• Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

Following In Family’s Footsteps: Finance Manager Continues Legacy of Military Service | Article













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Pfc. Kenyotta Wiggley, a finance management technician with 1863rd Finance Management Support Detachment, poses with her drill sergeant at Fort Jackson, S.C., Oct. 5, 2023. Wiggley enlisted in the U.S. Army National Guard as a 36B, a financial management technician and now serves with U.S. Army Garrison Poland in Poznan, Poland. (Courtesy Photo)
(Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Jameson Harris)

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Following In Family’s Footsteps: Finance Manager Continues Legacy of Military Service








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Pfc. Kenyotta Wiggley, a finance management technician with 1863rd Finance Management Support Detachment, speaks at a local Career Day at an elementary school in Poznan, Poland, March 8, 2024. Wiggley explained to all the children what a financial management technician does for the military and answered the questions they had. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Jameson Harris)
(Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Jameson Harris)

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Following In Family’s Footsteps: Finance Manager Continues Legacy of Military Service








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Pfc. Kenyotta Wiggley, a finance management technician with 1863rd Finance Management Support Detachment, poses for a picture in front of the Garrison logo at Camp Kosciusko in Poznan, Poland, March 11, 2024. Wiggley works in the U.S. Army Garrison Poland’s finance office, assisting Soldiers with currency exchange and pay issues. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Jameson Harris)
(Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Jameson Harris)

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During March, people around the world think about the importance of Women’s History Month. For Pfc. Kenyotta Wiggley, March is an especially important month. Her family history is filled with women who have made a mark through military service. Wiggley’s mother and great-grandmother both served in the U.S. Army.

Wiggley chose to continue the family tradition of military service and currently works as a uniformed financial technician for U.S. Army Garrison Poland in Poznan, Poland. Like her family before her, she continues to inspire with her service, and she is often reminded how much of an impact her great-grandmother and mother had on her decision to serve.

Her great-grandmother, Rita Wiggley, served as a physician in the U.S. Army Reserve. When she joined, she was already 27 with five kids. Because of changes in regulations and requirements, she had to undergo basic training three times. After graduating, she spent her career deploying to a variety of countries for missions, including Germany, Paris, Paraguay and Bolivia. She finished her service at the rank of lieutenant colonel, becoming one of the first African American females to attain such a distinction in the U.S. Army.

“I draw so much inspiration from my great-grandmother,” recalled Wiggley. “Once she has decided she’s going to do something, nothing is going to stop her.”

Kenyotta’s mother, Michelle Wiggley, joined the military as a supply specialist. She served for four years on active duty before transitioning into the U.S. Army Reserve. Michelle raised her family with the same level of structure and discipline as a standard military household. The Wiggley family cleaned and organized everything, even putting hospital corners on every single bed.

“She is a firecracker of a woman,” Wiggley said when describing her mom. “She always told us, ‘Don’t let anyone walk over you. Stick to the fact that you know your job, do it well, and execute with the best of them.’”

Continuing the legacy of service, Kenyotta enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2023, joining the Illinois National Guard as a financial management technician. Being the third in her family to do so, she found strength and support in the fact that her own family was able to make it through training. That background then became a foundation for her to support her fellow battle buddies at Fort Jackson during basic training. She remembers that every night, the females would gather and discuss their strengths and weaknesses to become a more cohesive team. They did daily push-ups and plank challenges until they regularly outperformed the men in those categories by the end of training.

“Every time I thought about quitting, I would think about my own great-grandmother and mother going through the same thing,” said Wiggley. “If my great-grandmother could do this three times already after having five children, nothing can stop me.”

After graduating from Advanced Individual Training, Wiggley was assigned to the 1863rd Finance Management Support Detachment. She immediately volunteered for a rotational force deployment to Poznan. Now, she serves as one of the finance managers in the U.S. Army Garrison Poland finance office.

“The biggest lesson I learned from my mother is seizing every opportunity available to me,” said Wiggley. “Once she heard I was going to Poland, she was so pumped. ‘Grab a coat. You’re going to need it!’ she told me.”

Since arriving, Wiggley has worked to make an impact on those around her in the office and in the Polish community. On March 8, she volunteered to participate in a Career Day with a local Polish elementary school. There, she explained to the children what she does in the U.S. Army and answered their questions about military service. One thing that she noticed immediately was the sheer number of girls listening intently to all the Soldiers.

“It was so gratifying seeing so many girls in the classrooms, and they can see me in my own uniform,” said Wiggley. “The military is no longer just a man’s world. There is a place for them, too.”

Providing inspiration to girls like those present in the classroom has been one of the biggest drives during Wiggley’s service. For her, Women’s History Month is not just a historical study or educational experience but a profoundly personal testimony.

“There are no barriers to gender in the military,” said Wiggley. What is important in the military is what you know and how much you are willing to learn. Keep those two things together, and any female will succeed here.”

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