Name: Theresa Hiller
Position: Manager of Nuclear Security Operations, Oconee Nuclear Station
Not many people can say they’ve literally ridden off into the sunset, but Theresa Hiller, a Nuclear Security manager at Oconee Nuclear Station and retired U.S. Army major, can relate as she recalled her time in the U.S. Army Reserve.
“During my change of command ceremony as outgoing Company Commander at the Clemson Signal Company, my unit bought me a saddle with a plaque as a going away gift. One of my lieutenants brought a horse to the ceremony and unveiled the saddle. Then, I rode off on the horse and saddle. And, I still have the saddle, but didn’t get to keep the horse,” Hiller joked. “There was a TV station there to capture the whole thing."
Currently the manager of Nuclear Security Operations at Oconee, Hiller is responsible for protecting one of the most secure and well-protected facilities in the world. Managing four captains and 13 lieutenants, her goal is to protect the station, its employees and the general public.
Out of high school, Hiller was recruited by her best friend’s mother to join the U.S. Army Reserve as a private, and went to basic training at Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C.
“From there, I went to the University of South Carolina and completed its ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) program, and I got my commission as an officer,” she said.
Hiller worked her way through the ranks both militarily and professionally, joining the Oconee team as a Security officer 34 years ago. During this time, she served in multiple positions in the Army Reserve, in several states, at the company, battalion and command level. She retired from the Army Reserve after 26 years, with her last assignment as an assistant inspector general in the 335th signal command in College Park, Ga.
“I think my work ethic and my military background helped me get to where I am today,” she said of her career. “I like structure and comradery of the military and of nuclear security. I’ve always been in positions that have been male dominated. I’ve always tried harder so that I could exceed expectations.
"I try to give it my utmost.”