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DEI Spotlight

Serving in the Armed Forces: Charlanae Matthews, Recruiting Specialist

Charlanae Matthews says that she often reminisces about her military experience where she developed many lasting friendships with people from various cultures across the globe. While reflecting on her past she stated, “My experience in the military has taught me to look at our country in a way that only veterans would understand.”

Lanae, former Navy Petty Officer Third Class, admits that she initially joined the U.S. Navy as a way to honor her father’s legacy, though she now recognizes that she also joined forces to have a stronger sense of belonging to a larger community, and be a part of the best team in the United States military.

Lanae said she enlisted with the U.S. Navy as a Reservist at age 18 and started in the “delayed entry program.” Doing so enabled her to attend the first semester in college with the understanding that she would join the Navy eight months later, starting with boot camp at the Great Lakes Naval Station near the Illinois/Wisconsin border. Later in her Navy career, Lanae was stationed at various Navy Operational Support Centers across the United States, including Chicago, IL; Indianapolis, IN; and Columbus, GA.

Lanae recalls her first week in boot camp, appropriately called hell week. In addition to the mental and physical anguish endured at that time, Lanae was expected to cut her hair—a hallmark of her appearance—as recruits could not have “long hair” that went past the shoulders prior to 2015…and she did. She had completed a total of eight years of service before deciding to hang up her “white Dixie cup” hat.

Lanae had her first child while an active Reservist and admitted that she wasn’t emotionally prepared for being separated from her baby, and that ultimately was the only reason she left the active duty. Though, it was during her time as a Navy Reservist that she joined another Union—the Department of Corrections. This was her first introduction to the legal field. She later attended and  graduated college, and started her career in the corporate world. Today, Lanae is a recruiting specialist at Litchfield Cavo LLP and has been in the legal field for more than four years.

Charlanae Matthews Veteran 2

Charlanae Matthews, Recruiting Specialist