FORT BELVOIR, Va. – In honor of Women's History Month, the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) will highlight Soldiers and Army Civilians who make an impact on the U.S. Army and INSCOM. INSCOM honors the contributions of women serving in the U.S. Army, celebrating the richness and diversity of their achievements in March and throughout the year.
Women serve in every career field in the Army and are critical members of the Army team. Our Soldiers and Army Civilians serve with distinction and are role models exemplifying the Army's highest values. Women's History Month stands as a reminder of the strength the Army has gained through a high-quality diverse all-volunteer force.
We are honored to highlight Je'Neen P. Russell, director, INSCOM Safety and Occupational Health.
Why did you join the Army?
I joined the Army to get a fresh start and travel the world.
Can you tell me about your journey to becoming the director of INSCOM Safety and Occupational Health?
I never thought I would have a career in Safety and Occupational Health. Like many people, safety was one of my additional duties while on active duty, but it wasn't my passion so to speak. Yet, I always had a heart to take care of and protect people. So, in 2005, I began my career as a safety technician at the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Safety Center processing Army mishaps and supporting policy working groups. In 2014, I completed my CP-12 Level 1 Certification and realized there was much more to Safety and Occupational Health. To grow professionally, I sought a position within an installation safety office to gain more experience of the safety sub-programs. This equipped me to serve as and implement the Safety and Occupational Health Program for U.S. Army Hawaii. It was there, that while my military training proved to be important, I learned it is essential to be technically proficient. Safety is a commodity that requires a flexible strategic leader who can effectively communicate on multiple levels while managing and forecasting resources.
My need to continuously grow and seek challenges led to my selection as the Navy Mid-Atlantic Region Safety Director, responsible for oversight of 14 installation safety programs and 29 Navy Reserve Operational Centers. While I learned a great deal working for the Navy, my technical instructor’s quote from basic training shaped my reasons for seeking employment with INSCOM. She said, "You are loyal to the service that trains you."
What are your thoughts on leadership and teamwork?
Leadership is a privilege that carries an awesome responsibility which is not solely based on rank or position but rather the influence a person has. Therefore, leaders must never sacrifice mission or people for personal gain. Leadership requires followership and teamwork. Teamwork is a building block to ensure strategic and sustainable success. Gone are the days of working in silos. Each member of the team must bring their talents, innovation, and commitment to each task.
What advice do you have for junior Soldiers and Army Civilians?
Never stop growing and learn to manage your expectations. Your worth and contributions are not limited by your pay grade but by your attitude. Don't let poor expectation management sour your attitude negatively impacting your professionalism.
What is your goal for INSCOM or how do you plan on continuing to make a positive impact at INSCOM?
My goal for INSCOM is simple - to do all I can to support the symbiotic relationship between mission and people through proactive employee engagement creating a regulatory-sound safety culture with champions at every level. This culture embodies teamwork to identify and overcome risk, so my office can develop tools and metrics to provide real-time updates to our Commanding General, enabling the warfighter to perform their duties, both on and off duty, and return home to their families safely.
Please join us in thanking Russell for her service and stay tuned throughout the month as we share posts on social media commemorating #Women's History Month.