Patricia Kirchner

Patricia Kirchner

By Christine Baldwin, AFRH-W Librarian

Patricia Kirchner was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She went into the US Navy to change her way of life and do something different since her job was working at McDonalds. She started out as an E-1 at boot camp in Orlando, FL in 1986. While there, she was meritoriously promoted to E-2. Her next assignment was YN “A” School at Meridian, MS. Next, Patricia was stationed at VP-30 Training Command at Jacksonville, FL, where she was the Administrator in the Instructional Material Library. Next she went TAD to Ocean Venture 88 at Fort Bragg, NC and Hurlburt Field AFB, FL; a joint command operation. Other duties on her way to E-5 included Administration in VP-30; Training Department Administration and NATOPS and tactical training.

After that tour, Patricia went into the Naval Reserves for 8 months with a command called SOCLANT (Special Operations Command, Atlantic). She went back to active duty in a billet as a Training and Administrative Reservist, training reservists to take on the responsibilities of the active duty Sailor, so that the active duty personnel could go to war. After three months at Jacksonville, FL, Patricia went to the Navy and Marine Corps in Omaha, NE. This was a great tour because by the time she left every Yeoman knew every job that a Yeoman did on active duty.

Next, Patricia went to Naval Reserve Forces Command in New Orleans, LA, where she placed Reservists in different billets around the world and got her promotion to E-6. She then went to the Enlisted Placement Management Center in New Orleans, where she worked with detailers placing personnel in billets that had been gapped for long periods of time. Next, Patricia went off to sea aboard the USS FREDERICK (LST1184) in Honolulu, HI. She got to see lots of sights and crossed the equator; where she became a shellback and shortly after a Chief Petty Officer while in Guam. Patricia has the utmost respect for those making Chief Petty Officer on a ship because it is no easy task doing some of the things they were assigned to do. However, it was fun none the less. Unfortunately, 9/11 hit at this time, so Patricia was pinned after a prayer breakfast.

At the end of the deployment, the USS FREDERICK was decommissioned LAST OF ITS CLASS in October 2002. Next, it was off to the Naval Warfare Group ONE in Imperial Beach, CA, where they deployed all the units that were under their command to Iraq. They trained them, put them through NMPS and then off they went!

The next tour for Patricia was EODMU SEVEN in San Diego, CA to train divers from EOD and the Secret Service and deploy personnel to different areas throughout the world. Another enjoyable assignment because she got training driving rib boats and other equipment. During a four day training evolution, Patricia got the chance to give a Master Chief an IV without blowing out the vein! Patricia’s last tour was at the Navy Operational Command in New Orleans, LA, where she was a physical fitness trainer for both Pensacola, FL and New Orleans. She also was in control of the government credit cards and made sure the Administration Department was run correctly. Patricia had to leave the Navy, not because she wanted to, but because she started getting sick. Her dreams of picking up E-8 and being the first Navy woman MCPON were put to a halt. But she had a great career as it was.