Phyllis Wilson was intrigued by the opportunity to learn a new language and earn money for college, when she “got a wild hair” to join the Army back in 1981. It wound up providing her much more than that, in a career that spanned almost four decades of both active and reserve service.
Wilson began in the Military Intelligence community, as a German linguist Voice Intercept Operator, and went on to serve in many other areas from tactical to strategic. She was mobilized to support OPERATION DESERT SHIELD/ OPERATION DESERT STORM and OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM. She served seven years at U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, FL as a senior intelligence analyst, deploying to Iraq in support of a highly specialized Joint Special Operations Task Force. It was there that the mother of eight shared an incredibly special moment with one of her sons.
“We were both in Iraq at the same time, in 2006 or 2007. He was able to get over to where I was located and we promoted him to Sergeant. And that was a very big day for me,” said Wilson.
Another was getting the opportunity to pin the very same jump wings she herself had earned in the U.S. Army Airborne School, to one of her son’s chest. As a Citizen-Soldier, she has held many positions working as a registered nurse, from Director of Nursing to Home Health and Hospice nurse.
In 2017 CW5 Wilson was inducted into the Army Women’s Foundation Hall of Fame, and is a member of their Board of Directors.
She now serves as the President of the Women In Military Service For America (WIMSA) Memorial Foundation, Inc., a national memorial honoring all women who have defended America throughout history from the Revolutionary War to today.
Watch as Wilson discusses her family's commitment to service.