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NEWS | Nov. 19, 2021

Profiles in Professionalism: PO2 Meghan McWain

By Leslie Hull-Ryde, Military Sealift Command Far East

This reservist has three important roles, all of which carry a lot of responsibility.

Despite, the diverse requirements and competing priorities, Petty Officer Second Class Meghan McWain enthusiastically and successfully accomplishes her missions.

First, as a reserve logistics specialist for Military Sealift Command, she ensures deployed U.S. Navy and partner nations’ ships receive the critical supplies they need to sustain underway operations. That might include ordering, tracking port loading of MSC ships all over the globe, and then scheduling delivery of food, cargo, mail, repair parts, personal protective equipment and uniforms to deployed assets.

“MSC ships are basically floating warehouses, ready to support any naval mission anywhere in the world,” the Centralia, Illinois, native said.

“No mission can be successful without the proper supplies. Ships cannot move, and our aircraft can’t fly without fuel; Sailors cannot function without food, and the mission cannot be defended without ammunition.

“I make sure these MSC ships have the inventory our naval ships need, and I schedule the time and place for these supplies to be dropped off.”

For the deployed force, McWain’s logistics support to MSC for almost three years has been – and continues to be -- rather important.

That’s her reserve responsibility.

When she’s not supporting the Navy in a reserve status, the future cardiothoracic surgeon is part of a research team at McGovern College of Medicine’s Institution of Molecular Medicine in Houston. Much like in her reserve job, there, McWain is behind the scenes making things happen. In her lab, she conducts breast cancer research, specifically working with patients who develop lymphedema after surgery and or radiation.

“It is one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve had,” said McWain who served on active duty for five years as an aviation electronics technician.

“Just being able to help in any way trying to better the lives of breast cancer survivors.”

That’s her civilian responsibility.

At home, McWain is simply, mom. As the mother to two “beautiful boys,” McWain stays busy carting the duo to school, soccer practice, or hockey games.

To those little ones – and the world -- motherhood is her most critical mission, McWain says.

“The future of our world rests on the upbringing of our children.

“It’s up to me, as a mother, to prepare my children to lead happy and successful lives. One day they will be in control of something bigger than themselves. They will be leaders. In one way shape or form, they will have an impact on this world,” she says.

“The size of their impact will come down to how well I prepared them for it. So, being a mother, or a parent in general, doesn't just impact myself and my children, it impacts everyone.”

Regardless of her role or her responsibility, McWain says the skills and training in one aspect of her life directly impacts the others.

“All my jobs keep me on the alert. My mind is always turning and I’m always ready for whatever is next."

“In my civilian job, I work autonomously. I run my own tests, and I analyze my own data. My boss allows me to take control and develop my own self confidence in the work I perform.

“This transfers over to the military side because it shows a sense of responsibility and trust that when tasked with the job, I will perform to the best of my ability.”