, managing aircraft threat software testing, production, and fielding for over 5 different countries. During this time, she served as an Air Assault Platoon Leader and Executive Officer in C. Co 2-224th AVN in the guard. CPT Day decided to transition to AGR (Active-Duty National Guard) where she assumed her current position as the 29th CAB Logistics Officer in conjunction with her part-time role as an Aviation Maintenance Company Commander. Most recently, last year she deployed to Kosovo in support of Operation Joint Guardian with her unit, augmented with maintainers from over 5 different states where she maintained currency as a pilot in command (PC) and maintenance test pilot (MTP) of the UH-60 A/L.
CPT Day lives in Bel Air, MD and is an active member of several organizations, including AAAA (Army Aviation Association of America); the Harford Flying Club, where she is currently working on her fixed wing ratings; and the Ninety-Nines, the international organization of woman pilots. She will be starting her M.B.A with a concentration in Management at Loyola University Maryland in the fall.