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Home / News / “Who wouldn’t be inspired?” Women’s military forum to be held in Norfolk | Local News

“Who wouldn’t be inspired?” Women’s military forum to be held in Norfolk | Local News

The Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium evokes Coast Guard Capt. Martha LaGuardia-Kotite.

“It’s the most important gathering of women in uniform (in the world),” she stated. “Who wouldn’t be inspired?”

LaGuardia-Kotite, writer of “Changing the Rules of Engagement,” will function grasp of ceremonies for 30th annual convention, which is in Norfolk June 15-16.

The occasion was created by the Sea Service Leadership Association as a result of, in the previous, women’s skilled networks and mentors in the military have been restricted, stated John Dittmer, the group’s vice chairman of administration.

The convention is a approach for women officers to share their information, he stated. And the gathering offers loads of alternatives for camaraderie and dialog.

What LaGuardia-Kotite received the primary time she attended was invaluable.

“Every day, we’re the minority,” she stated. “It’s really quite awesome to walk into a room and see 600 or more women in uniform. It’ll never happen anywhere else.”

The women are from everywhere in the world, she stated. “We’re bringing women from all U.S. armed forces and our international allies to Virginia, and we couldn’t be more excited to have Norfolk host it.”

The occasion’s location modifications yearly, however the group all the time finds fleet focus areas in which to maintain it.

“We try to come (to Hampton Roads) every few years since Norfolk has the largest naval base in the world,” Dittmer stated.

This yr, the convention will embrace a world panel dialogue that includes military members from Australia, Sweden, the Netherlands and Canada. Speakers will embrace Gen. Glenn Walters, assistant commandant of the Marine Corps; Adm. Charles Michel, vice commandant of the Coast Guard; Rear Adm. June Ryan of the Coast Guard; and Capt. Deshauna Barber of the Army Reserve, who was Miss USA 2016.

Topics to be coated embrace women’s health, senior management and professional improvement.

“What’s required for advancement five years ago is a lot different from what’s needed today as the services continue to evolve,” Dittmer stated.

LaGuardia-Kotite stated senior leaders can “meet and hear from all services and all ranks directly. This informal exchange provides insights (that) will result ultimately in better policies that address issues that are important to women.”

But the convention, she stated, can also be open to males.

Active obligation, reserve or retired military are invited, as are civilians.

Whoever attends will study women’s contributions to the armed forces.

“We’ve come a long way in 30 years, in terms of what women are now able to do (in the military),” LaGuardia-Kotite stated. “Nothing’s impossible.”

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