Sylvia McCorkle

Spouse of Army Cmd. Sgt. Maj. Lesly McCorkle

HHC 7th Sustainment Brigade, Fort Eustis

Sylvia McCorkle, spouse of Cmd. Sgt. Maj. Lesly McCorkle, HHC 7th Sustainment Brigade, Fort Eustis, has found many ways to help the soldiers and families of the brigade and the Fort Eustis community. One way is as a master trainer for the Army Family Team Building (AFTB) program.

AFTB is a volunteer-led organization with the goal of providing training and knowledge to spouses and family members. Sylvia works extensively with families in each of the program’s three levels.

“The first level talks about rank structure, protocol and procedures,” Sylvia explained, “like basic training for family members. The second focuses on personal management skills, like financial training. And the third is advanced communication skills, so they can learn how to be a mentor and an advisor themselves.”

Sylvia also counsel families as a senior Family Readiness Group advisor. Her main role is to bring the needs of junior spouses to the attention of senior leadership. She attends monthly steering committee meetings for senior spouses with personnel at Fort McPherson, Ga., through video teleconferencing.

“I listen to what the spouses in the unit have to say about their needs and what they would like to see done,” Sylvia said. “What they have to say is important. Then I bring that information to the steering committee, so we can decide how to make improvements.”

As a supporter for the unit’s spouses, Sylvia wants them to see her as approachable and realize she is willing and able to help.

“I want them to know I am there for them,” Sylvia explained. “Come up and talk to me if you need something. I’ll lend you a hand, be that shoulder for you and help find whatever resources you need.”

Sylvia stays involved with the unit’s families to pay back those who helped her.

“Even though I was prior enlisted, I had no idea how to be a sergeant major’s wife,” Sylvia said. “Only a few months after we got married, he was accepted into the sergeant major academy.”

Now Sylvia finds herself sometimes filling the command sergeant major’s role here on her husband’s behalf while his brigade is deployed to Iraq.

“I attend unit activations, and deployment and promotion ceremonies that my husband would attend if he were here,” Sylvia said, “and help give tours to VIPs.”

Sylvia has also worked extensively with the base Spouse’s Club.

“The spouse’s club needed help judging essays for their scholarship program,” Sylvia said. “I put the presentation together for the judges. After that, I decided to join the club, and continued to help for the next year by doing the newsletter.”

The job of newsletter editor was a fitting way for Sylvia to assist the club, being a graphic artist in her civilian job. She works for the Department of the Navy at Langley Air Force Base producing military products. She also works part time on the weekends as a contract worker processing the database for the Navy pay system. With an extensive background in computers, including a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems, Sylvia assist spouses who are not familiar with using computers.

“I’m very proud of Sylvia,” McCorkle said. “She supports my soldiers and their families while working full time! She is my general, and doesn’t quit until taking care of the Soldiers, families and any issue is resolved. I wouldn’t be successful if she didn’t support everything. Sylvia’s management skills fascinate me, as she is able to do so many things at once and still meet all the suspenses.”

In addition to her two jobs and meeting all of her Army volunteer obligations, Sylvia is completing a master’s degree in Finance and Human Relations and Business through Amberton University’s online program. She will finish the degree in May, adding yet another accomplishment to her ever-growing list.