Meet Michelle: Veteran, Air Force Reservist, Red Rocker

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Posted November 11, 2016

(Photos via the Caps)

“Veterans Day is all-inclusive — honoring all veterans, either dead or living — but intended as a day to literally thank military personnel for their service to country,” said rookie Red Rocker Michelle, and she should know.  As a veteran of the United States Air Force, Michelle is very well aware of the sacrifices and hardships that our military endures.

“It’s important that veterans are acknowledged and thanked every day. However, it’s wonderful that we do have one day reserved to pause, reflect, and appreciate the men and women in the military, their families,  and those actively carrying out their duties in order to keep us safe and secure at home,” she said. “It’s important to note that Veterans Day and Memorial Day are different.  Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring those military personnel who have died in the service of their country.”

Michelle, with one of the oldest surviving veterans of the Pearl Harbor attack.

Michelle, with one of the oldest surviving veterans of the Pearl Harbor attack.

Michelle is a native of Houston, but moved to Alexandria from Honolulu this past summer.  She is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, has her graduate degree in Healthcare Administration from Webster University, and is a Captain in the United States Air Force.

“I was active duty for eight years.  Currently, I serve in the Air Force Reserves,” she said. “While on active duty, I served as a finance officer for five years, then switched career fields and became an Air Force Medical Service Corps (MSC) officer. Most people are not familiar with my career field since it’s a fairly small and very competitive career field to get into. Medical Service Corps Officers are professional healthcare administrators and executives who play a critical role leading and managing one of the nation’s largest, most diverse healthcare systems.”

Through the years, serving our country has been Michelle’s highest priority; however, much of her recreational time has been spent dancing professionally.  She finds dancing a great creative outlet and a whole lot of fun.

“I previously danced for ECHL, AFL, NBA and NFL teams, so I’ve always wanted experience dancing for the NHL!   I had missed dancing professionally after living in Hawaii for two years since they don’t have any pro teams. I’ve never lived in the northeast before now, and hockey is, of course, very popular up here.  I figured auditioning for the Red Rockers would be a great opportunity to experience the NHL!”

Although Michelle’s favorite part of being a Red Rocker is the dancing, she also loves participating with the fans in on-ice promos during the games and cheering for her favorite player, Alexander Ovechkin.

“I’ll also say that I really like how the Caps recognize our military members in various ways during the games,” she said.

So, what does it mean to this accomplished Air Force captain to have the opportunity to be a part of the Caps family?

“I’m very excited to be part of the Washington Capitals organization. Many talented young women tried out to become a Red Rocker, but only 20 were selected,” said Michelle.  “It’s a privilege to be here and to wear the uniform. I’m looking forward to spending the rest of the season with such a wonderful group of smart, talented and beautiful women. I am excited to see what the season holds…hopefully, the Stanley Cup! Let’s Go Caps!”

Red Rocker Michelle

Red Rocker Michelle

Barbara Banks

Barbara Banks

Barbara Ann Banks is a freelance writer out of Rockville, MD.
Barbara Banks
Barbara Banks

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