I had the honor of attending Officer Candidate School with Vernice Armour. Vernice is a former United States Marine Corps officer who was the first African-American female naval aviator in the Marine Corps and the first African-American female combat pilot in the U.S. Armed Forces. She flew the AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopter in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and eventually served two tours supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Parents, grandparents, families, and friends see more and more female loved ones join the armed forces. And with this comes uncertainty to their future, both in the military and as they reenter the civilian workplace. This article will outline the accomplishments of our current female military population and the leadership traits women bring to the battlefield and boardroom.
Training side-by-side female Marines provided incredible insight into the talent of planning and implementing a combat readiness strategy. I believe that female warfighter has a unique skill of looking at the battlefield from a ‘God’s view,’ enabling them to assess the terrain quickly.
Conversely, males tend to lead from a landscape perspective focusing on immediate call-to-action maneuvers. Both leadership styles are of value in the planning and implementation stages to achieve victory.
According to the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense, when the draft ended in 1973, women represented just 2 percent of the enlisted forces and 8 percent of the officer corps. Today, those numbers are 16 percent and 19 percent, respectively, significantly over the past half-century.
An article written by Medium.com, 5 reasons why having women in leadership benefits your entire company provides insight into five leadership traits women bring to the corporate and political landscape. Fortunately, military training cultivates, not only these five, but other leadership skills that will ensure your daughters a place at the corporate table post-military.
- More women = better problem-solving
- Female leaders are trusted
- Women leaders are more collaborative
- Women make terrific mentors
- Millennial women are more educated than men
Meet a hard-charging Sailor
Lauren Katzenberg of the New York Times Magazine asked servicewomen and veterans to send stories that defined their experiences in the military. They received over 650 submissions from the woman in the military including Chief Petty Officer Stella Sierra-Chierici.
“I am a jet engine mechanic on the F/A-18F Super Hornet. Not many women or men will ever get the opportunity to do what I do. It’s been tough at times throughout my career to have men tell me they will not work for me because I’m a woman. I say to them: “That’s O.K. You don’t have to follow me, but I will bring you along.” Chief Petty Officer Stella Sierra-Chierici, Navy, 1999-Present
Send us your stories of daughters, wives, sisters, and granddaughters who have chosen to serve our great country. With your permission, we will follow their progress and continue to report on their success.