Fearless females unite, empower one another
1 / 25 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Madaba resident Pvt. Hanady Al-Shakhatreh (right), with Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army Quick Reaction Force Female Engagement Team (FET), practices physical search procedures on U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Maricela Tinocoromero, with 11th Marine Expedition... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Fearless females unite, empower one another
2 / 25 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Members of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit Female Engagement Team (FET) march alongside the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army Quick Reaction Force FET after subject matter expert exchange between the two countries August 5, 2019. The U.S. is committed... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Fearless females unite, empower one another
3 / 25 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Riley Guidi, with 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit Female Engagement Team (FET), demonstrates how to search a bag during detainee operations and handling training with the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army Quick Reaction Team FET Aug... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Fearless females unite, empower one another
4 / 25 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army Quick Reaction Force Female Engagement Team (FET) members participate in a joint question and answer session with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (FET) during subject matter expert exchange between the two countries A... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Fearless females unite, empower one another
5 / 25 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit Female Engagement Team (FET) converse and laugh with the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army Quick Reaction Force FET members at a joint question and answer session during subject matter expert exchange between the two co... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Fearless females unite, empower one another
6 / 25 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit Female Engagement Team (FET) pose with the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army Quick Reaction Force FET for a group photo after subject matter expert exchange between the two countries August 5, 2019. The U.S. is committe... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Fearless females unite, empower one another
7 / 25 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit Female Engagement Team (FET) clap as members of the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army Quick Reaction Force FET sing their military song during subject matter expert exchange between the two countries August 7, 2019. The... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Fearless females unite, empower one another
8 / 25 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit Female Engagement Team (FET) pose with the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army Quick Reaction Force FET for a group photo after subject matter expert exchange between the two countries August 5, 2019. The U.S. is committe... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Fearless females unite, empower one another
9 / 25 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Marine Cpl. Hailey McNeill (back), with 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit Female Engagement Team (FET), demonstrates physical search procedures during detainee operations and handling training with the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army Quick Reaction F... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Fearless females unite, empower one another
10 / 25 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army Quick Reaction Force Female Engagement Team (FET) members chant in unison at the conclusion of closing ceremony for the subject matter exchange with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (FET) August 7, 2019 in Jordan. The ... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Fearless females unite, empower one another
11 / 25 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Katie Modzelewski (right), with 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit Female Engagement Team (FET), thanks a member of the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army Quick Reaction Force (FET) with a hug after swapping gifts following the closing... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Fearless females unite, empower one another
12 / 25 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army 1st Sgt. Haneén Attiat (right), with Quick Reaction Force Female Engagement Team (FET), adorns the shoulders of U.S. Marine Capt. Katie Modzelewski, with 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit FET, with a scarf as a gift ... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Fearless females unite, empower one another
13 / 25 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army Quick Reaction Force Female Engagement Team (FET) members listen closely during the closing ceremony of the subject matter exchange with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (FET) August 7, 2019 in Jordan. The U.S. is comm... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Fearless females unite, empower one another
14 / 25 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Marine Capt. Katie Modzelewski (left), with 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit Female Engagement Team (FET), poses with the scarf given as a gift of appreciation from Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army 1st Sgt. Haneén Attiat, with Army Quick React... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Fearless females unite, empower one another
15 / 25 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Maricela Tinocoromero (right), with 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit Female Engagement Team (FET), thanks a member of the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army Quick Reaction Force (FET) with a hug after an exchange of gifts following th... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Fearless females unite, empower one another
16 / 25 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Elia Balbaloza (right), with 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit Female Engagement Team (FET), thanks a member of the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army Quick Reaction Force (FET) with a hug after an exchange of gifts following the closi... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Fearless females unite, empower one another
17 / 25 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army Quick Reaction Force (FET) member (left) smiles in surprise as U.S. Marine Cpl. Danielle Grimshaw, with 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (FET), gives her a coin as a token of appreciation following the closing ceremony for... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Fearless females unite, empower one another
18 / 25 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Members of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit Female Engagement Team (FET) and the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army Quick Reaction Force FET pose together for a group photo following the closing ceremony for the subject matter exchange between the two c... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Fearless females unite, empower one another
19 / 25 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Elia Balbaloza (right), with 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit Female Engagement Team (FET), thanks a member of the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army Quick Reaction Force (FET) with a hug after an exchange of gifts following the closi... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Fearless females unite, empower one another
20 / 25 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Madaba resident Pvt. Hanady Al-Shakhatreh (left), with Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army Quick Reaction Force Female Engagement Team (FET), takes a selfie with her comrades and members of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit FET following the closing cerem... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Fearless females unite, empower one other
21 / 25 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Danielle Grimshaw (left), with 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (FET), shows members of the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army Quick Reaction Force (FET) the selfie they took after the closing ceremony of the subject matter exchange b... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Fearless females unite, empower one another
22 / 25 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Elia Balbaloza (center), with 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit Female Engagement Team (FET), smiles at a member of the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army Quick Reaction Force (FET) gives her a gift of appreciation following the closin... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Fearless females unite, empower one another
23 / 25 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army Quick Reaction Force Female Engagement Team (FET) members sing in unison at the conclusion of closing ceremony for the subject matter exchange with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (FET) August 7, 2019 in Jordan. The U... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Fearless females unite, empower one another
24 / 25 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Members of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit Female Engagement Team (FET) wear the berets of their coalition partners, Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army Quick Reaction Force FET, as a statement of appreciation and unity following an exchange of gifts af... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Fearless females unite, empower one another
25 / 25 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Katie Modzelewski (left), with 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit Female Engagement Team (FET), presents a personalized spartan sword to Col. Raaed Dora, Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army (JAF) commander, as a gift of appreciation dur... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Members of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Female Engagement Team (FET) trained in Jordan for two weeks in August with the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army (JAF) Quick Reaction Force (QRF) FET focusing on bilateral development, interoperability, and strengthening proficiency and relationships between Jordan and the United States. Jordan is not only one of the United States' closest allies in the region, but in the world as a whole. The JAF QRF FET is comprised of a platoon of female Soldiers trained for rapid response situations where male Soldiers cannot realistically engage with women encountered by the armed forces.

