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A women’s world – keep connected, make your own path
Army Staff Sgt. Nyesha Favorite, her boyfriend Sgt. 1st Class Theron Urbano, his son Tajhmel 12, her daughter Nyla, 9 and her son Malcolm, 5 sit on the steps of their home in Browns Mills, N.J. (U.S. Army photo by Capt. Antonia Greene/Released)
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A women's world - keep connected, make your own path

Posted 3/30/2012   Updated 3/30/2012 Email story   Print story


by Army Capt. Antonia Greene
174th Infantry Brigade Public Affairs

3/30/2012 - JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. -- When thinking about what it takes to be a Soldier, commitment to the Army's mission above all else and surrendering personal time come to mind. One 174th Infantry Brigade Soldier insists you can have the best of both worlds, if you just stay motivated.

"The Army's fun; I love what I do," said Army Staff Sgt. Nyesha Favorite, a supply sergeant with more than 11-years active service and mother of two. "It's a man's world; so I just do better than the next man. Many soldiers have difficulty balancing family life and their Army careers."

Favorite insists personal matters or motherhood is never an excuse to slack. Favorite is assigned to Headquarters Detachment 174th IN Bde, here, and manages the unit's supply section. She credits her organizational skills, mathematical-mindset and ability to multitask as qualities that have helped her be successful.

"There's a lot to keep track of on a daily basis," said Favorite a Brooklyn, N.Y. native. "It's my job to account for the government's property and save the government money. You have to be well organized, be good with numbers, pay attention to detail and most of all - network - that's extremely important."

Favorite not only builds relationships with other logisticians on post to get the mission done, but makes time to develop her contacts in the civilian world.

"Some think I'm crazy, but even on leave, I work," said Favorite.

She explained how before she entered the Army, she worked for a temp agency in Brooklyn. Favorite's first job was across from the World Trade Center in New York City and continues her work at temp agencies today by signing up at whichever agency is closest to where she's assigned. She said she does this to keep herself busy and to stay connected in the outside.

"It's like staying in school and making time for continued education," said Favorite. "You have to find ways to keep yourself involved in the civilian sector - stay grounded - we can't stay in the Army forever."

Favorite is definitely staying in for now. She scheduled her re-enlistment ceremony at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at ground zero this April and she also just found out she made the list for promotion to sergeant first class.

One of Favorite's former section sergeants and mentors is assigned to 1st Battalion, 307th Infantry Regiment, a subordinate unit to Favorite's 174th IN Bde. Her mentor, Sgt. 1st Class Douglas Pineda, was also Favorite's section sergeant when she was a private at Fort Jackson, S.C.

"We were in the same logistics shop and I remember even as a private she had it together," said Pineda. "I never had to hold her hand; she expressed a willingness to learn, to be the best at her job."

The two ran into each other a few years ago in Iraq and again at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.

"I told her back then she would make a great NCO," said Pineda. "I'm excited she made the Sergeant First Class list. She isn't one to let the rank come to her; she's a go-getter."

Pineda said Favorite's best qualities are her integrity and fairness.

"She's honest, she's fair, she knows the (regulations) and will show you in black and white," said Pineda. "She's young, but she knows her stuff - the type of NCO that commanders want to take with them."

Pineda said Favorite never failed to give 100 percent no matter what she was dealing with on a personal level. Even through her private matters, her job never declined.

"You can never tell if she's stressed or has an issue at home because she always conducts herself professionally," said Pineda. "She prioritizes her work; she can handle a lot, and when it comes to crunch time, she always delivers."

"Some people are surprised I'm a mother," said Favorite with a smile. "It was hard when it was just me, especially with the deployments but I never let myself use the excuse that my kids held me back - I am where I am because of them."

Favorite considers herself a single mom to her two children Nyla, 9 and Malcolm, 5 but acknowledges she and her boyfriend, Sgt. 1st Class Theron Urbano, are more or less a blended family.

Urbano recently left active duty, joined the Reserves and now works at the JB MDL Network Enterprise Center.

"Blending the family is the hard part with three kids, five schedules and outside influences, it's a lot going on but she manages to pull us all together," said Urbano.

Urbano made the difficult decision to put fatherhood first. With his 12-year-old son Tajmel entering teenage territory, and the Army poised to send him clear across the country, Urbano put his faith in making Favorite and family his priority.

"She didn't need me for security - she's strong, stable, she pushes me forward," said Urbano. "She motivated me to finish school and supported me on my decision to leave active duty."

Urbano mentioned it is now his turn to return the support Favorite has shown him in the past. Favorite is preparing for a one-year unaccompanied assignment to Korea.

"It was a family decision, it's only for a year, and I'm ready to take on that role," said Urbano. "Her mom is a big help. Both of us have family in New York; we'll make it work."

Their future is busy. Favorite is pursuing her bachelor's degree in mathematics and Urbano is finishing his bachelor's in information management. After Korea, they hope to be stationed at Fort Belvoir, Va. Favorite plans to retire in 2020 and is seriously considering the "Troops to Teach" program. She wants to obtain her teaching certificate and master's degree and someday be a military education counselor.

"My advice to any woman is to stay educated, don't take anything personal and make your own path," said Favorite.

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