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Celebrating Women of Osan, Part I

Maj. Shamekia Toliver, 51st Civil Engineer Squadron flight commander, represents one of Osan Air Base's inspiring women. March is Women's History Month with the theme, "Celebrating Women of Character, Courage and Commitment." (Courtesy Photo)

Maj. Shamekia Toliver, 51st Civil Engineer Squadron flight commander, represents one of Osan Air Base's inspiring women. March is Women's History Month with the theme, "Celebrating Women of Character, Courage and Commitment." (Courtesy Photo)

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea --
In recognition of Women's History Month, the WHM committee is highlighting women who embody the month's theme of "Celebrating Women of Character, Courage and Commitment." This is part one in a series of four of inspirational women on Osan Air Base.

Name: Maj. Shamekia Toliver

Unit: 51st Civil Engineer Squadron

Job title: Engineering Flight Commander

Job description and its impact on the overall mission:

- Leads 50 engineers planning, programming, designing and executing a $2.2 billion program to support the infrastructure/mission requirements of the 51st Fighter Wing and tenant units

- Executes construction to maintain 1.1K facilities and 1.2 million square yard airfield, 288 miles of powerlines, 62 miles of waterlines, and 57 miles of roads worth $1.9 billion.

- Develops priorities and advocates for funding via US Congress, the host nation and higher headquarters (7th Air Force, U.S. Forces Korea, Pacific Air Forces)

- Serves as the 51st FW Emergency Operations Center Director or as the Civil Engineer Unit Control Center Commander during contingencies or natural disasters

Time in the military: 17 years

Time at Osan: 7 months

Hometown: Chicago

Hobbies: Writing and playing softball

Why did you join the military? To help my mom pay for my college education

What accomplishment are you most proud of? Marrying my husband and starting a family

Who are your role models? I am blessed in that I have a string of positive women that have all been role models and influential in my life

What drove you to continue your career in the military? I love what I do as an Engineer and being able to serve my country at the same time is a plus!

What advice do you have for anyone coming into the service? Remember that serving our country is an honor and a privilege! Never lose sight of why we serve; many before us have paved the way and paid the ultimate sacrifice while protecting the interests of our precious flag, old glory...

If you could start over from the point which you joined the military, would you do it all over again or choose something different? Nope, I would not choose anything different! I started off as an Enlisted Airman - I learned a ton and that hard work was the way to stand out and do well. This meant scholarship money for me and an opportunity to finish my degree. A high-speed NCO took me under his wing and recognized my potential, he challenged me and set me up for success. Ultimately receiving an Air Force scholarship to finish school and commission...my dream was fulfilled!