By Capt. Katie GloverMarch 15, 2019
VICENZA, Italy -- The 207th Military Intelligence Brigade - Theater senior spouse, Heather Conkle, set out to make a difference through empowering spouses in the organization by partnering with the U.S. Army War College Executive Spouse Leadership Development Program.
Kerry Irvin, senior facilitator for the War College's Military Family Program, led a pilot program of their Facilitating Leadership and Group Skills (FLAGS) workshop for the 207th MI Brigade spouses during the 2019 Spouse Lightning Week, at Caserme Ederle, Italy, March 11-14.
"We tailored it specifically to the 207th's needs," said Irvin, who worked with Conkle to create a two-day program focused on the needs of the audience. "The discussion we are talking about is self-awareness, self-regulation, and empathy."
At the completion of the workshop the spouse feedback was positive, including feelings of acknowledgement, increased confidence, and empowerment to contribute to positive roles within the community.
"When you are talking about emotional intelligence and tying it in with resiliency -- that's powerful," Irvin said.
Spouse Lightning Week didn't end there, the group continued their cohesion and group skills with two more days of team building.
Conkle sees this week as more than a Family Readiness Group event, it's a way to grow the future leaders within the community, whether it be through unit readiness, garrison events or local non-profit volunteerism.
"We have amazing volunteers throughout the Army," said Conkle. "We need to be able to open communications channels between the volunteers and the leadership."
To learn more about the FLAGS program, or to discuss bringing the program to your unit, visit the U.S. Army War College's Military Family Program website at https://www.armywarcollege.edu/orgs/mfp/
The 207th Military Intelligence Brigade (Theater), conducts intelligence analysis, collection, and exploitation in support of U.S. Army Africa (USARAF) and U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) in order to set-up intelligence architecture for the theater, disrupt transnational and trans-regional threats, and promote regional stability in Africa.