BLOOMINGTON (WEEK) - Emotions were high in Bloomington Sunday as families said goodbye to their beloved soldiers headed to Washigton D.C.
"I'm nervous and excited at the same time," said Illinois Army National Guard Cyber Technician, Cory Robinson. "With leaving family I'm kind of nervous, I'm hoping the extended family can support things at home, otherwise excited to start a new experience."
The Illinois Army National Guard's 176th Cyber Protection Team conducted their mobilization service for the Task Force Echo 5 Mission, which is a federal mission in support of the M.I. in U.S. Cyber Command under Army Cyber.
Robinson from Peoria said this year their work has become even more vital.
"You know with 2020 and as we continue to progress beyond a secure internet and securing the data that we have, it's only going to become more important," said Robinson. "Civilian companies have already put a large focus on that and the military has already been transitioning and its exciting to be apart of that continued transition."
The team has grown over the past three years, starting off with 4 guardsman and growing to the 24 they have headed to D.C. for a 400 day mobilization.
The Commander of the troop always dreamed of following in her fathers footsteps, who was a Commander Sergeant Major for 42 years before retiring, and she did just that.
"It's phenomenal to get to this position," said Major Team Lead for the 176 Cyber Protection Team, Jaime Marlock. "You know in the army as a whole, there not as many female leaders and I think we are getting better and hopefully other females follow behind."
After 17 years of service work, she says it all comes down to determination and hard work.
"I don't really look at the gender male versus female," said Marlock. "For others to be out there and see anybody can do this if you put in the time and the work, anyone can be in there and I hope with our team they look at me just like any other operator."