Female Soldiers met at post headquarters to kick off Fort Jackson’s chapter of the Female Mentoring and Morale Program June 8. The program provides female Soldiers a safe place to address personal and professional issues that occur while serving in the Army.
The meeting began with Fort Jackson Commander Brig. Gen. Milford H. “Beags” Beagle, Jr., thanking the Soldiers for their effort and time to start FMMP on post.
“Giving up your time is an effort to plant a seed for somebody else and I think this is going to make things much better, even with some of the challenges we’re having across our Army,” Beagle said.
“The program will provide a venue for mentorship, fellowship and hopefully a place where women feel they truly belong,” said Col. Tara Hall, Moncrief Army Health Clinic commander.
As a junior officer, married with two children, Hall had a difficult time finding a female mentor she could relate to; finally, during a critical time in her career, she found a female mentor who encouraged her to remain on active duty, Hall said.
The FMMP provides personal and professional development to all female commissioned, noncommissioned and warrant officers. The program aims to strengthen the Army by coaching, mentoring, and providing network sessions for female Soldiers.
“We will offer more than just mentoring, we will offer morale building events,” said Lt. Col. Lynette Jones, president of Fort Jackson’s FMMP and deputy chief of staff, Army Reserve for Fort Jackson.
“Any female mentorship and morale program is critical for female Soldiers to seek guidance from peers and all levels of leadership,” said Col. Renee MacDonald, deputy chief of staff, Army National Guard for Fort Jackson.
The FMMP establishes a network to ask questions, share ideas, communicate and resolve any challenges within the workplace, and it provides a place for Soldiers to motivate each other and share stories about their careers, MacDonald said.
Jones said, “In general the military is a map and in order to successfully navigate this map you need a compass.”
Female Soldiers here at Fort Jackson need to know the FMMP is available and it will provide that compass for those who need to navigate through everyday Army life. The FJ chapter is in its early stages of development and the aim is to have a trusted agent who has volunteered, been vetted and is willing to serve as a mentor, Jones said.
“The mentor will be chosen by the female Soldier who is seeking the mentoring session because I believe a Soldier should choose their own mentor and the mentor should not choose them,” said Jones.