Face of Defense: Single Parents Lead Households, Squadrons

If it takes a village to raise a child, how can a mom do it on her own while also leading an Air Force squadron? Two squadron commanders here do exactly that while acting as a guiding light for those who think it’s impossible.

Leading a squadron, which can be made up of 100 to 550 people at a time, can create a collision of priorities.

Air Force Lt. Col. Carina Harrison, commander of the 100th Force Support Squadron, and Air Force Lt. Col. Stacie Voorhees, commander of the 100th Communications Squadron, are both single parents who juggle the competing priorities of family and squadron leadership. Harrison has a 15-year-old daughter and Voorhes has two young girls.

‘It’s Not Hard … It’s Normal.’

“I’ve always had to be a single mother,” Harrison said “It’s not hard, because it’s normal. It’s what I’ve always had to do.”

Being a single parent can bring additional challenges when duty calls.

“I try to not look at it as a balancing act when it comes to my family and my career,” Voorhees said. “When you think of it that way, something is always going to be off set. I prefer the term ‘work-life integration.’ The kids know we’re a part of the military and they also know that they have to put in work and energy as well.”

Harrison agreed and added that having her daughter has taught her to be more flexible with her decisions.

“I try to involve my…

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