Jacquie’s Corner: Veterans Day and My Contribution

Jacqueline M. Ruffino-Platt

Jacqueline M. Ruffino-Platt

The year was 1972 when I moved from New Jersey to Northern Virginia. My first apartment was in Arlington, close to Fort Myer Army Base. Each morning I woke with the sounds of Reveille and in the evening the beautiful bugle sounds of “Taps.” I followed my senses and interest in the federal government and entered as a Grade GS-4 with the Navy Department. I was fortunate with the opportunities received, and I continued to reach out with other positions and increase my salary at the same time. By then, my interest steered me to join the Naval Reserve. Many phone calls later, I was scheduled to meet with a panel of Naval personnel at a Reserve Center in Alexandria, Va. I felt a little anxious and not certain this was the right road to embark upon at my age. My interview was on the following Saturday, and when I arrived at this building, I was escorted to a room and introduced to active-duty Naval personnel, one Navy captain, two Navy commanders, and two lieutenants. I sat down in a vacant chair and tried to quiet my knees from shaking. They all introduced themselves by name and rank, and I nervously spoke my name and my rank. Many questions were fired at me, and my answers were simple and to the point. Two weeks after my meeting, I received a call to come to the Reserve Center to meet with the Navy captain of the command, which went well. I was measured for uniforms. Paperwork completed, uniforms ordered, and was informed to go home and wait for my orders.

Three weeks passed, and I received a call from the Reserve Center. “Miss Ruffino, please report to this Command Center this coming Saturday.” When I arrived, my uniform was ready and my orders were given to me without a batting of an eye. “You will be leaving in two days to attend a training center for two weeks in New Orleans, La.” Our instructors were very well educated and made our assignment a lot less of a strain. I managed to get through our classes, and I received an outstanding award for my studies, my attendance, and my allegiance. When my tour of duty was up at the end of each two consecutive years, I extended my service for another tour, which led to a total of 10 years that I served. I had many assignments, Special Active Duty drills. On occasion, I reported to Active Duty requiring a Top Secret Clearance.

Completed all my required course assignments.

I was honored to have received the United States Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal. My government career with the Department of the Navy as a civilian employee gave me many opportunities, assignments, and responsibilities in different areas and locations. I retired after 24 years of service as a Management Consultant for the Auditor General of the Navy.

To this day, I am very happy and feel special to have served my country, the United States of America.