Our fall professional development program, presented by the Army Women’s Foundation and hosted by AUSA’s Institute of Land Warfare, was a tremendous success.

More than 120 Active, Reserve and Retired Soldiers gathered Oct. 9, 2017 in Washington, D.C. to examine leading in a complex world. They gained knowledge, made new contacts and left feeling inspired.

The Army Women’s Foundation presents professional development opportunities each year in March at its annual Summit. But this was the first time the Foundation offered a professional development program at the AUSA Annual Meeting and Convention.

Maj. Gen. Mari K. Eder, USA, Ret., delivered the keynote.

Command Sgt. Maj. Donna Brock, USA, Ret., treasurer of the Army Women’s Foundation, moderated the discussion.
Panel members were Brig. Gen. Cindy Jebb, Dean, United States Military Academy; Chief Warrant Officer 4 Phyllis Wilson, USAR, Ret., US Army Warrant Officer Career College, Fort Rucker; Command Sgt. Maj. Julie Guerra; Staff Sgt. Elizabeth Marks, Paralympic Athlete.

Key points made include:

  • The Army needs to change its recruiting advertising to show how women serve in many roles in the Army.
  • To empower others, don’t assume they should follow in your footsteps. It is important to listen to their interests and passions in order to be able to support and encourage them to achieve their goals.
  • Seek out two mentors – one mentor who is one or two years ahead of you who can help you prepare for the next step, and one who is 10- to 20 years ahead of you who can help you plan and regulate your actions.
  • Take advantage of your situation by turning obstacles into opportunities.
  • Socio economic status, ethnicity and family history aren’t barriers to success in the Army.
  • The Army not only affords the opportunity to go to college, it also provides a family and network of people to trust.