Friends Of The Corbin Forum
Promoting and Supporting the Cadet Activity

Advisors and Leaders

The Workshop and the discussion topics have been developed with the collaboration of the following individuals:

COL Diane Ryan, USA, Ph.D., Department of Behavioral Sciences & Leadership, USMA
CAPT Brigid Pavilonis, USCG, Ph.D., Humanities Department , USCGA
CDR David Smith, USN, Ph.D., Leadership, Ethics and Law Department, USNA

The discussion topics and the leaders:

1. Leveraging Diversity: Full integration of women into combat roles

Drawing on the example of integration of women in to the Navy's submarine force and the first-hand experience from combat missions in Afghanistan embedded in all-male Special Operations units, Katie Burkhart and Emily Miller will lead a discussion on "How to do it right" when it comes to women's integration into combat roles. Focusing on the perspective of division (Navy) or platoon (Army) leaders, they will address the value of diversity in a small unit, how to convey that value to others to ease the integration process, and the specific challenges of being a leader during this transition period.

CPT Emily Miller, USMA '05, is enrolled at Harvard Business School. Emily has served in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. She led an all-male Engineer platoon in reconstruction efforts in southern Iraq. In Afghanistan, she worked as a Cultural Support Team (CST) member embedded with the 75th Ranger Regiment for combat missions in Afghanistan. Emily has completed two deployments in CST assignments.

LT Katie Burkhart, Penn '07, is enrolled at Harvard Kennedy School. Katie served as a Surface Warfare Officer for seven years and remains in the Navy Reserves. She has deployed multiple times to the Arabian Gulf and Western Pacific, to include one tour as the senior female officer onboard a Guided Missile Cruiser. Before entering HKS, Katie was a Watch Officer and Executive Briefer on the Chief of Naval Operations staff for Operations, Plans and Strategy (N3/N5).

2. Junior Leader's Role in Reversing the Epidemic of Sexual Harassment & Sexual Assault in the Military and on College Campuses

Workshop participants already know people who were sexually assaulted. They just may not realize it is the person sitting next to them. Recent United States Government reports estimate only 10 percent of sexual assaults are reported, thus keeping nearly 26,000 military and 20% of college women survivors unidentified in this under-reported crime. This workshop will explore Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs) for Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Prevention with a focus on actionable skills for junior leaders.

COL (R) Janice Lembke Dombi, LWU '81, is the CEO of J.Dombi2 Consulting, LLC and the founding partner of TF SASA (Task Force Sisterhood Against Sexual Assault), LLC "In Her Boots" Program. Janice commanded two Combat Engineer Battalions (Heavy), the Far East District in Korea, and was the first woman to command a Division in the US Army Corps of Engineers. She was able to implement the "In Her Boots" program with US women Service Members in Iraq. Janice also served as an Associate Professor in the Department of History at West Point during her 30+ year career in the Army.

MG Jeff Snow, USMA ’83, has served in a variety of command and staff assignments in the United States, Germany, Kosovo, Kuwait, and Iraq. Major General Snow is the Director of the Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO). SAPRO is the Department of Defense's single point of accountability and oversight for sexual assault policy matters and develops policy and programs that address the Department's sexual assault prevention, advocacy / victim assistance, and assessment efforts.

MAJ (R) Joe Dombi, USMA '81, is the Chief Operating Officer for J.DOMBI2 Consulting, LLC and is a registered P.E., PMP with over 30 years of construction and facilities management experience. Joe was active duty Army for 20 years in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers organizations to include teaching civil engineering at West Point. He is a Project Manager with CH2M HILL Constructors, Inc. doing FEMA housing construction after catastrophic storms and previously worked for Avila Government Services, Inc where he was on the Pentagon Renovation team following the attack on 9/11.

LT Edgar Luna, Tufts '11, was commissioned into the Marine Corps through Officer Candidate School in 2011. Prior to his commissioning, LT Luna served two tours in Iraq assigned to the Marine Wing Support Squadron 373, Miramar, California. Edgar has served as the battalion training officer and is the future operations officer for the 3d Radio Battalion stationed in Kaneohe, HI. Edgar also serves as the sexual assault victim advocate for his marine battalion.

3. Integrating Work & Life as a Military Spouse or Couple

This workshop will familiarize participants with experiences, knowledge and research data available to understand the unique challenges that couples in military relationships may experience. Facilitators will summarize societal trends and how they relate to women in the military, military women's relationships/family formation, military family policies (including co-location), timing of children/adoption, career/workplace structure, work-family strategies, communication, interpersonal relationship skills, and keys to success. The facilitators' diverse military and family backgrounds will serve as a voice of experience for participants.

CDR David Smith, USNA '87, is a Permanent Military Professor of Leadership and Chair, Department of Leadership, Ethics, and Law at USNA. He is married to CDR Erica Smith (USN Ret) and they have 2 children. CDR Smith flew the P-3 Orion as a Naval Aviator making 6 deployments and 3 combat deployments including command of VP-4 in OEF/OIF. As a Ph.D. Sociologist his research focuses on gender, work and family in the military. In addition to core leadership and ethics courses at USNA, he also teaches a Social Psychology course, Gender & Leadership, and the Sociology of Marriage and Families.

COL (S) Heather Blackwell, USAFA '97, is a National Security Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. Heather previously served as the Executive Officer, Office of the Chief, Chief of Staff of the Air Force; as the Commander of the 87th Communications Squadron and was an Air Force Legislative Fellow in the U.S. Senate. She has a Masters in Information Systems Management and a Masters in Business Administration. She has been married to her husband Richard for 12 years.

