Spottedbear transitions from reservation to mat

| August 22, 2013 | 0 Comments
Staff Sgt. Julian Spottedbear, 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, prepares for a match during the Basic Combatives Instructor Course to be an example for her Soldiers.

Staff Sgt. Julian Spottedbear, 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, prepares for a match during the Basic Combatives Instructor Course to be an example for her Soldiers.

Staff Sgt. Sean Everette
2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Even with the Army opening up more positions to women, it’s still unusual to see a female Soldier involved in programs usually male dominated.

This fact didn’t stop Staff Sgt. Julian Spottedbear, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, communications noncommissioned officer.

This mother of two recently graduated from the Basic Combatives Instructor Course, more popularly known as Level Three of the Modern Army Combatives program.

“I always said, ‘If I were a guy, I’d be infantry,’” said Spottedbear. “But I’m not obviously. I’ve always wanted to do Soldier stuff.”

Spottedbear is Oglala Lakota and grew up on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, an hour south of Mount Rushmore. She said Pine Ridge is one of the poorest reservations and had a population of around 5,000 when she joined the Army in 1998.

The same drive that pushed her to graduate Level Three Combatives is what motivated her to join the Army at 18.

“I don’t like being bored,” she said. “I have to keep advancing. I have to keep doing something, and I like the challenge. I always say that, if I get bored, I’m going to find something else to challenge me.”

Spottedbear has used her drive to keep going even when she hasn’t had the best leadership. She said that the leadership at her first two duty stations was not the greatest, and she was bounced around from NCO to NCO a lot. It wasn’t till she got to her third duty station with 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, at Fort Riley, Kan., that she finally got the leadership she’d wanted and needed from the beginning. It was here that she learned what it means to be an effective leader and good NCO.

“I want to be the leadership that I didn’t have to the Soldiers around me,” said Spottedbear. “It doesn’t matter if they’re mine or anybody else’s. You can’t talk the talk, unless you can walk the walk, and that’s my whole thing behind it.

“If I’m going to mentor these guys,” she continued, “I have to know what I’m talking about. In order to know what you’re talking about, you have to experience or do it.”

After her time at Fort Riley, Spottedbear came to Hawaii for the first time, before moving on to become a drill sergeant at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. She picked up Level One Combatives at Drill Sergeant School and went through Level Two shortly after getting to Fort Leonard Wood. She joined the post’s combatives team and made it to the All Army Competition, though she didn’t get to compete.

Despite all that she’s accomplished, however, she feels like she has a lot to make up for, and this reason is another why she pushes herself and her Soldiers so hard.

“If I can do it, then I know my Soldiers can do it,” she said. “If I’m doing it, I can tell my Soldiers, ‘If I did it, you can do it.’ There’s no excuse.

“It’s not so much for myself. It’s more for the Soldiers,” she said. “I didn’t have that mentorship, so I want to be that mentor. If they feel like … I’m doing it and they see it, they’re going to want to do it.”

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