Before graduating from Great Mills High School in Maryland, Linda Sawvell knew she wanted to do something different and travel the world. With these goals in mind, she reached out to a local Navy Recruiter and enlisted in the Navy Reserve in 1985, a year and a half after graduating high school.
Sawvell began her career in the Navy Reserve at Joint Base Andrews-Naval Air Facility Washington, formerly known as Andrews Air Force Base. She served as a logistics specialist, supporting the squadrons on base by helping with the shipment and acquisition of airplane parts. Outside of the military, she worked as a full-time human resources supervisor.
Balancing her military and civilian career was challenging. She considered leaving the Navy Reserve when she had her first child, but after promoting to petty officer first class, she changed her mind. After promoting to chief petty officer, Sawvell moved to Naval Air Station Patuxent River and worked multiple leadership positions. She was a training chief petty officer, the enlisted program manager for all the units and served on the admiral’s unit, in which she oversaw training and promotions. In addition, she took undergraduate courses offered by the University of Maryland.
Throughout her military career, Sawvell traveled the globe as she wanted. In Japan, she visited Naval Air Facility Atsugi and Fleet Activities Okinawa Naval Base. She also went to Hawaii for a training exercise and to Italy’s Naval Air Station Sigonella. In addition, she deployed to Afghanistan from 2007 to 2008.
When she promoted to senior chief petty officer, she was finishing her master’s degree with the University of Maryland. She then applied to be an officer, which she achieved in 2005. From there, she attended supply corps school for two years and worked in several division head positions. She spent her last 10 years in the Reserve as a supply officer. She served as the executive officer of Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Michigan, which supported Naval Air Station Sigonella in Italy.
On Sept. 10, 2016, Sawvell retired as a lieutenant commander after 31 years of service. She left with multiple awards, including a Meritorious Service Medal and several Navy achievement medals. Currently, she works for the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) and as a human capital director for Program Manager Light Armoured Vehicle (PM LAV), a Marine Corps organization.
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