Leadership and mentoring Soldiers begins in Basic Combat Training and continues throughout one's career. As new Soldiers join the Army, mentorship benefits young Soldiers in developing into great leaders and assists them throughout their careers.
Soldiers from Combat Aviation Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division participated in a female mentoring session Sep.18, at the Community Fitness Center on Camp Humphreys.
To further develop a foundation based on Army Values, strong leadership skills and personal strength female Soldiers meet regularly to express concerns, ask questions, and speak candidly with one another about challenges they face, through the Female Mentorship Program. The program is designed to empower female Soldiers through education on a variety of topics from self-esteem to career progression to leadership. The program also focuses on developing positive relationships through one-on-one and group mentoring.
Master Sgt. Vickie L. Marsh, 2nd CAB's Sexual Assault Response Coordinator for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd CAB and a native of Phoenix City, Ala., organized and facilitated the latest iteration of the mentorship program. This session focused on professionalism both on and off duty, and then moved on to Zumba, a dance aerobic fitness class, followed up by a fashion show called "What Not to Wear" and a panel of male Soldiers, giving their insight on many topics.
"This training was very interactive and informative. It gave females the opportunity to ask questions to senior leaders regardless of their rank," said Pfc. Amanda Masella, an aircraft structural repairer assigned to Company D, 4th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment, 2nd CAB. "For females brand new to the Army, this mentorship training is definitely beneficial."
The panel of all males of different ranks engaged in open, two-way discussions with the group on many subjects. Questions about women's clothing choices and their experiences working with female Soldiers were asked.
"Overall, I think this [panel discussion] was the best part because it was a safe environment, allowing young Soldiers to ask questions they've always wanted to ask, but were scared, " said Marsh.
Members of the panel shared their different experiences with Soldiers.
"When I was asked to come speak at the female mentorship session, I jumped at the chance to help," said 1st Sgt. Orlando Silva, of Brooklyn, N.Y., assigned to Company E, 4th ARB 2nd Avn. Regt. "Who you are as a Soldier carries a lot of weight. If you want to be respected, you have to respect yourself first. What you do now will affect your future and success."
As Silva honed in on the importance of respecting yourself, other members of the panel spoke about what they wanted the women to take away from the discussion.
"Perception is huge and key in the military; you have to keep that in the back of your mind most of the time," said Staff Sgt. Christian Sweet, of Panama City, Fl., assistant operations non-commissioned officer assigned to HHC, 2nd CAB.
As the 2nd CAB female mentorship program evolves, new activities and topics will be introduced.