Employee back after year in Kuwait


Denise Richardson is proud to have served her country in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Desert Storm. She said her military service made her a better worker for Alabama Power.

"There is no doubt," she said. "I am a more confident and professional employee as a result of my military service."

Richardson, customer service representative in Phenix City, served in Kuwait in 2007-08 and in Southwest Asia from 1990-91.

In her most recent deployment, Richardson and the 1146th Personnel Service Battalion ran the "gateways" in charge of all soldiers who were coming in, going home or taking temporary leave. They processed up to 40,000 soldiers a month in 24-hour operations at three locations. The gateways were at Ali Al Salem; Camp Buehring, 20 miles from the Iraqi border; and Camp Virginia. The unit oversaw the postal operations and contracting for the entire area.

"We accomplished a lot over there," she said. "Being a warrant officer, which is a specialist in a certain field, helps me pay attention to detail."

Richardson is a personnel technician or human resource technician, but she did more than most warrant officers. When she arrived in Kuwait, she was named executive officer, reporting directly to the battalion commander. The position entailed more time, duties and work for Richardson.

Richardson was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal for her service in Kuwait and is proud of the job she did to earn it.

"What we did over there was hard work," she said.

Richardson's service to her country began in 1976 when she enlisted in the Army after graduating from Central High School in Phenix City.

After three years, she left the military, got a factory job and went to night classes for a two-year associate business degree. She enlisted in the Alabama Army National Guard in 1983 and rose to the rank of staff sergeant. She was hired by Alabama Power in 1992, graduated from Faulkner University in 1996 and was commissioned as a warrant officer in 2002.

Her military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (2), Army Achievement Medal (2), Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal (3), National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with two awards, Noncommissioned Officer's Professional Development Ribbons (2), Army Fitness Badge, Mechanic Badge and Sharpshooter Marksmanship Qualification Badge (M-16).

By Mike Oakley

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