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CAMP SMITH, New York --"Like father, like son" is the more popular expression used in the English language, but "like mother, like daughter" is the phrase Soldiers in the New York Army National Guard's 101st Expeditionary Signal Battalion will use this August.
For Spc. Alexandra Lippi, and her mother Sgt. Major Gina Lippi, service in the National Guard is a family thing. The two will deploy to Afghanistan this year with the Yonkers-based 101st Signal.
"I don't know exactly what 'it' is, but 'it' is in my blood," said Spc. Lippi, a newly trained signal soldier in Alpha Company, 101st ESB when asked why she decided to enlist in the New York National Guard like her mother did over 30 years ago.
Spc. Lippi, who was previously assigned to the New York Army National Guard's 466th Area Medical Company, said her mom inspired her to join and says there is a calmness in just knowing that she will have her mother in Afghanistan with her, who she can just talk to, who understands her.
For Sgt. Major Gina Lippi, there is is no greater way to serve than to know she inspired her daughter to serve too.
The two Lippi's resemble each other and possess the same mannerisms, same hair, same laugh and will both be on their first deployment.
Sgt. Maj. Lippi joined the military over 32 years ago. A lot of things have changed since then and definitely for the better, she said.
"The circumstances of 9/11 led to a more versatile force and soldiers are more experienced than ever before at understanding the changes of the world," Sgt. Major Lippi said.
"I wish the soldiers making up our ranks today stood in formation 30 years ago," she added.
"She is awesome, and we are friends, we talk and do lots of things together so why not serve or deploy together but it is about respect," the younger Lippi said.
"I respect her and this organization so much and do not want it to appear that just because my mother is a sergerant major I should receive special exceptions or take short cuts," she added.
[Sgt. Major Lippi] is stern, to the point, but always respectful and courteous. Her style and approach when dealing with soldiers in the S3 team is productive and enlightening, never divisive," said Capt. Frank Quintano, the 101st's operations officer. '
She would never show favoritism to any Soldier, daughter or not, he added.
"My primary focus is and has always been to take care of soldiers, it's something that I have been doing for three decades and the best way to take care of soldiers is to uphold standards and those standards apply to all wearing the uniform, especially my daughter," Sgt. Major Lippi said.
However, those standards shouldn't be a problem at all when referring or discussing the younger Lippi.
"Spc. Lippi absolutely exemplifies what it takes to be a soldier deploying to Afghanistan with this unit," said Company A, 101 ESB Plans and Operations NCO, Sgt. 1st Class Tracyann Stewart.
She reflects great ambition, military bearing and respect for others, all great traits and potential for being a leader, plus she wants to prove herself she added.
Sgt. Maj Lippi's son and Spc. Lippi's brother George also is in the New York National Guard. He serves in the 442 Military Police Company.
The 101st Signal Battalion was where she began her National Guard career, and it may be the unit she would like to retire from, Sgt. Major Lippi said.
"Definitely there is something special when you return to a unit that you joined with and now deploy with at the end of your career, Sgt. Major . Lippi said.
"I am deploying with the finest group of individuals I have served with, no exaggeration. My daughter is an incredible soldier and I have had a phenomenal career, what more could I ask for," she said.
"I am so grateful I have this opportunity so early in my career and all I have to do is apply everything I have been taught and make it second nature," Spc. Lippi, said.