Staff Sgt. John Johnson III
94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command Public Affairs
FORT SHAFTER — The 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command kicked off its Female Mentorship Program by hosting its first meeting at Fort Shafter Flats, here, Sept. 11.
The program helps newly arrived junior female Soldiers to establish goals by mentoring them on acceptable behavior; the program also teaches decision-making skills.
“Being in a new environment with a predominately male unit, new females will face unfamiliar situations and difficulties,” said Master Sgt. Ruth Anderson, chief, Information Systems, 94th AAMDC. “However, with females making up such a small portion of the unit, junior female Soldiers … were without guidance or a senior female leader to turn to. Recognizing this need, the battery established the Female Mentorship Program.”
Command Sgt. Maj. Ted Pritchard, senior enlisted leader, 94th AAMDC, provided opening remarks during the meeting. Pritchard outlined his expectations, goals and purpose of the program.
The command’s enlisted female Soldiers and officers attended the first assembly. Senior female mentors introduced themselves and shared the program’s benefits and their past experiences with junior Soldiers.
“The Female Mentorship Program will benefit the command and the Army by equipping our young female Soldiers with a vast amount of knowledge on various subjects that will keep them combat ready and help them to perform at their full potential,” said Master Sgt. Veronica Atkins, logistics operations sergeant and senior female mentor, 94th AAMDC.
“I enjoyed meeting everyone and listening to their concerns,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Doretha Magee, senior property account technician, 94th AAMDC. “The program is another avenue to reach out and bond with junior (female) Soldiers.”
The program offers a safe place for females to express themselves and explore new ideas in a secure and professional environment. The program is structured to allow young female Soldiers to take ownership of the program.
“To ensure that females understand that this program is for them, during every meeting they vote on the topic of training for the following month,” Anderson said.
“This method allows junior females to voice their areas of concern to their mentors and subject matter experts who conduct the training, ” Anderson added.
The program will host quarterly off-duty events, physical training activities and cultural awareness tours to provide females Soldiers with a means to develop professionally through senior level mentorship.