By Sgt. James Geelen | 4th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division
FORT CARSON, Colo. — Every day thousands of young men and women across America fulfill their dreams when they raise their right hand and are sworn into the military. Some of them want to be officers and others want to be enlisted service members.
Originally from the Netherlands, Spc. Michelle Lenowicz, now an orderly room clerk with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Special Troops Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, moved one step closer to recognizing her dream of becoming a commissioned officer in the Army.
“When I was a little girl, I dreamed of being a fighter pilot, but the Netherlands has a very small military,” Lenowicz said. “When I met my husband, a retired American Soldier, at a university in Amsterdam, he told me a bunch of stories about being in the Army. Those stories made me want to become an officer in the U.S. Army.”
Lenowicz’s naturalization ceremony in July, has helped move her one step closer to her goal.
“Eight years ago, I decided to start the process of coming to America to join the Army,” Lenowicz said. “It took me that long to get here, get my visa, and then go through the green card process. For a little while there it was a bit harder for immigrants to join the military. Now that I have citizenship, all the doors are open.”
The next hurdle Lenowicz plans to conquer will be commissioning as an officer.
“I’m not eligible to use the Green to Gold program because I already have an advanced degree, so I have to direct commission,” she said. “I have a master’s degree in international relations where I specialized in military strategic studies. I actually attended the Dutch version of the War College. I had to petition them to let me attend since I was not in the military. I have a degree in ancient Middle Eastern military history as well.”
Her drive and commitment have impressed her chain of command.
“Spc. Lenowicz performs exceptionally well as a Soldier and future leader for the Army,” said 1st Lt. John M. McLister, executive officer, HHC, 4th STB, 4th SB. “With her educational background, I think she has tremendous potential and will be an outstanding leader. The command team understands where she came from and what she wants to do. Everybody fully supports her and wants her to be set up for success for her goals.”
Until she can commission as an officer, Lenowicz will continue to learn as much as she can from the leaders and Soldiers in HHC.
Constitution Day and Citizenship Day is observed Sept. 17, 2021, and many Soldiers have attended the naturalization ceremonies. While active-duty Soldiers must go through their administrative NCO, Fort Carson’s Army Community Service can also provide assistance. For more information, visit https://carson.armymwr.com/programs/multicultural-program.