First African American Unit Administrator 1122nd Transportation Company

Sergeant First Class (SFC) Marilyn E. Matthews:

SFC Matthews was born in Monticello, Arkansas. She attended Monticello High School and graduated from McKinley High School, St. Louis, Missouri in 1969. Upon graduating from High School, SFC Matthews studied at Fontbonne Women’s College, St. Louis, State Community College, East St. Louis, Illinois and finally University of Arkansas at Monticello.

On June 8, 1982, SFC Matthews joined the 1122nd Transportation Company, Arkansas Army National Guard in Monticello. Her first assignment was Unit Clerk for the Company. In January 1983, she completed Basic Combat Training (BCT) at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and Advanced Individual Training (AIT) in March 1983 at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana.

On October 3, 1983, then, PFC Marilyn Matthews, was hired as the First African American Female to be employed as a Unit Administrator with the 1122nd Transportation Company, Arkansas Army National Guard. Shortly thereafter, the Unit Administrator’s position titles were changed to Unit Clerks. She remained with the 1122nd Transportation Company until January 1988, and later transferred to the Department of Personnel Administration (DPA), STARC (-), Camp Robinson as a SIDPERS Data Analyst. Her military assignment was in Company A (Admin), 39th Infantry Brigade (Separate), Little Rock.

On September 12, 1989, SFC Matthews was transferred to the 119th Personnel Service Company, Camp Robinson and later mobilized with the 119th Personnel Service Company to Fort Sill, Oklahoma in support of Operation Desert Storm. In August 1993, she was reassigned to Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel (DCSPER) as a SIDPERS Data Analyst, STARC (-). While assigned to STARC (-), SFC Matthews other duties included Personnel Records Specialist and Training Noncommissioned Officer (NCO). In 2000, SFC Matthews was transferred to the Arkansas National Guard Recruiting Command as an Administrative NCO.

SFC Matthew’s professional military education includes Unit Administration Course, National Guard Professional Education Center (NGPEC), Camp Robinson, Primary Leadership Development Course (PLDC); Fort Sill, Oklahoma, 75F Personnel Information System Management Course, NGPEC, Camp Robinson, Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course, (BNCOC), Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and Advanced Noncommissioned Officer Course (ANCOC), Camp Ball, Louisiana.

Her awards and decorations include Meritorious Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Component Achievement Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Arkansas Service Ribbon, Arkansas Commendation Medal, Arkansas Emergency Service Ribbon, and the Recruiting Badge.

SFC Matthews retired on August 31, 2005, with over 23 years of distinguished military service. After retirement, SFC Matthews worked for the Arkansas Army National Guard Recruit Sustainment Program as a Civilian Contractor with SERCO Group. Currently, SFC Matthews serves as Chaplain of the Michael Van Johnson, Jr. American Legion Post 74, North Little Rock. She is also a member of Calvary Baptist Church of McAlmont where she serves on the Mother’s Ministry. Previously she has served as Sunday School Superintendent, Sunday School Secretary, Teacher, and former choir member for the Church. In the past, SFC Matthews volunteered with the Clinton Presidential Library. She enjoys reading and listening to music. SFC Mattews resides in Sherwood, Arkansas and she has a daughter and one grandchild.