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NEWS | June 29, 2023

Profiles in Professionalism: PS3 Brenda Solano

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Raymond Maddocks, Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command Public Affairs

If you were to see Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Brenda Solano operate in her role as a pay and personnel specialist at Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command you may mistake her for someone much more senior. During her time at CNRFC, she has performed at a level much higher than her paygrade which paid off in March 2023 when she was meritoriously advanced to petty officer 3rd class.
“When I got promoted I was shocked, I finally felt like I was being rewarded for everything I’ve learned, it felt good,” said Solano.
According to Solano, one of the reasons for her success is the nature of her work at CNRFC.
“Between the active-duty and reserve servicemembers here I feel like I’ve had a lot of experience with different parts of the job,” said Solano. “I think between my workload and being able to observe other people in my department work I’ve been exposed to a lot of different pay and personnel processes.”
Solano also attributed her success to great mentors.
“I’ve had a couple great mentors during my time here, but Chief Williams [LCPO], especially, guided and mentored me while he was here,” said Solano. “He would call me over to his desk all the time when he was working and show me how to do different processes I hadn’t done before.”
Another thing that allows Solano to thrive is her desire to help the Sailors that come to her with administrative issues.
“My favorite part about this job is the people,” said Solano. “When a member comes to me with an issue and they’re like ‘Oh my gosh I’m so stressed, I need help getting this fixed’ and I’m able to help them it’s a great feeling. Having pay or personnel issues can be really stressful, and being part of alleviating that stress is very fulfilling.”
While Solano is looking forward to growing and advancing in her rate, she also has her eye on achieving her main goal; becoming a Navy nurse.
“I wanted to be a Navy nurse even before I joined,” said Solano. “But college isn’t cheap, so I decided to enlist first and use TA [tuition assistance] to get my degree.”
Her motivation to become a nurse comes from a desire to help people, and the origin of that motivation is very personal.
“When I was 14 my grandma died of cancer, and I felt like I couldn’t do anything to help her,” said Solano. “That made me want to learn how to make people feel better. With nursing you are there to help people, but you also get to be there more as a friend, more than a doctor would, and I want to be there for people in that way.”
She has been working toward this goal ever since high school when she had the opportunity to take classes on medical terminology, pharmacology, and even had the opportunity to qualify as a patient care technician.
In fact, she was so motivated to get started that she began her post-secondary educational journey this year, despite not qualifying for TA.
“You have to be in for three years to use TA, but I didn’t want to wait so I decided to use financial aid and scholarships to get started until I get to three years,” said Solano. “But once I qualify for TA I’ll start using that.”
Whether she is helping Sailors solve pay and personnel issues or working towards achieving her goal of being able to help people when they’re feeling their worst, PS3 Solano will continue to excel in any role.