Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Fort Carson Mountaineer

Training future leaders today

By Sgt. James Geelen

4th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division

FORT CARSON, Colo. — Mentorship and sponsorship are key drivers of success, yet women can have a harder time finding mentors and sponsors, especially ones with influence. Women who are mentored by women, maybe more supported and can often be more satisfied with their career.

Earlier this month, leaders from 4th Sustainment Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, started a mentorship program where women can help other women. The initial phase of the program was focused on self-defense in the morning, followed by a seminar at The Hub in the afternoon.

Sgt. Maj. Candace Childress, operation office NCO in charge (NCOIC), 4th Sustainment Brigade, led the seminar to help inform Soldiers about all of the resources available.

The seminar was held with everyone in civilian clothes.

“The intention was to help lighten the mood and allow everyone to be more open about their goals,” Childress said. “A mentor who knows a person well can be a strong champion of a person’s attributes and an ally during any bumpy spots.”

“Mentors are especially important for women who work with men,” said Pfc. Tatihanna Taylor, a motor transport operator for 68th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade. “A mentor can give you advice based on her perspective and experiences.”

A mentor whose work is admirable can be a strong inspiration, she said.

“I think the Army needs to start a program like this,” said Taylor. “The self-defense techniques will really help if I ever found myself in a dangerous situation when I’m out by myself. Soldiers are trained to run toward danger, not away from it.”

A strong mentor can encourage a person to open their mind to different ways of thinking, said Taylor.

“Everyone teaches you about credit cards and how dangerous they can be,” Taylor said. “I wasn’t aware just how much of an effect they can have on your credit score and effectively stop you from owning a home. I’m glad they talked about that today.”

The overall goal is to continue moving forward with this program, Childress said. Everyone involved would benefit from the improved leadership this program would create.

“We would like to keep going with both the self-defense and mentoring aspects of this program,” said Childress. “I had everyone here fill out a survey, and from that we will figure out the best way to continue mentoring these young ladies.”

Leaders plan on continuing to expand the program to meet the needs of female junior Soldiers and leaders.

“I know that I wouldn’t be in the position I am today if it weren’t for the impact and guidance of my mentors,” Childress said. “I want to keep this program moving forward, so these ladies can have the chance to become strong leaders.”

 

Training future leaders today
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