Women's History Month Ep. 4: Women in the Armed Forces

In honor of Women’s History Month, Knours is celebrating the stories of several incredible women from all walks of life. As a female-founded, women-run business, we think it’s important to hear the stories of the women in our communities. In these conversations, we explore each woman’s career path, what empowers them, what womanhood means to them, and more. We hope you enjoy these glimpses into their lives and that you celebrate the women in your lives today and every day! (These interviews will also be on our Instagram Stories all week and will be saved on our account so you can view them at any time.)

This week's featured woman is Joy Castro, a Sergeant in the US Army. A New Jersey native, Joy has been serving since 2015 and is currently stationed in North Carolina with her husband and their three dogs and two birds, who are all named after Dragonball Z characters. Joy’s hobbies include cooking, going to the gym, hiking with her dogs, and investing.

As a Sergeant, Joy oversees soldiers in their daily tasks and sets an example for others. In addition to holding this leadership role, she is also an Automated Logistical Specialist (92A). Some of her responsibilities include managing inventory of equipment and supplies, keeping accurate stock records and maintaining reports, reviewing documents related to warehouse operations, and overseeing the collection and use of maintenance data. Keep reading to learn more about Joy’s experience in the armed forces!

1.  What is it like being a woman in the armed forces? What are some hardships you face?

Before joining the Army, I didn’t have a serious plan and felt so much financial burden from student loans. So I took a leap of faith and joined the Army after I found out that the military pays for education. There are pros and cons with the military but it’s important to focus on the positive and use all the resources (free education, free healthcare, etc.) that are provided by the military. I’ve also had the opportunity to travel the world and meet new people and culture[s]. I have friends all over the states and different countries thanks to the military!

2.  What does your day to day look like? 

Every weekday I wake up at 4:30am to get ready for Physical Readiness Training (PRT). I salute the flag at 6:30am with my company, and start PRT with my platoon or squad until 7:45am. PRT helps build Soldiers’ strength, power, speed and agility. From 9:00am to 5:00pm, I will be doing my daily duties as an Automatic Logistic Specialist (92A). 6:30pm I will get home and get ready for the gym. The rest of the evening is spent with my husband and animals. 

3.  What is your greatest motivation? 

My greatest motivation comes from a lot of my female seniors and peers. Although the military is a male dominated career, I’ve seen so many strong and powerful female service members in leadership roles! With that motivation I was able to work hard to get my promotion as Sergeant. It’s nice to have role models to rely on and keep me accountable. 

Only 16% of the U.S. military services are women so it’s important to uplift and look out for each other. Military is a Team and we never leave another comrade behind. 

4.  What advice would you give to a young woman who is thinking about joining the armed forces?

Advice I would give to future service members is to choose a military career that excites and will challenge you. There are many jobs within the military, example: if you want to work in the medical field, be a Combat Medic (68W). If you like working on cars, be a Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic (91B).

5.  How has your skin health been affected by your job? How do you care for your skin?

The best feeling is taking off my boots and uniform and going into my shower to wash off my day. I’ve put more effort into my skincare and [have] invest[ed] in my skincare products, since my skin has be[come] more sensitive over time. With all the traveling and exposure from the sun and dirt, my skin was prone to break outs. I’ve noticed that changing my skincare to simple and quality products made a huge impact on my skin. 

6.  What is your favorite Knours Product?

I love to use Your Only Facial Cleanser. The cleanser goes from oil to foam which helps take off makeup and dirt without stripping the skin. 

7.  What is one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?

Advice to my younger self: Some things are out of your control so go with the flow, I promise everything will be okay. Just take it one day at a time.

8.  What makes you feel empowered as a woman? What does womanhood mean to you?

Womanhood is much more than physical appearance or social expectations. In the military, female service members experience gender discrimination and may not be [as] equal as male counterparts, but women still continue to serve and break barriers in combat. My empowerment comes from those who serve with me and before me.