By 1st Lt. Austin Liu, 6-52nd Air Defense Artillery, 35th ADA Brigade Public AffairsApril 12, 2011
SUWON AIR BASE, South Korea - Michelle Obama, Tina Turner, and Frita Kahlo all belong to a long list of women who had significant impact in our contemporary world history.
And they all made guest appearances here during the annual Women's History Observance Program, hosted by the 6th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense Artillery, at the Suwon Air Base Theater April 8.
This year's program paid tribute to the powerful women who made a difference in contemporary history and the Iron Horse volunteers put their creativity to the test by running their own special edition of the "Oprah Winfrey Show" to introduce significant female figures and their contribution in an entertaining way.
Spc. April Taylor, assigned to Headquarters Battery, 6th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense Artillery, who impersonated Oprah Winfrey, asked some tough questions to her famous guests during the interview.
"Tell everyone how you plan on making a difference in our nation," she asked Michelle Obama, played by Sgt. Randi Choice of D Btry, 6th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense Artillery Battalion.
Choice discussed in detail about the first lady's "Let's Move" initiative combating childhood obesity.
"Children need to eat healthy and stay active ... parents play an important role in encouraging their children to live healthy and be happy," Choice answered, outlining the first lady's innovative plan.
"I choose to play Michelle Obama because she is the living embodiment of perfect grace combined with confidence," said Choice, the battery supply room NCOIC. "Michelle Obama is definitely a positive role model for women everywhere in the world."
The program also featured pop legend Tina Turner, played by Sgt. Shironeki Hardin of Headquarters Battery, 6-52nd ADA, who sang some of her most beloved classics in the show.
"I had a great time portraying Tina Turner ... I think she is a legend and a great motivator for us women," said Hardin after her performance.
Maj. Cecilia Shaw, the executive officer of 6-52 Air Defense Artillery Battalion, also participated in the "Oprah Show," playing herself and discussing important issues of female mentorship program as well as being a female service member in the military.
"Everyone needs a positive force to help guide one through life's challenges," Shaw confided. "I think it is important to have role models and mentors to help guide Soldiers through the challenges ... and this is where the Female Mentorship Program comes into play."
Shaw continued, "Female Mentorship program is a command program established because females make up a small portion of our ranks with even fewer female leaders ... it is a forum that allows senior female leaders to share experiences and to mentor junior Soldiers on topics such as the prevention of sexual assault [April is the Sexual Assault Prevention Month], health and fitness, wear of uniform and education benefits."
"Fortunately, the Iron Horse Battalion has an excellent female mentorship program endorsed from the leadership," Shaw shared with the audience.
"Is there a big difference being a female in the military'" Taylor asked Shaw.
"Of course, there's always going to be differences, but it is more about opportunities," Shaw replied. "And opportunities have opened up tremendously in recent history because of the great strides made by the important female figures we paid tribute today."
Shaw concluded, "General Dunwoody became the first female four-star general and Command Sergeant Major Theresa King became the first female commandant of the Drill Sergeant School ... there is nothing that holds us back from success, both men and women, other than ourselves."