As the 3rd Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chief of the National Guard Bureau―a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff―Denise Jelinski-Hall achieved the highest position ever held by an enlisted woman in U.S. Military history.
A Timeless American Story of Determination, Perseverance, and Faith.
Raised in Central Minnesota, Denise Jelinski-Hall attended a one-room country school through fifth grade and never dreamed of opportunities beyond her rural community. 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?” Through hard work and determination, Denise rose through the ranks of the United States Air Force, ultimately accomplishing what no other enlisted woman has achieved to this date.
This is a story of an American woman’s incredible journey that has never been told before because her accomplishments had never before been achieved.
3rd Senior Enlisted Advisor to the National Guard Bureau
A Living History. From February 2010 to June 2013, Denise served as the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chief of the National Guard Bureau—the highest position ever held by an enlisted woman in U. S. Military history. More . . .
United States Department of Defense Superior Service Medal
A Lifetime of Service. This award is presented in the name of the Secretary of Defense to members of the United States Armed Forces who perform “superior meritorious service in a position of significant responsibility.” More . . .
John C. Maxwell Transformational Leadership Award
A Lifelong Learner. Denise is the model of a transformational leader who is making a difference, doing something that makes a difference, with people who make a difference, at a time that makes a difference. More . . .
The strength of our military is in the volunteers who wear our nation’s uniform. This book shows you why. From humble beginnings built on a work ethic and a passion for success, Denise takes you through the events and decisions that led her to serve as the first female Senior Enlisted Advisor to the National Guard Bureau. Her story will inspire military and corporate leaders alike—as well as anyone committed to servant-leadership.
“Chief Jelinski-Hall redefines standards and shatters glass ceilings as she awakens the Spirit of America and proves the impossible possible.” —Suzanne Vares-Lum,Brigadier General Army National Guard
My blog is a forum for conversations about the issues affecting our veterans, our military members, and their families—especially the spouses who so faithfully support our Armed Forces. I will also focus my thoughts on the trials and triumphs of women leaders in the workplace. I travel extensively, but will always do my best to keep up with your thoughts, advice, and guidance.
I’m thankful for all the volunteers that came out to support “Wreaths Across America”. It was humbling to see young, old, disabled, service members, veterans, and civilians grace the headstones of veterans across America with a beautiful wreath. A handful…
What an honor it was speaking with the patriotic members of the Colorado Springs “Kinnikinnik” Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. They embrace the principles of Patriotism, Education, and Historical Preservation. These women have given thousands of hours…
It was with deep sadness that I read yesterday where we lost another National Guard Warrior in the war on terror. Utah Army National Guard Major Brent Taylor was killed on November 3rd in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, in…
“Throughout her life journey, Denise has demonstrated magnificently how to balance between her military and civilian careers, while being a mother to her children, a wife to her military husband, and a role model for leadership in the corporate world.”
—Kenneth Preston, 13th Sergeant Major of the Army (Retired), and Vice President, NCO and Soldier Programs Association of the United States Army (AUSA)
“A journey like no other—with challenges around every turn of her history-making adventure to the Pentagon. I am proud to have worked side-by-side with her while leading the men and women of the National Guard of the United States!”
—Richard J. Burch, Command Sergeant Major (Ret.),9th Command Sergeant Major, Army National Guard
Relying on an unstoppable work ethic and a “never give up, never quit” attitude, Denise Jelinski-Hall achieved what no other woman in the history of the United States Armed Forces has ever accomplished”! —General Craig R. McKinley, U.S. Air Force (Ret), 26th Chief of the National Guard Bureau
“Chief Jelinski-Hall’s story portrays the true “American Spirit” upon which this Great Nation has been forged. Born from humble beginnings, and through hard work, dedication, and the fervor to succeed, she exemplifies the belief that anything is possible. Her patriotism, warrior ethos, and faith epitomize what it takes to be a true leader at the highest levels.”
—Darryll Wong, Major General (Ret.), Hawai’i Adjutant General, United States Air Force
“Her humbly described success should be a guide for thousands of young women and men, especially women, showing that they too can achieve their dreams, or the highest levels of military leadership, by following her reflections and guidance.” —General Frank Grass, a Citizen Soldier and 27th Chief of the National Guard Bureau