By Sgt. William Brown, Eighth Army Public Affairs officeApril 17, 2017
USAG YONGSAN - Junior officers from the Republic of Korea, United States and Japan armed forces met during a trilateral symposium event, April 12.
The goal was to create a better understanding of each nation's military including operational terms, concepts, education and roles in the Asia-Pacific region.
"The purpose of the trilateral symposium was to extend and share information on officers' leadership, duties, and responsibilities to foster a better relationship for future endeavors," said Lt. Col. Kim, Yang Tae, escort officer with the Republic of Korea Army Headquarters.
The symposium was one part of the ROK-Japan Junior Officer Exchange Program. During the one-week event, the participants visited military schools, a live-fire range and toured the Demilitarized Zone.
Since 2012, the ROK and Japanese forces have invited U.S. junior officers from Eighth Army to explain their daily operations, customs and roles of the U.S. Army. in the Northeast Asian region.
Female service members, and how representative they are in the armed forces, were an important topic for during the discussion.
"Females are integrated [in the U.S. Army]," said 1st Lt. Morgan Skinner, engineer, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade. "Females attached to combat units have leadership responsibilities and work well together with male Soldiers."
In all three countries' armed forces, females and males share the same responsibilities and duties and can accomplish the mission as a team.
"Even though the ROK air defense started integrating female officers in 2014, there are seven females in the air defense branch," said 1st Lt. Jeong Geun Ahn, an air defense officer, 1st Air Defense Brigade.
"In order to allow female service members to have combat capabilities, I think it is important for the ROK Army to have policies in place," said Ahn. "At the same time we need to provide the right installations for female Soldiers in terms of air defense."
While each force does things a little differently, events like the trilateral symposium helps build communication across the region and educate future leaders.
"Even though we have different races, defense environments and cultures, I do believe that we all have the same purpose, which is to defend your country," said Kim.