From the Prairie to the Pentagon by Denise Jelinski-Hall
From the Prairie to the Pentagon: The Inspiring Story of the Airman Who Achieved the Highest Position Ever Held by an Enlisted Woman in U.S. Military History by Denise Jelinski-Hall
Raised on a farm in Central Minnesota, Denise Jelinski-Hall attended a one-room country school through fifth grade and never dreamed of opportunities beyond her rural community. After graduating from high school, she took an assembly-line job as a seamstress, then became a teller at the local bank. Although she wanted to pursue higher education, college wasn’t an option. A chance observation by a member of the Minnesota Army National Guard changed her life forever: “I see so much more potential in you, Denise. Why don’t you join the Air Force and get out of this town?” Over the next three decades, Denise rose through the ranks, ultimately serving as the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. She achieved the highest position ever held by an enlisted woman in the history of the U.S. military. Denise’s memoir demonstrates what one person can achieve with a strong work ethic and desire to serve. It is a timeless American story of success, determination, perseverance, and faith.