By Emily Brainard, Army Flier StaffApril 1, 2010
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Four Fort Rucker ladies continue composing female history with the legacies they form, according to Melissa Harry, Equal Employment Opportunity Office Special Emphasis Program manager.
Faye Brooks, Patricia Donahue, Lt. Col. Keriem Kvalevog and Janet Mauldin received recognition during Women's History Month 2010, "Writing Women Back into History," for their continuous efforts to make the installation a better place to work and live, she said.
Maj. Gen. James O. Barclay III, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general, and Brig. Gen. Kelly J. Thomas, USAACE and Fort Rucker deputy commanding general, presented the four Women of the Year awards during a ceremony March 25 at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum.
The winners competed against roughly 20 other women to take home the titles. Women of the Year are judged on a multitude of criteria, including job knowledge, personal characteristics, ability to work with others, community service and more, Harry said.
Jill Redington, U.S. Army Aviation Technical Library and Aviation Learning Center chief, addressed ceremony attendees with the story of the legendary Women Air Force Service Pilots. These groundbreaking female Aviators flew more than 78 types of fixed-wing aircraft during World War II to allow all male pilots to fly in combat. Their original mission was to ferry aircraft from manufacturers to installations, but initially grew to include other jobs such as test and instructor pilots.
While their contributions were hardly known and much less recognized at the time, their work was equally as important as their male counterparts, Redington added, noting WASPs led the way to successful careers for today's female workforce and women Aviators.
Brooks, Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security operations assistant, accepted the Administrative Woman of the Year award for her efforts.
"It's very exciting to me to even be nominated among this caliber of women," she said.
Her advice for young women is to "always give your best, and the best will come back to you. Remember to treat others like you want to be treated. The world is small, and you will often cross paths with someone you helped along the way, and they will remember your kindness."
Brooks has been a civil servant for almost 26 years, working at Fort Rucker the entire time, though in several other offices before DPTMS. She resides in Ozark with her husband, Herman. They have two daughters, Shermanique and Shermetria.
Government Contract Employee Woman of the Year, Donahue, credited her award to her "powerful" team at Army Fleet Support, where she is a supply chain program manager. Bosses and fellow employees contribute to any individual's success, she said, encouraging others to support the women they work alongside.
Donahue has worked at Fort Rucker for two years and has served as a government contractor for 25 years. She lives in Skipperville with her husband, Ron, and has a son, Keith Coburn.
Lt. Col. Keriem Kvalevog, Aviation Center Logistics Command maintenance commander and Professional Woman of the Year, echoed Donahue's sentiments.
"It takes an Army to raise an officer," she said.
As the only servicemember to win an award last week, she encouraged female Soldiers to keep striving toward excellence.
"(Female Soldiers) know their jobs and stand up for themselves and their convictions. Believe in yourself, believe you can do it and be true to yourself," Kvalevog said.
The Dothan resident has held numerous ACLC positions since 2005, and has served in the military almost 21 years.
Mauldin, Public Affairs Office administrative assistant, has been a civil servant for nearly 30 years. She doesn't believe she did anything out of the ordinary to become the Administrative Woman of the Year.
"All my fellow nominees are truly deserving of this award. On a daily basis, these women have displayed a high level of professional dedication and sincere willingness to help while facing diverse situations, changing priorities and increasing demands," she said. "Hard work, a can-do attitude and dedication to my job are my basic work principles, and demonstrating these have helped me to be an outstanding employee."
Mauldin shared her advice on what makes an ideal woman of the year.
"I think she always tries to do her best, cares about the people she comes in contact with, and always has a good attitude and a smile on her face," she said.
Mauldin lives in Elba, and has one daughter, Marlene Faulk, and three grandchildren, Abby, 8, Makenna, 7, and Tucker, 2.