Videos: Today's Military
  • Army Reserve

    Work-Life Balance in the Army Reserve(01:46)

    1st Lt. Meridith Fonseca talks about her career in the Army Reserve and her civilian job at an outdoor gear company. In the Army Reserve, Fonseca is a Military Information Support Operations Officer. In her civilian job, she coordinates the production of gloves that can be used in many different conditions.

    Members of the Army Reserve have the opportunity to train near home while maintaining their civilian careers and hobbies. For example, Fonseca is still able to follow her passion for fitness, and she sets aside time for yoga classes.

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1st Lt. Meridith Fonseca: My name's Meridith Fonseca. I'm serving in the Army Reserve. My branch is psychological operations, and my rank is first lieutenant. My job title is product line coordinator for government, military and industrial gloves.

It's great to have people on board who really understand how durable and what kind of rigors and environmental challenges these products are going to go through, especially in a combat zone. So I do a great deal of communication with a diverse group, everybody from laboratories that are testing leather, all the way down to people that are spinning yarn. A lot of it involves conceptualization, what kind of prototypes have we got, so that I can give professional pattern-makers items.

In the Army Reserve, I've been called upon regularly to take a break from my civilian occupation. It's definitely been more than a couple weeks a year, but, like I said, it doesn't seem arduous. I really enjoy it. I don't mind being called because we were out in the field, doing field training, doing land navigation and orienteering.

I love being outside. I love healthy food, and clean air, and clean water, and hiking and just enjoying natural beauty, so being in the Army Reserve, like I said, it's the best of both worlds. To balance everything, I use a calendar, and I give myself a buffer between things, and it's also really important to take personal time to do what you love to do. You get to have your civilian job and hobbies, and friends and family, and then you get to have your Army family and friends, and your service. It's really a challenge, but it's an honorable challenge. It's a pleasure.