Salutes & Awards

April 4, 2014

NTC and Fort Irwin recognizes women’s character, courage, commitment

Recognized for total commitment to the success of women, Soldiers and the Fort Irwin community: Gail Carey, Spc. Camille Faulkner, Joyce Fields, D’Anne Gilliam, Tiffany Holiday, 1st Lt. Sumer Johnson, Silvia Moreno, Sandra Snyder, Andrea Wooley and Casey Slusser (not pictured). The women serve at the National Training Center and Fort Irwin as Soldiers and civilian employees.

The National Training Center and Fort Irwin celebrated Women’s History Month with a standing-room only ceremony, March 5.

Women all over the country and the Army are being recognized during the observance, whose theme is “Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment.” This year’s proclamation by President Barack Obama states that throughout our nation’s history, American women have led movements in social and economic justice, made groundbreaking scientific discoveries, enriched culture with stunning works of art and literature, and charted bold directions in our foreign policy. They have served our country with valor, from the battlefields of the Revolutionary War to the deserts of Iraq and mountains of Afghanistan.

At this high desert military installation, Operations Group and the Equal Opportunity/Equal Employment Opportunity office sponsored the event — which packed the venue, Sandy Basin Community Center. Guest speaker Col. Cheryl Taylor-Whitehead, commander of United States Army Medical Department Activity, here, thanked all the women in uniform at the ceremony for “all you have done, what you’re currently doing, and what you will do in the time to come.” She asked Spc. Marissa Joyner and Staff Sgt. Holly Burke to stand and be recognized as the Soldier of the Year and Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year (fiscal year 2013) for MEDDAC.

Burke, operations NCO-in-charge at Weed Army Community Hospital, here, said the competition (held in December) was challenging, but she felt compelled to participate and be an example for junior Soldiers. The contest allowed her to experience being tested and to charge forward.

Guest speaker Col. Cheryl Taylor-Whitehead, commander of United States Army Medical Department Activity, here, thanked all the women in uniform at the ceremony for “all you have done, what you’re currently doing, and what you will do in the time to come.” “There is no doubt women have created a legacy that expands the frontiers of possibilities of generations to come,” Taylor-Whitehead said.

“Attitude makes a difference,” Burke said. “If you want to compete, and you want to be there and do the best that you can – it’s all about your attitude. Have that positive attitude and the dedication.”

With almost 10 years of service, Burke acknowledged there may be challenges for young women progressing in their military careers, but that should not deter them from succeeding.

“Don’t let obstacles stop you – it only makes you better,” Burke said. “Be resilient and be able to bounce back.”

Joyner, NCOIC for obstetrics and gynecology at WACH, unable to compete the previous year, was determined to participate in the challenge that tests Soldiers in land navigation, weapons qualification, Army history and regulations, physical fitness and combatives – the Army’s hand-to-hand fighting technique. Looking forward to the opportunity, she prepared in advance. I wanted it, she said.

“I’m very competitive,” Joyner said. “I trained a couple of months before going, because I knew I was going to go. Everything’s a challenge [for me], because I’m always so competitive.”

During the combatives phase – which included grappling with a male Soldier, who wrestled competitevly in high school – Joyner admitted she was apprehensive, but ready for the physical battle. In that match, though not the winner, she was able to brawl longer than some of the other male competitors.

Staff Sgt. Holly Burke and Spc. Marissa Joyner, both with United States Army Medical Department Activity, stand to be recognized as the Soldier of the Year and Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year (fiscal year 2013), respectively, for MEDDAC.

“It was definitely a big challenge for me,” Joyner expressed. “I was nervous and shaking, but I fought as far as I could. It was exciting. It was an adrenaline rush.”

With a huge smile, Joyner (who once completed 101 pushups during a MEDDAC competition) stood as the ceremony audience applauded her and Burke’s achievement. Joyner declared she is humble by nature, but she stated that the ceremony honoring women was inspirational.

“To see all these women do these great things, to know that everybody is taking part in the community – it’s a great feeling,” Joyner said.

In concluding her remarks, Taylor-Whitehead appreciated past women, who have carved their names in history and paved the way for others.

“There is no doubt women have created a legacy that expands the frontiers of possibilities of generations to come,” she said.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Gustavo Bahena

Flying Tigers activated

Gustavo Bahena The 2916th Aviation Battalion commander, Lt. Col. William Garber (right), hands a guidon to Capt. Jesse DeJaynes during a unit activation ceremony here, Oct. 16. DeJaynes leads the newly activated unit – B ...
 
 

Celebrating pride, spirit

From the Aleutian Islands to the Florida everglades, American Indians and Alaska Natives have contributed immensely to our country’s heritage. They have enhanced our nation through contributions in the fields of art, science, education, business and our military. Native Americans have bravely served and participated with distinction in U.S. military actions for more than 200...
 
 

Honoring cultural differences

National Hispanic Heritage Month, a celebration of the contributions and accomplishments of America’s Hispanic community, is celebrated from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. In recognition of this year’s celebration, Weed Army Community Hospital and the National Training Center’s EO/EEO Office hosted “Hispanics, A Legacy of History, A Present of Action and a Future of Success,”...
 

 

Soldier, leader, Veteran

The Veterans Day observance provides the country an opportunity to recognize the contributions of past and current servicemembers, but it also gives Soldiers a chance to reflect on experiences and people who have impacted a career in defense of the United States of America. Deployment experiences, friends and family have been a huge influence in...
 
 

Sustainability involves repairs, latest technology, planning for future

The Directorate of Public Works here strives to keep this post, not only operational, but modern for personnel to conduct the mission of the National Training Center. In the past two fiscal years, DPW has been involved with numerous projects that continue the sustainability and upgrading of the installation, said DPW Director Mohammed Bari. Installation...
 
 
Photo courtesy of Lelan Daines

Ten-Miler team places fourth in division

Photo courtesy of Lelan Daines Fort Irwin Soldiers took fourth in their division at the 30th Army Ten-Miler road-race near Washington D.C., Oct. 11. A team of eight Soldiers placed fourth in a mix (male and female) division whi...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin