This Dover native has made it to the top of the Delaware Army National Guard

Hard work, determination and the guiding examples set by her parents have brought Dover native Angela F. Showell to the pinnacle of the Delaware Army National Guard.

Showell, 53, was promoted to the rank of colonel during ceremonies held June 7 in front of the Haslet Armory in Dover. Although no longer used by the Army National Guard, the locale was significant as it was the first place Showell worked after being commissioned in the Guard in 1987. She had previously served as an enlisted supply specialist in the U.S. Army Reserves.

Showell’s mother was one of her main inspirations while growing up in Dover, she said.

Hazel Showell Walker has had a four-decade career in education, including teaching in the Capital School District and as assistant superintendent of adult and community education for the state of Delaware.

“She ensured that her children participated in as many activities as possible and were exposed to the arts and culture while growing up,” Showell said.

She was first exposed to the military as the family lived across the street from the Fleming/Godwin Army Reserve Center in Dover.

“Every month I was fascinated seeing the reservists come out and perform their mission,” she said. “I didn’t know what they were doing at the time, but I was fascinated by it.

“The Army commercials at the time was ‘Be all you can be,’ and between that and the sense of adventure, I decided to enlist,” she said.

Although she’s served in many demanding positions, one of Showell’s proudest achievements is involving the Guard with the national Youth ChalleNGe program. The The program offers high school dropouts the chance to complete their education, albeit in a highly structured, military-styled environment.

“When [retired Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Francis Vavala] mentioned he’d been looking into the program over the years with an interest in mentoring young people, I got excited about establishing our program in Delaware,” she said.

Why is the Youth ChalleNGe program so important to you?

I can relate to it in a sense. Sometimes it’s difficult to know what you want to do in life. I went to Officer’s Candidate School, and that’s what motivated me to finish my degree. I think young people need to find their purpose before they understand where they want to go.

You’ve said your mother gave you and your siblings the drive to succeed. How?

She gave us that sense of self-confidence and self-worth She basically told us we could follow our dreams, that we could do whatever we set out to do if that’s where our hearts led us.

Do you consider yourself a pioneer in the Delaware Army National Guard?

I don’t know if I’d say that. There are so many women I look up to as role models in the Guard. On the one hand because we’re such a small organization, I know I’m a role model for others because I’ve been told I am, but if I hadn’t I don’t think I’d consider myself that.