Marcia Anderson is the bankruptcy clerk of court for the Western District of Wisconsin. She also is the nation's first female African American major general in the U.S. Army Reserve. Her story and how she balances these two very different worlds are the themes of a new "Serving Our Courts, Serving Our Country" video, released by the United States Courts to honor Veterans Day 2012.
In the video, General Anderson said she sees similarities between her military and civilian staffs: "It's really easy for me to move between both worlds because in a sense they are kind of structured very similarly. I told my [court] staff one time that they remind me of a great bunch of NCO's...We have great people that work in our federal courts."
She adds that she is able to manage the two jobs by working her Blackberry during lunchtime and off hours, but that she must be ready for deployments on relatively short notice.
A graduate of Rutgers Law School and a self-described history buff, General Anderson also said she was humbled to learn she was the first African American woman to become a two-star general in the Army Reserve.
Anderson said she thinks of the Tuskegee Airmen, and African American soldiers in the Civil War and the American Revolution, "And the countless others that have, not just in the military but throughout their lives, really wanted more, but because of the circumstances of the time were not able to reach the heights that they personally felt they could and should have. I think of all those people and hope I'm what they were expecting when they had their dreams deferred."