By Spc. Zoe GarbarinoJuly 17, 2018
FORT STEWART, Ga. - The 3rd Sustainment Brigade hosted a Women's Mentorship Network at Fort Stewart, Georgia, July 13, where females from all branches of military service gathered at the "Provider" Brigade to discuss what being a female in the military meant to them.
Capt. Jackeline Velazquez, commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade, said she has hosted the Women's Mentorship Network discussion seminars since she started commanding HHC in 2017.
"The reason I like to do these events is to network," Velazquez said. "You meet people you don't know and realize that your weakness could be someone else's strength and vice versa."
The event kicked off with a physical training session to build camaraderie. Then the brigade and guests gathered at Club Stewart for an open panel where they discussed the importance of being a female leader.
Air Force Master Sgt. Kenyatta Williams, an aviation operations section chief for Detachment 3, 18th Weather Squadron, Hunter Army Airfield, explained to young female service members how diverse yet similar women are in each branch of service.
"You get to choose your own path, and you also get the opportunity to make the most of it," Williams said.
Marine Sgt. Ivana Davis, a supply admin and operations specialist, and recruiter in Statesboro, Georgia, said she enjoys sharing positive stories about being a recruiter at events like WMN.
"I was recruiting at a high school one day and this girl looked interested," Davis said. "Her parents told her that the military shouldn't be her focus and that her focus should be to find a husband, have kids and stay home. I let her know all her benefits and she ended up joining the Marines. Now, she loves it."
Since Velazquez has hosted several WMN events, she said her fondest memory is from the first one she held.
"I was talking to someone at my first WMN event and they said they joined the Army a little older and thought that they would only make it to staff sergeant," Velazquez said.
Velazquez said that the female became motivated to aim higher in her career after seeing all the high ranking women she was surrounded with.
"I was so happy, I almost cried; but it made me realize that that's what this is all about," Velazquez said. "(It is about) trying to empower and motivate one another."