CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait — Female Soldiers assigned to the 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command spent the evening of Oct. 27, 2021 here building community during “Let’s Kick It,” a women’s empowerment event.
“Let’s Kick It” was the brainchild of Staff Sgt. Akeema J. Twitty, a transportation management coordinator, and Sgt. Naslie I. Hutchins, a human resources specialist.
The two Soldiers were assigned as roommates when the unit deployed here in August. Twitty has since redeployed to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, but Hutchins said she wanted to carry out the idea they had hatched early into the deployment.
“We would always talk about something that we wanted to do to get to know each other more, because even though we lived together we didn’t really know each other,” Hutchins said. “So we came up with this idea because we both love working out and we’re competitive, so this is a fun way to bring all aspects of what makes us strong women [together].”
The event began with a kickball game and concluded with an ice-breaker exercise that involved the Soldiers guessing the first name, age, number of siblings and hobbies of the Soldier standing to their right in the circle.
Hutchins, a native of Miami, Florida, said she got the idea for the icebreaker from the website of a nonprofit women’s organization.
“It forces people to judge others based off of their looks, and then at the same time get to know each other, so we take a step back and realize that people aren’t what they look like,” Hutchins said. “We pass each other in the halls every day and I don’t know anybody here.”
Staff Sgt. Jassmine J. Thornton, an automated logistical specialist, said she attended the event because she has enjoyed the bi-monthly women’s mentorship lunches that Master Sgt. Yadriana M. Kavitz, the senior logistics services noncommissioned officer for 3rd ESC, and Capt. Melissa H. Chizek, commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd ESC, started hosting at the beginning of October.
“It was a really good conversation [at the lunches], so when I had the opportunity to come to this and play kickball, I was just like ‘oh that sounds dope, let me go out there,’” said Thornton, a native of Vineland, New Jersey.
Thornton said she especially enjoyed the ice-breaker exercise.
“That was even more fun trying to guess whether you knew their name or not, because you’ve seen them in an email before,” Thornton said. “I think it’s very important … for groups of different backgrounds, different age groups, different ranks, to get together. I don’t see ranks [here], just a group of females getting together, and everything outside is just forgotten for the moment.”
Staff Sgt. Tabatha S. Kearney, a technical engineer, agreed with Thornton’s sentiments.
“I like things that get people to be close and learn about each other,” the Flat Rock, Alabama, native said. “We’re in the military and we’re supposed to be a family, so I want to get to know my family.”