By Officer Candidate Alexandra Curtis
Joint Force Headquarters
SGT Jackie Charette, a squad leader in the 1207th Forward Support Company, says each day she strives “to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.” In January she had the opportunity to do just that.
A viral Facebook post about a North Providence teen with autism caught her attention; the father of Tyler Gaumond had posted in pursuit of securing a military escort for his son’s prom. Tyler has been a life-long military enthusiast, but being autistic and legally blind, he would never get to fulfill his dream of serving. Charette asked the commander of the 1207th if she could invite him to Camp Fogarty to give him his own military experience for a day. Tyler was welcomed by the Soldiers of the 1207th and even carried the guidon for a portion of their foot march. After Charette’s kindness, she still hears from Tyler and he even refers to her as “Auntie Jackie.”
This is just one story that illustrates Charette’s dedication to her community - Over the holidays she delivered toys to children at the Boston Children’s Hospital, she spent time sharing her stories with local students at the RING’s ASVAB prep course, and she is participating in the Boston Marathon Tough Ruck this April in memory of a fallen friend.
“I have had a lot of struggles through my life. I think a big part of what I have done in the community has helped me, but also I love to help other people,” Charette said.
In addition to the Guard, Charette has worked with AAA Northeast for the past three years and has recently been promoted within the company as a Member Relations Counselor. She says the Guard has been integral in her growth in her civilian career. “I used to be very timid,” Charette admits. She has spent her six years with the 1207th in a variety of capacities - she runs field operations, is certified in HazMat operations, and she is headed to Advanced Leaders Course with the goal of promoting to Staff Sergeant in July.
“SGT Charette is one of our go-to NCOs. On any given drill weekend, you will find SGT Charette teaching radio classes, offering signal support, reviewing HazMat regulations, running Blue Force Trackers, leading a ruck march, and conducting fueling operations,” says Captain Cory Wilson, Company Commander of the 1207th, “her unique ability to motivate and mentor Soldiers creates an environment where the impossible becomes possible and coworkers become family.”