America's Military - Sgt. Henderson-Collins

Sgt. Portia Henderson-Collins

Unit: C Company, 262nd Quartermaster Battalion (works at Aerial Delivery and Field Services)

Hometown: Phenix City, Ala.

Age: 28

Time in service: 8 years

Military occupational specialty: 92S Shower/Laundry Clothing Repair Specialist

Henderson-Collins’ duties at Fort Lee: Training and School NCO

Describe your personality: “I see myself as joyful, sociable and upbeat. I tend to always be cheerful and have a positive attitude about life. It’s very rarely that you would see me without a smile on my face.”

When are you the happiest? “When I’m spending time with my son Caiden. When I’m around, he is always so happy and full of life. My baby boy is really the light of my world and my little broke best friend.”

Best thing about the Army: “This is where I discovered the real me. The Army pushes me to my limits and helps me realize my true self when things are tough. I feel that the Army doesn’t look at the person you were before signing up; it only cares about who you can be … your potential.”

What you dislike about your duties: “There isn’t anything I don’t like about my current duties.”

One of the biggest accomplishments in your career: “I was handpicked to drive Michelle Obama’s staff when she was featured on ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.’”

Biggest personal accomplishment: “Earning my bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies. Now I am 11 classes away from completing my dual bachelor’s program in Criminal Justice and Homeland Security.”

You recently earned noncommissioned officer of the month, how does that feel? “I was really shocked by the announcement. I’m really proud of being selected. One of the members on the board said he has done many of them but hasn’t seen a performance like mine in a very long time.”

What advice would you give a fellow Soldier to help them earn NCO/Soldier of the month? “I would recommend participating in company mock boards. Confidence is the key and never sound like you are guessing. Keep your military bearing at all times.”

Why did you join the Army? “I have always known that I wanted to serve my country. In high school, I was in the Navy Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program. I decided to join this branch of service because I wanted a challenge, and I knew the Army would give me that. I felt one of the greatest ways to serve was by enlisting. I also joined for the benefits, education and to learn a skill set. I knew that I lacked discipline as well, and the Army has given me everything I’ve needed in that area.” 

What it means to wear the uniform: “For me, wearing the uniform makes me realize I am a part of something that is far bigger than myself. I represent a specific set of values and ideas to Americans. The uniform is a symbol of freedom.”

Who in your career is helping you the most and why? “Recently, I would say that my previous NCO in charge Sgt. 1st Class Devaul has made a big impact on my career. She was always so patient, genuine and honest. She always made everyone feel like part of the team, and it gave us a sense of belonging. She never let an accomplishment go unnoticed no matter how seemingly insignificant or small it was. She always pushed me to my potential.”  

Tell me about one life-changing moment: “Easy. It was Sept. 12, 2018, when I gave birth to my son. I have always seen myself as a boy mom. My life became full, and I gained something I didn’t know was missing.”              

What would surprise people to know about you? “That I used to be an introvert.”  

Where do you see yourself in five years? “I see myself owning a thriving workout clothing line. Hopefully, I would have started a female mentorship program for teenagers. I am planning to become certified to be a nutrition counselor.