Born on November 2, 1974, in Luanda, Angola, to parents of Portuguese descent, Raquel A. Pacheco spent the first ten years of her life living in the countries of Portugal, Spain and Morocco. At the age of ten, she moved to Connecticut where she attended the University of Connecticut and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Studies. In 1993 Raquel joined the CT Army National Guard and in 1995 became the first woman to be recognized as “Soldier of the Year” in the history of the State’s Army National Guard. Her military accomplishments are represented by various distinguished awards including: the Department of the Army “The Army Achievement Medal” (January 3, 1995), Department of the Army and the Air Force National Guard Bureau “Command Sergeant Major’s Award (January 29, 1995), Department of the Army First United States Army Command Sergeant Major’s Award (March 11, 1995), Department of the Army “The Army Commendation Medal” (October 19, 1995), Department of the Army “Certificate of Achievement”(December 5, 1998), among others.
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