FORT LEE, Va. – The U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command conducted its 11th Female Mentoring and Morale Program (FMMP) session on February 25, 2021.
The FMMP mentorship session was conducted virtually to support social distancing requirements.
Col. Clydea Prichard-Brown, 59th Ordnance Brigade Commander and founder of the FMMP, moderated the session that focused on the topic: Leading During Adversity Part II: The Fort Hood Report.
The guest panel included Maj. Gen. Charles R. Hamilton, Deputy Chief of Staff Logistics; Brig. Gen. Michelle M.T. Letcher, Chief of Ordnance; and Sgt. Maj. Erin L. Trudden, Chief Medical NCO, 1st Area Medical Lab.
Prichard-Brown opened the session by outlining the program's purpose and welcoming the many senior leaders, both active and retired, who join the monthly sessions.
The FMMP is an all-inclusive program for both males and females in the military. The program’s objective is to empower military women through mentorship and provide a safe environment to discuss issues in today's Army. The FMMP also serves as a platform to link mentees with mentors who can advise, guide and encourage professional development and career progression.
In her welcoming remarks, Prichard-Brown said, "We ask our male counterparts to join each session to hear the challenges females face and to assist with changing the Army’s culture in order to truly become an equal, diverse and equitable environment."
Maj. Gen. Hamilton, the first panel member to speak, emphasized the importance of leaders knowing the basics of leadership. Noted by Maj. Gen. Hamilton, "The Fort Hood situation could occur anywhere." As leaders, applying the basic principles of leadership by influencing others to be fair and transparent while getting the job done, controls the narrative to key in on the Army's plan to eliminate the three corrosives in our formations.
"By applying essential leadership and enforcing dignity and respect for all in uniform, leaders have a greater opportunity and plan to eliminate those corrosives," said Hamilton.
Brig. Gen. Letcher, the second panel member, began by acknowledging that our mission in the Army is to fight and win our nation’s wars but noted that “most of our work is about making a place that is safe and secure.” Letcher went on to say, “It’s because of programs like the FMMP and people like you, committed to something bigger and better than yourselves that we are able to accomplish this.”
Letcher’s remarks explored what it means to #breaktrail – to “hike the lead position, forcing one’s way through untrammeled snow.” Letcher shared her reflections on the Fort Hood Report and her personal experience as an enlisted Soldier and an Army officer.
“Reflect on all you hear [tonight] and think about your journey, and your role as a change agent, a mentor and someone who has, or is currently, breaking trail," said Letcher.
Sgt. Maj. Trudden, the third panel member, offered her perspective as a senior non-commissioned officer. “We are all people, besides being leaders… We, too, are flawed,” said Trudden. “But it is our responsibility to put our best foot forward and ensure that every Soldier always has a voice.”
The passion in Trudden’s delivery let the participants know that she has fought long and hard to change the treatment of women in uniform in her 20 plus years of service.
Following the formal remarks, Prichard-Brown facilitated an open session where panel members responded to participants’ questions. A recorded video of the session is located on the FMMP Facebook page.
The next virtual FMMP session will take place on March 18, 2021, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The topic will be: Taking a Seat at the Table. The event information and connection instructions will be posted on the FMMP Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FMMP2.