Jill Troutner

“You come back and some things that your friend or your sister in law or your mother think that are really important as a woman, like that designer purse or that pair of shoes. They just don’t seem like they are worth very much, in the grand scheme of things when you are coming back from places where we are shipping bodies back home.”

Jill Troutner

If you want to understand what it’s like to be a woman in the military and some of the challenges of being a woman veteran, this episode will help.

This episode is with Jill Troutner. Jill grew up on White Earth Indian Reservation in Northern Minnesota and received a nomination to attend West Point to be an Army officer. Jill works with the Women Veterans Initiative as an advocate and admin.

We begin the episode on the biathlon range. Jill was a world class biathlete for the Minnesota National Guard and Army Sports Programs.

This conversation covers these topics:

  • How her small town prepared Jill for West Point
  • The challenges of being a young officer in the military
  • What a “Slam Book” is and how Jill found out that every woman on her installation was being secretly monitored, bet on, and targeted
  • Why chaplains were her most important resource
  • How to make a pop can land mine
  • Why the Women Veterans Initiative (WVI) exists
  • Kinds of discrimination and disrespect facing many women veterans
  • The WVI program called “Sister Assister”

Links to topics discussed on this episode:


Podcast theme music provided by Anthony Davis of Atmosphere, care of Rhymesayers Entertainment

Interludes provided by Rumble Music

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Thank you for helping us to fulfill our promise to those we send to fight wars on our behalf.

This community gets stronger and more resilient with every veteran that we reach.
Each one find one.
We do that and we will succeed.


Paul Riedner
Executive Director | Veteran Resilience Project
ResilienceMN Host/Producer