Kathleen Reedy has a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the University of Edinburgh (undergrad from Penn State) and has previously lived and worked in both Egypt and Syria. After graduating, she deployed to Iraq (Diyala for 5 months) and Afghanistan (Khost, Paktiya, Paktika for 15 months) as a Social Scientist to help the U.S. Military and various civilian leaders understand the local cultures and societies. She focused largely on issues of local governance and how to improve it, gathering her information by going out on regular patrols with Platoons. She has several publications pending from that research and hopes to publish a book on her experiences.
She found that in many ways, one of the most difficult parts of deploying was understanding her fellow Americans. She had spent considerable time studying Middle Eastern and Central Asian life, so she roughly knew what to expect. However, though she shared a common language, the world of Soldiers is very different from academia (sometimes) and she learned as much or more about that culture as she did about Afghan or Iraqi.
When not chasing adrenaline rushes, her other hobbies include martial arts and wine and scotch tasting.