This is the sixth in a series of stories highlighting Marines working aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany
Lance Cpl. Keishona Hedges talked to multiple military recruiters, and decided she liked the Marine Corps the best. The Rhode Island native was raised by her grandmother in North Carolina, growing up with adopted siblings.
“It was an all-around thing,” Hedges said on her decision to become a Marine, “financial, school, relationship building and discipline.”
Hedges, administrative clerk, Base Adjutant, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, serves as the Single Marine Program president aboard the installation. Her SMP role, which involves meeting with various people and planning trips, gives her access to valuable networking opportunities.
The SMP mission focuses on what the Marine needs off-duty, specifically as it relates to quality of life, to enable the objectives of his or her official capacity to be met more effectively.
In turn, the mission of MCLB Albany, which is to enable Marine Corps Logistics Command to support the warfighter, can also be met.
“I enjoy (working on) quality of life for single Marines, giving them what they want and giving them a voice,” Hedges said. “That is the purpose of SMP.”
“This ties into the overall mission of the base,” she continued.
MCLB Albany is the first duty station for Hedges. She said the experience a Marine has in Albany is what they make of it. Apart from their billets, there are ways for Marines to volunteer and advance educational pursuits.
Hedges said she has done this by becoming a part of the Women Marines Association, and the Young Marines program based in Albany.
The Marines she serves with have noticed the impact Hedges has made by taking the initiative to get involved above and beyond the call of duty.
“Lance Cpl. Hedges is self-driven motivator. She is not afraid of a challenge and is always willing to help a Marine in need,” Staff Sgt. Latifah Blanks, chief, Base Adjutant, MCLB Albany, said.
Hedges said her involvement in the Young Marines has been an eye-opener.
"I enjoy working with children,” Hedges said. “People say there is nothing to do in Albany; there is always something to do.”
The lance corporal said it is important for Marines to remember what they are doing the job for, and why they went to boot camp.
“It was for my family at first,” Hedges said. “Now it is to build me as a person, basically.”
The leaders Hedges has encountered have been among those who are instrumental in building the kind of network that can boost a young Marine’s career, impacting him or her years down the road.
“You can always go back to those people later if you need to,” she said.
She said she believes in the importance of giving back, and does not do it while representing the Marines for personal gain. Those in the Young Marines, many of whom will wear the uniform as adults, also need character-building experiences.
“They want to be where we are some day,” Hedges said.
Hedges is expecting to reach a new milestone in her career with a promotion in March.