ArmyEdSpace Spotlight

Colonel Shelley Rice, Chief Nurse, U.S. Army Cadet Command

Colonel Shelley Rice
Fort Knox, Kentucky
Chief Nurse, U.S. Army Cadet Command

Colonel Shelley Rice, Chief Nurse, U.S. Army Cadet Command, has served in the Army for 26 years. Colonel Rice graduated from Northeastern University in Boston, Mass., and was commissioned through ROTC as an Army Nurse Corps Officer in October 1988. Her professional military education includes Army Medical Department Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC), and a U.S. Army War College Fellowship at the Department of Health and Human Services, Washington DC. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Northeastern University and a Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University.

Why did you join the Army?
At the time, I was the fourth of six children in my family that were going to be attending college. My father was our family’s only breadwinner, and I was sick of asking my parents for money. I learned that the Army ROTC offered full college scholarships and training in the Army Nurse Corps. I found it was the best route for me. As I became inoculated with the culture and the people, I developed a higher reasoning and mission – to give back and serve for our country.

What are the top three things for people to understand about the U.S. Army?
First, people need to understand that the Army is a microcosm of society. Second, the Army is the largest training and education institution in the world. And finally, it’s important to know that you can pursue your goals, become credentialed or certified, maintain and earn degrees, and achieve promotions and leadership experiences that are needed for success in Army and civilian careers.

What were you surprised to learn about the Army through your involvement?
I was surprised to learn that the people are very goal-oriented and focused on results in order to support the bigger mission. Teamwork, communication and collaboration are also a big part of what we do and so it’s nice to watch those things come together in such a large organization to meet the ultimate mission – to defend and support our country.

What would you consider the most valuable skills you have learned through your Army service?
Learning my core nursing competencies in college, but then also being able to apply those skills on the job and be technically proficient was invaluable. I also learned how to work with a variety of people and that working together can carry a team through a mission. Most importantly, I’ve learned that people are people. Whether you’re in the Army or civilian world, you’re going to be working with different personalities and experiences. You just have to pull together, no matter the situation, and get the job done.


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