Andree M. Sutton was born in 1961. Both her parents passed away when she was young, so Sutton grew up with relatives. In 1979, she graduated from an all-girl Catholic school and joined the Air Force. She was 17 and joined because of the security the military offered and the opportunity to further her education and travel.
After basic training, Sutton went to technical school at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver to become a precision imagery and audiovisual media maintenance specialist. This position had just opened up for women. She was the only woman in her technical school class.
Her first duty station was Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado. There, she was able to put to use the maintenance skills she learned in school. She later served at Norton Air Force Base in California. There, she left camera maintenance and went to work in public affairs. She enjoyed this job because it offered her opportunities to travel and report news stories in places like Hawaii, Japan, Guam and the Philippines.
After spending time in public affairs, Sutton went into recruiting. Sutton started her time as a recruiter at Norton Air Force Base and later went to McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey. At McGuire Air Force Base, she was a service recruiter and helped people transferring from active duty to Reserve. She was also in charge of the European region of recruiting, supervising and training U.S. recruiters in Europe. This position offered even more opportunities to travel.
In 1984, the Air Force named Sutton recruiter of the year. She promoted and became an assistant chief of recruiting and continued to travel and work from different bases.
In 2005, Sutton retired as a chief master sergeant. She used the tuition assistance program to earn two associate degrees, a bachelor’s degree, and a master’s degree. After leaving the military, Sutton realized she wanted to work in the mental health field and become a therapist. She went on to get a Masters of Mental Health Counseling and get a post master’s degree in marriage and family therapy. She also recently earned a behavioral health doctorate. Sutton currently works at the Department of Veteran Affairs.
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Writer: Kimberly Kassis
Editor: Christopher Wilson, Elissa Tatum
Fact checker: Ileana Rodrigues