Staff Sgt. Archina Twitty: Pioneer Trailblazer

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Staff Sgt. Archina Twitty: Pioneer Trailblazer
By Annette P. Gomes, Warrior Care and Transition

ARLINGTON, Va. Some psychologists say one thing you can bet your paycheck on is that the first born child will be a leader in some regard. Staff Sgt. Archina Twitty fits that bill.

Often described as a high achiever, reliable, dependable, Twitty, the first born of three children, set her sights on the military at an early age. The first in her family to join the military.

"My mother was a single parent of three. I wanted to help the family and our household by contributing financially, so I joined the National Guard," Twitty said.

During high school, the South Carolina native joined the Delayed Entry Program - also referred to as the Delayed Enlistment Program or Future Soldiers Program in the Army. The program requires individuals going into active duty in the United States Armed Forces to enlist first in the DEP before they ship out to basic training or boot camp.

Injuries sustained during her career and after a few deployments landed Twitty in the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Belvoir, Va. While recovering at the WTB, Twitty set her sights on setting another "first" for herself. She enrolled in classes and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in business management. Her family was in the audience when she walked across the stage this past June.

"I am the first of my grandmother's grandchildren to complete a Bachelor's degree. The day was simply amazing as my mother and grandmother have always been there to support me throughout my career," Twitty said. "It was such an honor to share this moment with them. My grandmother is my last living grandparent and at the age of 80, she still has the strength and energy to attend and support all my accomplishments."

Fort Belvoir's Transition Coordinator Manny Febo-Colon says Twitty's drive and termination was evident from their first meeting.

"I found out immediately that she is extremely organized and dependable; very efficient, responsible and highly competent with everything she took upon herself to do," said Febo-Colon. "Staff Sgt. Twitty placed her heart into developing herself professionally and worked hard to prove, that even during adversity, anything is possible if you have your heart in the right place. We are certainly very proud of her!"

Aside from her family unit, Twitty has made two things she learned during her military career cornerstones of her foundation on her journey to accomplishing her goals.

"Discipline and independence are two of the most important assets I took away from the military, but I also pushed myself. I became my biggest motivator," Twitty said. "I knew I wanted a life after the military and education was an important part to helping me get there."

On her path, it was her family that taught her the biggest lessons outside of a classroom.

"I was taught to never forget where you came from, it only takes a matter of seconds to help someone, and that one second could be a life-changing second. Stay focused and take it one day at a time."

After 16 years in the military, Twitty will retire from the Army this fall and intends to pursue a

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