Juggling is not just a performance we see in the circus anymore. Women are changing the role of the modern-day woman. Juggling, being a mother of two and a military spouse is no easy task.
But Bobbi Pack, wife of Sgt. Michael Pack, a cryptologic linguist with Company A, 319th Military Intelligence Battalion, 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, makes the balancing act look easy. Not only does she balance her home life, but she also balances her career with SargesList.com.
Pack ‘wears’ three different hats within the California-based, military affiliated website — local manager, marketing assistant, and Boots on the Ground program manager.
SargesList.com is a website designed to be a one-stop shop for military Families offering military spousal employment services, classifieds and information on permanent change of duty station. It is powered by R & B Communications, the technology team that develops and maintains the Automated Housing Referral Network, sponsored by the Department of Defense allowing servicemembers to find housing at duty stations around the world, said Lisa Klinkhammer, chief executive officer of SargesList.
“Working for this company was a great fit for me because they understand the importance of Family, and I’m able to balance everything by putting Family first,” said Pack. “It feels great to know that I can have a career and still be an active mom by attending my kids’ school functions.”
Military Families, much like Families across America have felt the effects of a sluggish economy. According to Department of Defense officials, 26 percent of military spouses are unemployed and 25 percent receive lower wages than their civilian co-workers.
“It’s a tough job market for anybody, regardless if they are military spouses or not. But being a military spouse and trying to find jobs is even more of a challenge because our resumes are so choppy due to PCS (permanent change of station), which leaves employers with a stigma of hiring military,” said Pack.
The stress of finding a job after a PCS move accounts for a huge financial strain on military Families.
SargesList is paired with USAJobs.com and other civilian employers on and around military installations to help combat the stigma of hiring a military spouse, said Pack.
“We have a job category on the website which helps provide job listing for veterans and military spouses,” said Klinkhammer.
“I spend three to four hours a day working on the website because every day is something different and being able to oversee the Fort Bragg portion of the website is amazing,” Pack explained.
“The website gets a lot of positive feedback from spouses because they feel they know what’s going on in the community,” she added.
“SargesList helped me identify the happenings on base since it is updated daily,” said Chrissy White, wife of Sgt. David White, a Soldier with 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. “The website also offered a guide to PCSing that I plan to use in the upcoming months to make my transition smoother.”
Pack helped write the PCS guide that is on the website from her personal experience which has the advantage that it’s written by military spouses for military spouses.
“The guide is help from A to Z and even recommends a checklist to keep things prioritized,” said Pack. “Regardless if you are a ‘veteran’ spouse who has been PCSing for 20 years, or a spouse who is new to the military lifestyle; it always helps to have a guide.”
The aim for the PCS guide was to consolidate the information so users feel they don’t have to look anywhere else; the information is right at their fingertips, said Klinkhammer.
Pack also manages the classifieds section of Fort Bragg’s SargesList.
“This is a website that military and spouses can feel safe to post listings for items they want to sell within the Fort Bragg community,” said Pack.
“In preparing for our PCS to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, we decided to sell one of our vehicles. I advertised my car on SargesList and was able to sell it to another military Family on Fort Bragg,” said White.
This is one of many Families Pack has helped as she balances her duties at home. Her contribution to SargesList has helped numerous Fort Bragg Soldiers and Families.
“Bobbi is a great asset to the company,” said Klinkhammer. “I don’t know what I would do without her. She wears so many hats and is always willing to do more for the website.”