First African American Female Awarded The 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team Bowie Knife

Master Sergeant (MSG) Kira S. Sharkey:

MSG Sharkey was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. She graduated from Little Rock Mills University Studies High School in 2000. She earned a Bachelor of General Studies degree from Columbia College in 2011.

MSG Sharkey joined the Arkansas National Guard on September 11, 2000. She attended Basic Combat Training (BCT) at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. MSG Sharkey started her military career as an Intelligence Analyst in Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC), 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT). She was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II with HHC, 39th IBCT as an Intelligence Sergeant in 2004. In 2006, a year after returning to home station, she was hired in the Active Guard/Reserve (AGR) program as a Human Resources Sergeant in the 39th Infantry Brigade’s S1 Section. In 2008, MSG Sharkey was deployed to Iraq for the second time as a Human Resources Staff Sergeant.

In March of 2017, MSG Sharkey was selected by the 39th IBCT Intelligence Officer (S2), Major Wesley Dumas, to serve a dual role as the First Sergeant for Company B, 39th Brigade Special Troops Battalion (MICO) and the Brigade Senior Intelligence Noncommissioned (NCO) during their yearlong deployment to Kosovo; a Sergeants Major position that was performed by MSG Sharkey as a Sergeant First Class. After redeployment, she was reassigned to the 239th Brigade Engineer Battalion’s S1 position. In September 2019, MSG Sharkey accepted the S1, NCOIC position in the 39th IBCT. She became the First African American Female assigned as the Personnel Services Noncommissioned Officer for the 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

MSG Sharkey professional military training includes the Military Intelligence Analyst Course, TATS Primary Leadership Development Course, Human Resources Course; Information Assurance Security Officer Certification Course, Human Resources Basic NCO Course, Human Resources Specialist Senior Leader Course, DOD Sensitive Compartmented Information Security Official Course, Battle Staff NCO Course, Master Resilience Trainer Course, Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education I and II, Unmanned Aircraft Systems Unit Commander and Staff Leader’s Course, Mission Command Digital Master Gunner Course, Master Leader Course, and the Army Sexual Harassment Assault Response and Prevention Academy.

She has received numerous awards and decorations including the Meritorious Service Medal (2nd Award), Army Commendation Medal (3rd Award), Army Achievement Medal (2nd Award), Army Good Conduct Medal (6th Award), Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal (2nd Award), National Defense Service Medal (2nd Award), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Armed Forced Reserve Medal, NATO Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Noncommissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon (4th Award), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (4th Award), Armed Forced Reserve Medal with M Device (3rd Award), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medel, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Combat Action Badge, Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star and the COL Robert L. Manning Achievement Medal (AGCRA). In September 2021, she was the third in the state of Arkansas to receive the Military Intelligence “Thomas Knowlton Award” and first African American Female awarded the 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team Bowie Knife.

MSG Sharkey’s military memberships include Military Intelligence Corps Association, United Status Adjutant General’s Corps, and the Enlisted Association of the National Guard (EANGUS). She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and Kappa Epsilon Psi Military Sorority, Incorporated. Her hobbies are candle making, photography and reading urban fantasy novels.