U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Katie Modzelewski, with the 11th MEU FET, served as the officer in charge. The team is a platform for females to come together, develop team enablers within their varying military occupational specialties, and encourage strong female leadership. The screening process examined the candidates' physical fitness levels, marksmanship scores, martial arts belt level, previous instructor experiences, unique language capabilities, but most of all, their desire to be a part of the FET.

"Maybe I built the team, but none of this would have been as successful had they [the FET] not been so dedicated; wanting to be here and being as mature as they are," Modzelewski said humbly, "I couldn't be more proud of them."

According to Modzelewski, the language barrier between the two countries presented a challenge, but the training could not have gone any better, unless they had more time with the JAF QRF FET. The FETs took time to openly discuss similarities and differences between the American and Jordanian cultures, specifically with women in the military, to gain an overall better understanding of one another and facilitate bonding. Modzelewski said it was an honor for herself, and the team, to train alongside the Jordanians.

"Although we wear different uniforms, it's unique to see different women together," said Modzelewski, "When you come together as a group of strong women, you just have to embrace it and learn from each other."

One Marine who was motivated by her passion for female unity and empowerment is Sgt. Elia Balbaloza, with the 11th MEU FET. She has served as a Marine for more than seven years. She said she loves to share what she has learned with all women, regardless of ethnicity. She has trained with Bahraini, Romanians and now Jordanians. According to Balbaloza, she wants to see females grow and find the inner confidence they may have never known they had.

"I love seeing strong women and I love women empowering other women," she explained, "Us [women] coming together and showing how we can work together and do great things as a team is so important."

Training areas during the two weeks included emergency medical care, fundamentals of marksmanship, live fire ranges, weapons handling, physical fitness, personal security, martial arts and several other areas of military interest.

Balbaloza wants to teach and pass the knowledge she's inherited from past teams and former leadership to younger Marines and military women so they can then transfer that wisdom on and grow as a force. She explained that being a woman in the military can sometimes be hard, but it's all about teamwork. She said when someone on her team goes down, the entire team goes down together; when one succeeds, they all succeed.

"We [FET] are here trying to let the world know that we want powerful women," explained Balbaloza, "We want women who want to help each other and see each other grow to become a great force, a force to be reckoned with."

Madaba resident Pvt. Hanady Al-Shakhatreh, with the JAF QRF FET, has been in the military for two years. According to Al-Shakhatreh, JAF members would visit her school each Monday and Wednesday to conduct training; this inspired Al-Shakhatreh to serve her country. She has participated in FET training with other military branches, but feels she greatly improved herself through the 11th MEU training. She learned a few English commands for firing during range operations and now feels she can solve any problem she faces.

"I love my country," said Al-Shakhatreh through an interpreter, "I feel happy to know many things and have improved myself."

The U.S. military has a long-standing relationship with Jordan to support our mutual objectives by providing military assistance to the JAF consistent with our national interests. The Boxer Amphibious Ready group and the 11th MEU are deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the Western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points.