From Girl Scout to Army Sergeant back to Girl Scouts – we here at Girl Scouts of Central California South are ecstatic to introduce Rae Monique Pineda, now Program Leadership Coordinator based in Bakersfield.
The lessons learned as a Girl Scout helped Rae become a successful, well-rounded woman. Rae joined the U.S. Army almost seven years ago and deployed to Afghanistan in 2012. As a Civil Affairs Sergeant, her special skills included female engagement team leader, combat lifesaver, instructor, airborne paratrooper, and Persian-Farsi linguist.
Throughout her childhood, Rae participated in Girl Scouts in Orange County.
A Girl Scout memory Rae will never forget is receiving her Kidnapping Badge. She recalled her mom waking her up at 7 a.m. on a Saturday and telling her to take a bath without telling her why. Then, much to her surprise, the doorbell rang and she was greeted with the sight of her fellow troop members. She went to breakfast with her troop while wearing her nightgown. To this day, she still remembers the diner they ate breakfast at in Anaheim and always smiles as she drives by, recalling the fun time she had there.
She also remembers the decision-for-your-life weekend event she participated in as a Senior. The event taught Rae and her fellow troop members useful, lifelong lessons such as caring for a battery-operated baby doll that cried like a real infant. The girls even shopped at Babies “R” Us and scanned items to see the cost of raising a child.
As a Girl Scout, Rae also participated in the cookie program. Her favorite cookie is Thin Mints, which she enjoyed receiving through Operation Gratitude while she was stationed in Afghanistan. As part of Operation Gratitude, people can purchase cookies, nuts, and magazines from Girl Scouts and donate them to troops.
Rae’s advice to Girl Scouts, who are interested in joining the military, is to take all of the Girl Scout lessons to heart. Both the Girl Scout values and being depended on are elements that were also part of her Army training and duties.
Rae attributes her success to an insightful philosophy. “Life shrinks and expands in proportion to one’s courage”. We are excited to have Rae share her experiences and wisdom with our Girl Scouts today.
-Written by Communications Intern, Katie Campbell