She Also Served: A woman veteran spotlight with Sherri Carter

This content is sponsored by American Military University.

Sherri Carter, a self-proclaimed “Army brat,” has moved around so frequently throughout her life that she has rarely been stationary long enough to call one particular location “home.”

“I have lived all over the place,” Carter said. “I’m not one of those people who have old friends still from high school.”

Growing up, Carter had to relocate every few years due to her father’s career in the Army. She even lived in Germany in 1989 during the fall of the Berlin Wall.

“I was there when the wall fell,” she said. “I actually got a piece of the wall.”

Carter and her family eventually settled down in Texas once her father retired, but she would soon be back on the road.

Joining the military

After Carter graduated from high school in San Antonio, Texas, she knew she wanted to do something besides continuing her education immediately.

“I wasn’t ready to jump back into school,” she said. “I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I wanted to take a break but I knew that wasn’t smart, so I decided to join the military.”

Carter gravitated toward the Air Force.

“It was a shock because I wasn’t used to having a strict routine and that is pretty much all the military is,” she said.

Carter spent five years with the Air Force specializing in IT work which, once again, forced her to change locations frequently.

She said that mobile lifestyle ultimately shaped her into a more extraverted person.

“Constantly moving around brought me out of my shell,” Carter said. “It helped me because you’re just dropped into situations where you’re uncomfortable and you have to make it work.”

Carter said it gave her the skills to “make friends very easily” and “literally talk to anybody about anything.”

When asked whether she thought she might have developed those exceptional social skills without the military, Carter said “no.”

“It pushes you out there,” Carter said of her military career. “It forced me to go for my goals, succeed and actually talk to people.”

Working during 9/11

On September 11, 2001, Carter was stationed with the Air Force in Anchorage, Alaska.

She was physically far from the terrorist attacks that took thousands of American lives that day, but being in the military, the situation hit close to home.

Her family grew more concerned as the days went on.

“They were worried,” Carter said. “My dad was the main one calming my mother down and I stayed in contact with them to let them know that everything was fine.”

Emotionally, however, things were not always fine.

Carter said fear and uncertainty gripped the minds of her and her colleagues.

“We were terrified,” Carter said. “Nobody knew what was going on. It was scary because you didn’t know what was going to happen.”

Going to AMU

While Carter wasn’t initially interested in continuing her education after high school, that changed later in life as she decided that she did want to pursue higher education.

She researched schools and discovered positive reviews about American Military University.

The school’s flexible, online courses were a perfect fit with her busy schedule.

“The flexibility was great,” Carter said. “I worked full-time and was going to school full-time. You didn’t have to necessarily log in at a certain time. As long as you stay on schedule you’re fine.”

Carter graduated from AMU, receiving a bachelor’s degree in business administration, an MBA and a certificate in security management.

“It’s honestly a really good school and it looks really good on your résumé,” Carter added.

Starting a business

Carter is technically a civilian now, but she does keep one foot in the military through her job as an operations officer with a Department of Defense contractor for the Navy in St. Mary’s County, Maryland.

She is continuing her business-related studies, currently seeking a doctorate in business administration.

After that, Carter hopes to launch an entrepreneurial career by starting her own government contracting business.

“I always had these goals since I was little,” said Carter. “I always knew that I wanted to go for my doctorate and go into business.”

While the coronavirus pandemic has prolonged Carter’s timeline a bit, she hopes to open her business by the year 2023.

Her friends and family are cheering her on.

“When I mentioned that I wanted to start my own company, everybody seemed to be on board with it, pushing me and backing the idea,” Carter said. “The support I’ve had over the years has really helped.”

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