By Capt. Tom ByrdMarch 9, 2012
Empowerment and education are the Army themes for Women's History Month this year. For one Soldier in the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, this is something she lives every day.
"I setup and designed a program for young women to help empower them through education, through different activities, and just mentor them and coach them to lead the right life," said Capt. Margie Battle, commander of Company E, 3rd Battalion, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 2nd CAB.
One area she focuses on is leadership. Ensuring the Soldiers understand the essentials of leadership is at the center of what she tries to convey.
"They have the leadership qualities, but they don't know what to do with those qualities. If they want to be a leader, they have to strive to be more than what they can be," said Battle.
The mentorship program -- Building Esteem, Self-worth and Trust or also known as B.E.S.T. -- materialized from her desire to give something back to Soldiers.
The best way to do that was to lead by example, she said. As a wife, a mother to three sons, and company commander, Battle still found time to work on a doctoral degree. Yet, even with the demands of all these obligations, being available to Soldiers is still very important to her.
"I like to let them know that someone is here and that someone cares. I may not be with them at their next duty station, but I'm always available," she said.
It's been said that a good mentor is often the product of good mentorship. In Battle's case, she had a few mentors she places in that category. She recalled one excellent leader from earlier in her career, and looked to her father, a retired command sergeant major, as another outstanding example. However, not all of those leaders and mentors came from military sources. One of Battle's earliest mentors was her mother, who served as the first major influence in her personal life.
"My mother taught me to be humble," Battle said. "It isn't always about me. It's about helping others."
Seeing everything Battle has accomplished so far has inspired Staff Sgt. Coyar White, 602nd Aviation Support Battalion, 2nd CAB, with a new thirst to achieve the goals she has set for herself.
"On my refrigerator and in my leader's book, I have my goals," said White. "She makes me reach for my goals, for change, for bettering myself."
White said the program not only helped her be a better Soldier, but a better mother and role model for her two teenage children.
As a commander, it is Battle's job to lead her unit in the proper direction. However, the act of inspiring others is something she still strives toward every day. She hopes for continued success, and she hopes to continue educating and empowering young female Soldiers as long as she is in the Army.