By Sgt. 1st Class Allan Baros, USASOC Public AffairsSeptember 26, 2016
FORT BRAGG N.C. -- "Be the mentor you wish you had" -- "We rise by lifting others" -- "In a world where you can be anything, be kind" -- "Getting the most out of life isn't about how much you keep for yourself, but how much you pour into others."
These were the themes of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command's 2016 Mentorship Conference, held September 19-21, at the Fort Bragg Iron Mike Conference Center.
The conference falls under one of the four pillars within the U.S. Special Operations Command program, Preservation of the Force and Family.
"POTFF puts together the Soldier and their family and ties them into forming 'pillars'-- psychological, social, human and spiritual -- that will make them stronger and more resilient in the future," said Angela Abernethy, the USASOC senior enlisted spouse. "The mentorship conference is an opportunity to bring spouses together to teach them how to create their own mentorship programs."
During the conference, more than 40 spouses from within the USASOC enterprise participated in key sessions that talked about the mentee / mentor relationship, building an effective mentorship program, personality assessments, and other sessions that would help their individual units build stronger family programs.
"I think at every level at USASOC, when you look at the Soldier, and how strong he or she should be, you can look at their family unit and see how strong their support system is," said Abernethy. "When the family is strong, your Soldier is strong, which means they can focus on the mission and get the job done."
Throughout the conference, some other key messages that were introduced to the spouses were:
"Be a part of the community, make connections, meet other spouses and take advantage of the knowledge they have from their experience," Abernethy said. "The journey is easier when you know you are not alone and you know what to expect. We are stronger when we work together."
According to Lauren Morris, Family Readiness Group leader for 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), some key takeaways from the conference are: "Don't isolate yourself, it can be overwhelming when you're away from home and your friends and family, but the Army is a community of people going through exactly what you're going through. It is a large community of support, so step out and meet people."
"I'm encouraged to see the pool of women that feel more like family than anything else. Just knowing that they live similar lives to myself and that their husbands do similar things that my husband does. Even though we can feel isolated sometimes, but there is such a greater picture," Lauren Morris concluded.