News: 1st TSC Sisters in Arms builds trust through mentorship
Story by Staff Sgt. Josephine Ampley
FORT BRAGG, N.C. – There was a time when women were not allowed to serve alongside their brothers in arms. With the changes in today’s Army, women are now able to have a critical role in combat which was once only open to men.
Though progress is being made for women in the Army, there are still issues specific to women that some may not feel open to discuss with their command.
The goal is to get after some of the issues our female Soldiers may have they don’t feel they can talk about with their male counterparts, said Capt. Kandi King, S4 officer-in-charge, 10th Military Police Battalion. We teach them how to address those issues and why they may be happening.
One of the first commands to have a Sisters in Arms program was U.S. Army Central which brought it to the 1st Sustainment Command (Theater) in April 2013. The program had since spread Army-wide.
The program was developed as an avenue to educate, train, mentor and empower female Soldiers to become future leaders in today’s Army, said Command Sgt. Maj. Earla L. Reddock, in a Sept. 3, 2013 Sisters in Arms article.
Focusing on the topic of trust, 1st TSC held a monthly SIA meeting, May 8. All Soldiers within the TSC were invited to have lunch and discuss the importance of trust and also participated in team building exercises to discover their level of trust.
“Sometimes you may lose trust in your leader; that’s not an ender for you,” said King. “Because you lost trust in that one leader, don’t let it break you and change who you are.”
Through an open forum, the meetings provide Soldiers with an opportunity to discuss their issues and receive feedback. The discussions can be specific to the female Soldier during the meetings, but that does not limit participation to females only.
We talk about things that affect us that we don’t feel comfortable talking about with our male counterparts, said King. This is an opportunity for them to come in and listen.
Staff Sgt. Melanie Hehl, 1st TSC G6 Information Assurance noncommissioned officer attended the recent meeting of the Sisters in Arms program. “I feel that as a female Soldier, the program is spiritually and professionally uplifting,” said Hehl.
King sees the SIA program becoming a great asset for the command as it continues to grow and gain a bigger audience.
As the Army continues to evolve and expand in diversity, programs like SIA are becoming more prevalent within the commands.
We need more programs like this so that a Soldier knows they have someone they can talk to about their issues, said King. We may not know when a Soldier is uncomfortable talking about something that affects them.
The program is fully supported by the leadership in the 1st TSC.
The Sister in Arms program is great for the command and ladies in the TSC, said Lt. Col. David Seed, 1st TSC Special Troops Battalion commander. I encourage everyone to continue this sisterhood and camaraderie for all who want to be a part of the effort.