FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii — The 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command kicked off the Female Mentorship Program by hosting its first meeting at Fort Shafter Flats on Sept. 11, 2012.
The purpose of the program is to assist new female soldiers in establishing goals, mentoring them on acceptable behavior, and providing guidance to them that enhances their decision making skills.
“Being in a new environment with a predominately male unit, new females will face unfamiliar situations and difficulties. However, with females making up such a small portion of the unit, junior female Soldiers, most of them having no female leadership in their ranks, were without guidance or a senior female leader to turn to,” said Master Sgt. Ruth L. Anderson, information’s system chief. “Recognizing this need, the battery established the female mentorship program.”
Command Sgt. Maj. Ted Pritchard, the 94th AAMDC CSM, showed his support for the Female Mentorship Program by providing opening remarks during the meeting and giving his expectations, goals, and purpose of the program.
Female Soldiers of all ranks, enlisted and officers alike, throughout the command attended the first assembly. This was a perfect opportunity for the senior female mentors within the command to introduce themselves, share the benefits of the program, and their past experiences with junior soldiers.
“The Female Mentorship Program will benefit the command and the Army by equipping our young female Soldiers with a vast amount of knowledge on various subjects that will keep them combat ready and help them to perform at their full potential,” said Master Sgt. Veronica Atkins, logistics operations sergeant and senior female mentor within the command.
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Doretha Magee, senior property account technician, 94th AAMDC said, “Due to the small population of female Soldiers in the company, it’s rare that Seniors get to put a name with a face. I enjoyed meeting everyone and listening to their concerns. The program is another avenue to reach out and bond with junior soldiers.”
The program offers a safe place for females to express themselves and explore new ideas in a secure and professional environment. It is structured to allow young female Soldiers take ownership of the program.
“To ensure that females understand that this program is for them, during every meeting they vote on the topic of training for the following month. This method allows the junior females to voice their areas of concern to their mentors and subject matter experts to conduct the training,” said Anderson.
The program will also accomplish its goals by hosting quarterly off duty events, physical training activities and cultural awareness tours, all to show command initiative to provide females Soldiers with a means to develop professionally through senior level mentorship.