By Don Wagner March 23, 2017
FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (Army News Service) — Lt. Col. Tanya Renee Trout was abandoned at birth in Seoul, Korea, but adopted by a U.S. non-commissioned officer and his wife.
She came to the states at 4 months old and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1977.
Now she is the G-6 of the 36th Infantry Division, a National Guard unit headquartered at Camp Mabry, Texas, and one of her top priorities is to mentor future leaders of America.
“I enjoy mentoring young Soldiers and officers to help them reach their potential,” Trout said.
She spends a lot of time providing professional advice for her Soldiers’ military career and or civilian careers. In return, she feels that her Solders help her become a stronger leader.
As the division G-6, she is the principle officer responsible for advising the commander, staff, and subordinate leaders on all command, control, communications and computer operations, or C4OPS, and network operations, or NETOPS, along with information management matters.
“During my command, I would have mentoring sessions both one-on-one and in groups,” Trout said. “I had several women’s focused sessions about career development and complexities in the workforce. Even after leaving my command, I have been asked my several junior officers, NCOs and Soldiers to be their mentor and continue to provide them both formal and adhoc advice on a routine basis.”
“She is a charismatic, inspiring, caring, and thorough leader,” said former co-worker Capt. Jennifer Faulkner. “She brought a parental-like love to her command, demanding high-quality performance with unwavering compassion for Soldiers’ needs.”
A self-described Army brat whose family moved often, she said that she enjoyed moving around and traveling.
“While growing up, I was a typical overachiever.” Trout said. She was a cheerleader. She played softball and soccer. She was on the debating teams. She was a hospital volunteer, and even worked as a cashier at a grocery store.
Trout graduated from Buena High School in Sierra Vista, Arizona, in 1991. She accepted a four-year ROTC scholarship at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1996. She received a commission then as an officer in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. Trout was active-duty Army from 1996-2001 and transferred to the Texas Army National Guard in 2002. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in management army operations and national security from the University of Maryland.
In her civilian occupation, Trout is a director at Protiviti, a global consulting firm that she manages at the Winchester, Virginia branch. Though currently living in Frisco, Texas, she is planning to relocate to Winchester in the summer.
Trout said that while she was with Protiviti, she was the project manager supporting the company’s Executive Sponsor, Susan Haseley, in developing our company’s Diversity and Inclusion Initiative in 2011 and 2012. She added that she been active member in our Initiative for the Growth and Retention of Women at Work, or iGROWW and Veteran’s Network Groups. She also recently became the a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Champion’s Network for the Winchester office.
Trout said she is most proud of the opportunity of serving as the commander of the 136th Expeditionary Signal Battalion. There, she was responsible for more than 560 Soldiers dispersed across 23 locations in eight countries that included Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman providing communication operations support for Army Central Command units in the Middle East.
Trout believes that good leadership is setting the example.
“I always told Soldiers if they had to do it, then I did, too,” Trout said. “I always explained to Soldiers that my job is to enforce the Army standards and policies; and having the courage to always do the hard right instead of the easy wrong.”
Trout said that the most important Army values are personal courage and integrity. She believes that these values “go hand-in-hand” but warns Soldiers that these may be the most difficult to achieve.
“Lt. Col. Trout’s dedication and loyalty to the Soldiers and mission of the United States Army is irrefutable,” former Army co-worker and current Public Health Services Commander Mellissa Walkern said. “Her love and compassion for her family and friends transcends the bond typically developed in the military.
For those who want to join the Army, Trout tells them that diverse experiences will help them be better leaders, and added that the Army provides “so many professional opportunities.”
“Many people have asked me why I still serve and I tell them that I really do love it,” Trout said. I have been so fortunate. I have been able to maintain both my military and civilian careers and continue to get amazing opportunities to grow.”
“She challenged me every day and never let me settle for less than my best, Capt. Ragnar “Ace” Jamieson one of her company commanders during deployment to Operation Spartan Shield 2015-2016 said. “Her tutelage has helped mold me into the signal officer I am today. If I am fortunate enough to become a battalion commander, I hope to lead and accomplish the mission using the example she has set. Lt. Col. Trout is an incredible leader and I was fortunate to be one of her company commanders during deployment to Operation Spartan Shield 2015-2016.”
“I can’t imagine my life being any other,” said Trout. “Being able to have this dual role as a communications officer serving my country in support of emergency-relief and federal mobilizations in support of contingency operations and also being able to maintain a career in internet-technology consulting helping companies solve complex business problems.”