General grandma

Karen Wadsworth started working at the U Army ROTC back in 1986 after she realized she would have to go back to work to help her husband support their 13 children.

Now, 18 years later, her children have grown up, and Wadsworth is retiring from her position as Human Resource Assistant at the U Army ROTC department.

Lt. Colonel Edwin Fredrick of the U Army ROTC awarded Wadsworth the Superior Civilian Service Award on Jan. 27 for her service to the department.

Fredrick said Wadsworth’s dedication to the U program has greatly helped to improve the program over the years.

“Having served under nine professors of military science, (Wadsworth) has been through the ups and downs of the program at the (U),” he said. “Through it all, she has been one of the unsung heroes that make the organization run.”

Wadsworth said working for the ROTC was difficult at first because she had to leave her children at home and had little experience working for the military.

“(My fellow employees) were speaking English, but I didn’t understand what they were saying,” she said.

Through the years, Wadsworth said she grew more accustomed to the work and learned skills that would better suit her for the job.

Fredrick described Wadsworth as an essential part of the ROTC staff and said she is going to be hard to replace.

“Simply put, she is an expert in her field and her work reflects the expertise and effort she brings to the table,” he said.

Wadsworth comes from a family of military servicemen and two of her own children have served in the armed forces.

“I love the mission of the army,” she said.

Wadsworth said she is honored to have served such a long career at the ROTC and is proud of the current high enrollment in the program.

“My job is really just crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s, but it turned out to be much more than that,” she said.

Now Wadsworth says she is looking forward to a stress-free retirement and spending lots of time with her grandchildren.

“My main title is going to be grandma-maybe general grandma,” she said.