A Special Thank You to our Hill Alumnae Veterans
In honor of Veterans Day, we wanted to share the stories of the following Hill Alumnae who have bravely served our country. This is not at all an exhaustive list of all the Hill Alumnae who have served or continue to serve in the US Armed Forces. We want to recognize and honor Veterans all-year round so please share your stories with us if you or a fellow Hill grad is a US Veteran. Contact Lindsey Minkoff at [email protected] and we will continue to share your stories with our Hill community and current students.
- Michele Gonzalez, '99
- Cindy Codispoti, '91
- Robin L. Mahady, '88
- Kaitlin Dryden, '06
- Angela Monfiletto, '14
Michele Gonzalez, Hill Class of 1999
Cindy Codispoti, Hill Class of 1991
Robin L. Mahady, Hill Class of 1988
Robin earned her commission as an Ordnance Officer from St. John’s University in 1992. She served in numerous operational positions in three countries and seven states over her 23 ½ year career in the active Army. Some of her most notable assignments include her deployment to El Salvador in support of Hurricane Mitch and her two deployments to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Robin served with the 4th Infantry Division while in Iraq. Her first deployment was at the Brigade level, first as the Brigade 4 and then as the Brigade Support Operations Officer for 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division. During her second deployment to Iraq she was hand selected to serve on the Generals staff as the Division Maintenance Officer for her expertise in logistics and dedication to the mission. She was recognized by the Commanding General for maintaining the operational readiness of the Division over 90% throughout the entire deployment. She is grateful for the opportunities she had while serving our great nation and for her extended Army family. Robin is the proud parent of Ryan, Ashley and Conor who have sacrificed, supported and served alongside her throughout the years.
Military Awards: Bronze Star Medal (2nd Award), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (3rd Award), Army Commendation Medal (4th Award), Army Achievement Medal (2nd Award), Iraq Campaign Medal with four campaign stars, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Army Overseas Ribbon (3rd award), Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Commendation (3rd award), Army Superior Unit Award, National Defense Service Medal (2nd Award), Army Service Ribbon. Also received the Ordnance Order of Samuel Sharpe award.
Kaitlin (Hady) Dryden, Hill Class of 2006
Angela Monfiletto, Hill Class of 2014
Hi, I’m Angela Monfiletto! I’m a current doctoral student studying Audiology at Towson University and a Training, Advising, and Counseling (TAC) Officer with the 70th Regimental Training Institute, Maryland Army National Guard. I graduated from Hill in 2014 and went on to Loyola University Maryland to study Speech Language Hearing Sciences and participate in their ROTC program. I graduated with honors and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and Military Intelligence Officer in the Maryland Army National Guard in 2018.
About a month after I commissioned, I reported to my first unit with nervous excitement. I was going to be a leader of 40 Soldiers!...as the youngest and least experienced person in the room. All the training I received did not prepare me for that first interaction with my Platoon Sergeant (the most senior person in the Platoon) and with the Soldiers who served under me. But that was ok, this was not my Soldiers’ first rodeo and I was not their first Platoon Leader. They expected me not to know everything, but to make decisions that benefited their training and care. Those decisions helped form relationships built on mutual trust.
Then I deployed with these Soldiers to Afghanistan and Qatar in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel as the youngest and least experienced person in the room. How was I supposed to lead these Soldiers in a deployed environment? I had to learn quickly and to trust myself and others. We accomplished a lot of great things, but not without a few sleepless nights along the way. I think I learned the most about myself during that deployment not just in my weaknesses, and trust me I found many of those, but also in my strengths. I learned a great deal from mistakes I made and will never make again and experiences I will never forget. I also learned a great deal from others. I had a great Officer and Platoon Sergeant who worked with me to help shape my decisions to benefit the Soldiers. They became mentors, companions, and close allies to help accomplish the mission and bring everyone home.
When I came home operations did not stop, it was COVID after all. I worked as the Deputy Chief of Current Operations for Maryland’s Vaccine Equity Task Force and at one point the Chief of Current Operations, a position two ranks above mine. How was I, as no longer the youngest, but still one of the least experienced people in the room, to plan and carry out COVID vaccine operations? I am not a medical officer and I do not have any medical operations training, but that was ok. I just did it. It was lot of on-the-job training, cross communication with other departments and entities, and interpersonal trust to make sure we achieved the mission: shots in arms.
Now I teach others how to be good Officers. How do I as one of the least experienced people in the room teach others to be Officers? I just do it. I don’t pretend I know everything because I don’t. There is plenty I learn from the Officer Candidates and from my fellow TAC Officers and instructors that help me become better at my job and a better Officer.
I’m still learning. I’ve made many mistakes, but I’ve learned from them. I remember the great words from the Kairos retreat, “the only mistake is the one from which I learn nothing.” Those “mistakes” helped build who I am today. I’ve also had many successes and I am thankful for those too.
I would not be where I am without the Officers, Noncommissioned Officers, and Soldiers I’ve worked with throughout my short military tenure. They have helped shape the person I am both professionally and personally. I am grateful to have served and to serve beside them.