PORTSMOUTH — As women continue to break barriers across the nation, even Portsmouth, Ohio, is following the trend with their first female Army recruiter setting the standards for girls to know they can be whatever they want to be.
Sergeant Stephanie Stamer of the United States Army became the first female Army recruiter in Scioto County stationed in Portsmouth. Stamer made the move to Portsmouth and became a recruiter after being in the U.S. Army for 10 years, stationed in Ft. Benning, Georgia and Ft. Riley, Kansas and serving two stints overseas, one in Poland and Germany and one in South Korea.
Originally from southern Indiana, Stamer said that she did not go into the military when she first got out of high school. Stamer explained she worked a couple of jobs and tried out college for a little bit and realized that it was not for her. She then joined the U.S. Army when she was 24 years old.
“I have been working as a supervisor for younger soldiers, teaching them how to work on generators for the past five years,” Stamer said.
Moving to Portsmouth five months ago, Stamer shared she likes being a recruiter and is still learning everything she needs to know about her job. She hopes that she can help change the perception of the military and open doors to opportunities people might not think of when thinking about a military career.
“I like helping the kids that need the help to get a better future for themselves. I like helping them figure out what they can do,” Stamer said. “Also, changing the perspective of the military. People think, ‘oh, they are joining the Army. They think they are going to be shooting at people’ and that’s not always the case. I was an air-condition mechanic. I am wanting to just change the way people see the military.”
As Stamer gets acclimated to her new Portsmouth position, she is hoping to become a part of the community. When speaking about being in this area, she said that she bought a house here since she will be here for the next three and a half years.
“I really like the area and I can’t wait for the weather to change so I can actually get out and see some things,” Stamer said.
Stamer is also looking forward to getting into the schools once COVID rules and restrictions at schools are lifted and allow it.
“I’m really looking forward to being able to engage with the high schoolers, in case anybody has any questions,” Stamer said. “There are a couple of schools that say here pretty soon I might be able to get in.”
Along with showing students there are unique opportunities in the military, Stamer hopes to change the perspective many have on women being in the military. Stamer spoke on the idea of being the first female recruiter and that she would like to change that from being a rarity. She hopes that she can show other women joining the military can be a great time to find themselves, become independent and empower others.
“I like learning that I am capable of more than just what I have been doing. Stamer said. “Now, reaching out and getting to know these kids and just helping them figure out their futures, even if it doesn’t involve the military. I like knowing somebody has a plan. If somebody has a really great plan, then, great, I’m not here to twist people’s arms and get them to join the Army. I think that’s the part that I enjoy the most, helping kids figure out their futures.”