By Lance D. Davis, U.S. Army Garrison Japan Public AffairsJune 14, 2017
CAMP ZAMA, Japan (June 14, 2017) - Camp Zama's Female Enrichment Mentorship Program brought several Soldiers together June 9 with a theme to "Team Up and Empower Women Together."
FEMP was launched earlier this year by U.S. Army Garrison Japan with the motto "New H.E.I.G.H.T.S," which means "here to empower, inspire, grow, and help today's female Soldier," according to Sgt. 1st Class Sherri Queen, program coordinator of FEMP, and detachment sergeant for USAG Japan's Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment.
"The ultimate goal of New H.E.I.G.H.T.S is to help Soldiers build relationships that they can use in the Army and out of the Army," said Queen.
"For those relationships that are already established, we want to make sure that they can cultivate them and that there not just stagnate relationships ... keep it growing, keep it moving."
The day kicked off at 6 a.m. with a field day event hosted by the 78th Signal Battalion on the Camp Zama Dining Facility Field.
Soldiers and community members participated in several activities, including relay races and other physical training activities.
"My favorite part was watching everybody fall and trip when they were during the relay," said Spc. Tina McCrumn, human resources specialist assigned to 78th Signal Battalion.
McCrumn explained that FEMP events are not just for females.
"A lot of people think it's just for females, but we can all empower each other together."
Spc. Luis Molina, information technology specialist assigned to 78th SB, said it was important for him to participate because majority of his team members in his office are female.
"When female Soldiers see that all the male Soldiers around them are supporting them, it helps the communication and the teamwork."
The day continued with an evening event - Sip and Paint - at the Sagamihara Family Housing Area Club hosted by the U.S. Army Japan Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment.
Participants had the opportunity to use their artistic skills via a painting exercise facilitated by Domenika Leinbach, community member and art instructor, and enjoy their favorite beverage.
Leinbach said the ladies painted a sunrise to symbolize new beginnings and things to come along with a mountain range consisting of three layers: first layer for long term goals, middle layer for short term goals, and front layer to signify "where we are now."
Col. Juanita Clarke, USARJ G4, who spoke on the value of mentorship, said she hopes everyone leaves with a network of women to reach out to for support and assistance.
"When you look across the Army, as you progress in rank, the number of females gets smaller and smaller," said Clarke.
"I think it's important for us to have people of a higher rank that we can reach out to ... just somebody to talk to."