For the second year, U.S. Army Forces Command, during Women's History Month, is highlighting and recognizing women within the command who exemplify the Army's values and work tireless every day in support of the organizations mission and goals.
The Women of Excellence -- I am FORSCOM recognition is an opportunity for FORSCOM to reflect on not only the successes women have achieved throughout the Nation, but to also recognize FORSCOM's civilian and military women for the achievements and accomplishments within the command, said Paulette Reese, FORSCOM Equal Employment Opportunity Director.
Nominees were evaluated on their contributions to FORSCOM's mission; their leadership abilities; character attributes; accountability in executing responsibilities; ways they have improved operations; and their accomplishments and achievements.
The FORSCOM 2020 Women of Excellence -- I am FORSCOM honorees are:
Lt. Col. Donna Sims, Deputy Budget Officer, FORSCOM Resource Management
Kelly Peters, Central Taskings Chief, FORSCOM Operations, Plans and Training
Cathy Lee, Lead GCSS-Army Analyst, FORSCOM Resource Management
Kayla Barrickman, Information Management Specialist, FORSCOM Information Technology
Lt. Col. Donna Sims, Deputy Budget Officer, FORSCOM Resource Management:
Sims serves as the deputy budget officer in the FORSCOM Resource Management directorate. She spent most of the past year filling in at the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives Command Resource Management office -- an assignment she volunteered to take on, even though it meant being away from her family.
Her nomination citation reads: "Donna was instrumental in providing input and support to increase mission readiness within the 20th CBRNE through sound financial management in a complex operating environment for a command dispersed across the continental United States."
Sims is described as someone who is selfless; has a strong work ethic; and is willing to go above and beyond. In her nomination, she is described as possessing "impeccable personal integrity and values that are congruent with the Army and FORSCOM."
Sims said she has many women in her life that she personally looks up to; two of them being her own mother and her mother-in-law.
"My mom - a single parent eight kids - taught me how to never give up no matter what the challenge," Sims said. "My mother-in-law (who has been married for over 40 years to the same man] taught me how to respect the other person's opinion in marriage and that love and relationships can last forever."
Kelly Peters, Central Taskings Chief, FORSCOM Operations, Plans and Training:
Peters is the central taskings chief in the FORSCOM Operations, Plans and Training directorate. For the last four years, she has led a nine person team which is responsible for sourcing individual augmentee subject matter experts to support combatant command requirements.
Peters recently returned from a deployment to Afghanistan where she served as an advisor in support of the Resolute Support mission. While there, she contributed to the efforts of the Combined Security Transition Command -- Afghanistan transition efforts.
For Peters, it is important to recognize Women's History Month because it "reminds us of the GOOD we've achieved in our society, and it gives hope to women in other societies who strive for the same opportunities that we now realize."
She said the women she looks up to the most are "the 'first' female barrier breakers - first female voter; first female four star general; first female Secretary of State; first female Army Ranger, first female astronaut, first female doctor, etc. These intrepid women had the stamina to pursue excellence and equality, regardless the obstacles."
Cathy Lee, Lead GCSS-Army Analyst, FORSCOM Resource Management:
As the lead analyst in FORSCOM's GCSS-ARMY actions, Lee has implemented a new, weekly, Obligation Adjustment Report to allow the Command to identify the source and cause of cancelled supply requisitions.
This initiative has allowed the command to identify units and individuals who would benefit from retraining in an effort to avoid repeated mistakes. As a result of Lee's work, the command's lost buying power is on track to be reduced 48 percent in a single year -- totaling an expected $20 million in FORSCOM funding.
In her nomination, Lee is described as dependable, hardworking and talented. "When the pressure is on, she is a stabilizing and calming force that gets it done, on time, every time."
Lee said that she has a former supervisor whom she has looked up to and impacted her life.
"She was very organized, very knowledgeable, set the example, always prepared, honest hard working and didn't sweat the small stuff," Lee said of her former supervisor. "She also was person who believed in treating people the way you want them to treat you."
Kayla Barrickman, Information Management Specialist, FORSCOM Information Technology:
Barrickman is not only an information management specialist at FORSCOM, but she is also a Master Sgt. in Air Force Reserves.
In her position at FORSCOM, Barrickman leads by example, according to her nomination, and skillfully analyzes data and completes missions ahead of schedule.
Barrickman said she thinks it is important "to remember the women have paved the way and struggled to get us to where we are today," during Women's History Month.
The woman who Barrickman said she looks up to the most is her mom.
"She is one of the hardest working women I know," she said. "She has never let a struggle get her down, and her drive to keep going has always been so inspiring to me. Growing up, she would always tell me to work hard for what I wanted and never give up on my dreams. I know I am where I am, and who I am today because of her never-ending support and constant push for me to do better."
The Women of Excellence -- I am FORSCOM honorees will be recognized during the FORSCOM Chief of Staff's quarterly awards ceremony on March 18.