The Impact of Career Suppression and Poor Leadership On The Morale of A Female Sailor: Pooja's Story

01 Aug 2023 • 52 min • EN
52 min
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This episode of the Female Veterans Podcast I am joined by a shipmate of mine, Pooja, who served with me at my command for a few years. Pooja was staff on the ward of the Naval Hospital and in the fleet. Pooja reflects on  her experiences of sexual harassment, assault, and unfair treatment in the military. She also discusses the challenges faced by veterans, including misdiagnosis and denial of medical benefits. She emphasizes the importance of sharing the unglamorous aspects of military service and the significance of forming strong connections with fellow veterans. In this conversation, Pooja is candid about transitioning to civilian life. She shares insights into the challenges faced within the military system, the importance of support for veterans, and the significance of understanding civilian politics.You do not want to miss this one! Big News: The Female Veterans Podcast is coming to YouTube! Like, Share and Subscribe! Go to to become a guest, or leave your email if you would like to keep in touch and receive the newsletter that is starting soon! Don't forget to follow me on Instagram: @thefemaleveteranspodcast. Please spread the word! Share! Some Key Points: 1. Pooja initially tried to fail the ASVAB but ended up scoring high enough to join the Navy at 17. 2. Both Pooja and I were surprised by the lax atmosphere of the hospital corpsman training compared to other branches of the military. 3. We  discuss their decision to choose Great Lakes as their next duty station in order to stay together with friends. 4. The combination of sexual harassment and a toxic relationship ultimately pushed her friend to attempt suicide. 5. Despite her negative experiences, the narrator was determined to complete her service but ultimately decided to leave and pursue her education. 6. The lasting impact of experiencing trauma and dealing with horrible leadership within the military. 7. After leaving the military, there was a big transition. Pooja worked in various roles including phlebotomy and tech support. 8. Career progression post-military: Pooja describes her stagnant career trajectory, working in phlebotomy, tech support, and customer service before deciding to pursue a new field in psychology.   9.  Burned bridges in the job market: Pooja discusses the competitive biotech industry in San Diego, mentioning the consequences of burning bridges and the impact it had on their job search. - "I had nobody watching me... I didn't always make the right choices because I didn't know, you know, I was so naive." - "We made this agreement that we were all gonna pick Great Lakes... Because we knew the rumor was nobody wanted to be at Great Lakes." 1. "We tried very hard to do something... I literally watched her change as a person... she like deteriorated... I practically begged her." 2. "If your immediate supervisor doesn't take action, you go above them... You go above your supervisor, you're targeted... Then you're a problem, you're trouble." 2. "That episode was the first one that I ever did where I actually read...I broke down crying so hard that I could not continue the episode." Note: The transcript contains multiple speakers, so it is not always clear who is speaking in each quote. 7. "I appreciate you guys for listening and sticking with me all these years... every story matters and it's important that we share them and that we support each other." Follow Pooja IG: @Lifewithpooj

From "The Female Veterans Podcast"

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