Sergeant First Class Tara D. Helmick hails from Iowa City, Iowa, and enlisted in the Army in May 2003 after graduation from high school where she was active in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC). She attended Basic Training at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina, and Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Redstone Arsenal, in Huntsville, Alabama, earning the occupational specialty as an Ammunition Specialist (89B). Upon completion of AIT, she attended Airborne School at Ft. Benning, Georgia, and earned the parachutists badge.
She has served the Army in many challenging leadership positions: Squad Leader, Personal Security Detail/Convoy Team Leader, Ammunition Supply Sergeant, Detachment Operations Sergeant, Joint Operations Task Force (JSOTF) Ammunition Manager, Ammunition Supervisor, Platoon Sergeant, and Ammunition Logistics Noncommissioned Officer.
Sergeant First Class Helmick has deployed twice to Afghanistan in support of Consolidation I and III, once in Iraq in support of Operation Sovereignty and Operation New Dawn, and twice in support of U.S. Africa Command’s Joint Special Operations Task Force in Djibouti.
Sergeant First Class Helmick served at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, with the 307th Forward Support Battalion (FSB), 1st Brigade Combat Team, before transferring to the 82nd Airborne Division, Sustainment Brigade. Later she moved to Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), and then to XVIII Airborne Corps, 82nd Sustainment Brigade, prior to assuming her current position in June 2016.
She completed Warrior Leaders Course (WLC), Advance Leaders Course (ALC), Equal Opportunity Leaders Course, Combatives Level 1, Advanced Tactical Driving Course, Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape (SERE), Operational Contracting Course, Mobile Force Protection Course, Counter-Surveillance Training, Battle Staff, Air Movement Control, Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education I, and Senior Leaders Course (SLC).
Sergeant First Class Helmick has a Bachelor's Degree in Organizational Management and Logistics, and is pursuing her Master’s Degree in Business Administration and Management.
Her awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Army Good Conduct Medal with fourth bronze device, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one campaign star, Iraq Campaign Medal with two campaign stars, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon with numeral 3 device, Army Service Ribbon, and the Overseas Service Ribbon with numeral 2 device. She also earned the Parachutist Badge, Drivers Badge and a Meritorious Unit Commendation.