From the Liberian capital Monrovia, Melva Crouch oversaw the movements of 1200 vehicles, 25 aircraft and a ship, and the logistics involved with feeding, supplying and transporting 19,000 multinational troops and staff.
Named this week as the newest addition to the University of Wollongong executive, the South Australian-born former United Nations staffer isn't expecting life on campus to be too much slower.
"I expect I won't get the call at midnight on a Sunday asking me to send body bags - that will be a good thing," said Ms Crouch, the university's new chief administrative officer.
"But whether you're supporting a garrison in Australia or troops on the move overseas, support services doesn't change that much. You're still expected to be very responsive and know your clients very well."
In the past 10 years Ms Crouch has served in UN peacekeeping missions to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and Western Sahara. The work followed more than 25 years in the Australian Army, during which time Ms Crouch rose to the rank of colonel.
The Liberian posting, in 2005 during the country's first fully free and fair election, produced one of her proudest career moments.
There were ballot boxes that needed transporting to "the middle of nowhere" - sometimes carried in on the heads of soldiers - and voting venues to find, equip with basic services and secure as much as possible against the possibility of violent dissent.
On the morning of the election, Ms Crouch watched a queue of voters form - still hours before polling was to open at 8am.
"The [Liberians] lined up at the polling booths in the fog at 6am, at considerable risk to themselves," she said.
"It really makes you appreciate what a truly fantastic thing you're involved in. Free and fair elections in ... a country that's been at war for 20 years is an amazing thing."
There wasn't the money for Ms Crouch - the second-eldest of six children - to attend university as a teenager so instead she joined the Army after graduating from high school in Adelaide.
She went on to study part-time throughout her career, clocking up a Bachelor of Business (HR management), Graduate Diploma in Asian Studies and Masters of Arts (International Relations).
The latter opened the door to the UN, and cemented her belief in the importance of tertiary education.