Military Profile - Glenna 'Maria' Davis-Johnson
In what branch of the military did you or do you serve?
What is your rank?
Petty Officer 2nd Class
What led you to join the military?
Travel — and I did! I lived in Sicily, Italy, and flew all over Europe as aircrew. I was an aviation metalsmith and hydraulics mechanic, and worked on prop, turbo-prop, and jet aircraft and helicopters.
What is the most valuable lesson you've gained from your military service?
It's helped me at YPG having first-hand experience “in the field.” I learned to work with people from all walks of life, and social and ethnic backgrounds. Some of those friendships became life-long.
What are some medals, commendations, citations or other military honors you are proud of having earned?
I had a Good Conduct Medal and an Expeditionary Medal for assisting in the rescue of survivors in the Beirut barracks bombing. That medal was kind of hush-hush at the time for myself as the airframes and hydraulic mechanic and one of our female pilots. Women were not supposed to be in combat zones, but we were utilized in a crisis moment and both awarded the medal.
What would be your advice to someone considering or planning a career in the military?
Indeed, I would (recommend military service). I tested three times during the Vietnam War and someone always talked me out of enlisting. I was 26 by the time I finally signed on the dotted line. When I first enlisted, we didn't get the kind of support the troops do today, so I'm thrilled that has changed through the past couple of decades.
What are your hobbies and interests?
My hobbies are photography, coin collecting, watching pro soccer, football, baseball and central California coast wine tasting.
Immediate family members?
My son Nathan Johnson, is a licensed radiology technician. He worked for TRAX (at Yuma Proving Ground) for 6 years before voluntarily deploying to Afghanistan for a year as a contracted aerostat operator, and then returned to YPG still working in that position (for a contractor).