Danville National Guard unit gets new commander

January 11, 2004|JIM LOGAN

Spend a few minutes with 1st Lt. Amy Bishop and it's easy to see how she worked her way up from an enlisted woman to her current position as the new commander of the National Guard unit in Danville.

A small, high-energy woman, she's a kind of administrative Army of one who exudes discipline, focus and action. And while her unit, the 410th Quartermaster Supply Company of the Kentucky National Guard, is a long way from Iraq, it's her job to make sure it's ready if called to serve.

Her biggest challenge?

"Making sure the troops are properly prepared for war," said Bishop, who will be promoted to captain in two weeks. "Training, soldiers skills, supply skills. Especially their soldier skills: How to fire your weapon, avoid contact with the enemy."

Bishop, who works full time as a computer specialist for the National Guard in Frankfort, already has a fierce sense of duty toward the 92 Guardsmen under her.


This week, 10 people in her unit went to Iraq with the 2123rd Transportation Company out of Bowling Green. She understood why they went, but she'd rather keep the unit together - and with her in charge.

"I'm not in command of the 2123rd, so I can't watch out for my soldiers," said Bishop, 36. "I hated the fact that they had to pull them because I want to go somewhere as a whole unit. If we get deployed I want to go with all my guys intact, and they're going with somebody else they don't know.

But, she said, "That's the new Army. When they don't have enough folks for their deployment, they pull from wherever they can."

An 18-year veteran, Bishop spent her first 13 years in the enlisted ranks. She graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in accounting, then had a change of heart about the field.

"I decided at the end of my tenure at the University of Kentucky ... that I really didn't want to be an accountant," she said. "It's good basic skills, though. Especially being a logistics officer, being a quartermaster officer."

What she's not counting enough of these days is recruits.

"You would think that because of the war people would be patriotic and wanting to come in," she said. "Actually most of the kids, though, that would want to come in, their parents have to sign for them, and their parents are like, 'I'm not sending my babies into wartime.' "

War or peace, Bishop is happy to be in Danville.

"It's a great unit to be in," she said.

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