Story by Chief Petty Officer Gorby, Navy Recruiting Command

 

MIAMI - As a mother, a wife to a deployed Sailor, and a super star Navy recruiter, there isn't always time left over to care about much else. However, Navy Career Counselor 1st Class Patricia Merryman, from Navy Talent Acquisition Group (NTAG) Miami, is also a strong leader for the command resiliency team, which provides the commanding officer with key information and insight into the command and its personnel, in order to implement positive measures to promote well-being and resilience – a process Merryman is very familiar with.

Merryman credits her success to her resilience, and her ability to make time where there seemingly isn't any.

“The best thing that works for me is work-life balance,” said Merryman. “Coming to work gives me that sense of worth, and in turn makes me a better mom and wife.”

Recruiting can be a very demanding job, with no real set working hours. Fortunately, Merryman is able to recruit full time in her home town, close to her family.

“I’m extremely fortunate to be recruiting where I grew up and have a great support system through my family,” said Merryman. “Also the team I work with is very understanding if I have to leave early to go and take care of my son.”

Merryman, who has been in the Navy for nine years, recently made the career transition from Aviation Electronics Technician (AT) to Navy Career Counselor (NC). The career change transitions her out of the reserves and into full time support (FTS).

“I love the recruiting environment. I love being able to talk to people and tell them about my journey,” said Merryman. “I’m really excited to finish out my Navy career as a recruiter.”

Even when Merryman was on maternity leave, she was still putting people in the Navy.

“I like to stay busy and when I do something I’m an all-in type of person,” said Merryman. “If I had my phone and my son was taking a nap, I would make calls. My priority was still my son, but if I had time I was on the computer to do a little bit here and there.”

Merryman's husband, Operations Specialist 1st Class Charles Merryman, is on active duty and has been deployed for the past 15 months. Even with this challenge, she was able to find a way to make it work.

“In the beginning, it was challenging adjusting to having a baby at home by myself and trying to make my husband feel like a part of the family from so far away,” said Merryman. “Thank goodness for technology. We facetime whenever we can and email when he is out to sea. My son even knows what facetime is and thinks the phone is for him every time it rings.”

As a temporary single mom, Merryman knows how tough it can be to find the balance she has spent years perfecting. This drove her decision to be a part of the CRT. Through the use of focus groups, she is able to gauge the overall atmosphere of the command and help generate policy to improve effectiveness and moral.

“I have is been a part of the CRT for almost three years,” said Merryman. “I love working together as a team to organize and conduct focus groups, promote monthly cultural observances and work toward creating and maintaining a healthy command climate. Recently, I’ve taking a leadership role in the CRT, having transitioned away from giving training to instead organizing it and leading other CRT members.”

Merryman hopes that her story and her experiences can help encourage other young women who may be on the fence about joining the Navy, or even those already serving, that there are ways to make it all work. It hasn't been always been easy, but Merryman said she hopes that she can show women that it's worth it.

 


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Updated March 1, 2017 (kbh)