Alex Glade, USMA '03, is an MBA Candidate and Sloan Fellow at MIT. As an Army Engineer Officer, she served in the US, Iraq, Korea, and Japan with experiences as a Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer, Company Commander, Division Engineer, Forward Engineer Support Team Leader, and Program Manager. Following the Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami (2011), she worked as the US Forces Japan Joint Support Forces-Forward Engineer, planned the recovery of Sendai International Airport for the delivery of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief supplies, and initiated other follow-on bilateral support missions.

MAJ Vincent Enriquez, USMA '03, is a Master of Arts Candidate in International Relations at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He began his career as an Army Engineer, deploying with the 173d Airborne Brigade Combat Team to Afghanistan, where he was responsible for counter-IED and road construction operations. He transitioned to Special Forces, specializing in the Asia-Pacific, and served as a counterterrorism advisor to partner forces throughout Southeast Asia.

4. Women at the Top: Strategies to Overcome Gender Bias

Impact change in your life by understanding gender bias and how to leverage it to be an authentic and powerful leader. Our reality is that men and women leaders are viewed through a ‘gender lens.’ This workshop will identify the traits and characteristics of successful leaders in both the military and corporate world and how those traits can be positively amplified under the ‘lens.’ Discussion topics include: becoming a risk manager, selecting a sponsor, finding your voice, owning your success, sitting at the table, picking your battles, and avoiding the popularity contest. Each of the facilitators has had years of experiencing either employing these strategies or coaching female leaders to reach their full potential. You will learn practical tools and techniques you can start using today.

CAPT Brigid Pavilonis, USCGA '91, is a Professor of International Relations at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (USCGA) and leades the Government Section in the Department of Humanities. She earned her Master’s Degree and PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Captain Pavilonis served as Operations Officer in Coast Guard Group/Marine Safety Office Long Island Sound, in New Haven, Connecticut and as a Deck Watch Officer aboard USCGC RELIANCE in New Castle, New Hampshire. In the early 1990’s, she served on the Coast Guard’s first-ever Minority Retention Study Group and worked with the Defense Advisory Committee for Women in the Service (DACOWITS) to better understand climate issues as they pertain to small units. Brigid is married and has two children, a daughter and a son.

MG (R) Maria Britt, USMA '83, served as Commanding General of Georgia’s 11,000 Army National Guard soldiers for four years. During her command the GA ARNG deployed over 10,000 soldiers from 22 different units in support of overseas contingency operations. General Britt has led at various levels of command and staff over her 28 year career. Her branches were Military Police and Military Intelligence. General Britt is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College and holds Masters Degrees in Strategic Intelligence and Strategic Studies from the Joint Military Intelligence School, DIA and the US Army War College respectively. General Britt has three daughters, and one grandson. She currently serves as the Associate Vice President for Operations at Kennesaw State University, Georgia’s 3rd largest university with 32,000 students.

5. Overcoming invisible barriers to inclusion

In a pre-dominantly male organization like the U.S. military, women have many obstacles to career success. Some of these barriers are visible; physical standards, policies that exclude them from certain specialties and others. Many of these barriers to success, however, lie below the surface in the form of values, norms, and underlying assumptions. Many times these barriers are the real, but unspoken obstacles to full inclusion of women in the profession. These cultural aspects influence unit climates and, because they are not visible, may be difficult to identify or recognize and ultimately, overcome. This workshop will explore some of these barriers and discuss how to overcome them.

Christine Boyle Yuengert, USMA '81, is a West Point Graduate, is married to a West Point Graduate, is the Mother of two West Point Graduates (a son and a daughter - both Combat Engineers that have deployed to Afghanistan) and has a daughter currently at Boston College. Chris was commissioned as an Air Defense Artillery Officer, served in Germany and Ft Bragg before transitioning to the US Army Reserves. She resigned from the USAR as a Major. Chris spent 30 years in support of military families, providing leadership to varied community and non-profit organizations while moving 14 times in support of her husband's active military career. Most recently, Chris served at the US Army War College as the Military Family Program Director from 2011-2013.

COL (R) Lou Yuengert, USMA '81, is the Professor of Defense Leadership and Enterprise Management at the US Army War College. Lou commanded a Battalion in the 18th FA Brigade, XVIII Abn Corps Artillery, was deployed to Kuwait, and has served as a Regimental Tactical Officer at West Point. Lou considers his greatest accomplishment his marriage to Christine!

Laura McTaggart, U-M '92 , served in the US Navy as a surface warfare officer in 1992. She served as the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Officer on the USS TRUETT, and deployed in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico for drug interdiction and anti-submarine warfare exercises. After TRUETT’s decommissioning and transfer to the Royal Thai Navy, Laura received orders to serve as Electrical Division Officer on the USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, a nuclear powered aircraft carrier. The IKE was the first combatant ship to deploy with a co-ed crew. Laura and her shipmates also made history when they transported the Army’s 10th Mountain Division to Haiti to spearhead Operation Uphold Democracy in 1994. On board IKE, Laura deployed to the Persian Gulf, Adriatic, and Mediterranean in support of Operation Southern Watch (Iraq) and Operation Deny Flight (Bosnia).

Other Presenters for the Workshop:

CPT Rachel Beck, USMA '05, is a MPA candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School. Rachel was commissioned as an intelligence officer, completing one tour in northern Iraq and two tours in Afghanistan. She has experience as an aviation intelligence officer at the squadron and brigade level and as a company commander for a human intelligence company. She will continue active duty service following her time at Harvard serving as a strategist at the Pentagon.

CPT William Denn, USMA '06, is a MPP candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School and has a Bachelor of Science Degree in International Relations and Systems Engineering. He led both tank and infantry platoons in Iraq, fighting alongside the Kurdish Peshmerga in Mosul from 2007-2009. In 2010, as an intelligence officer, he served as a Combat Advisor for the Afghan Security Forces in Regional Command East, Afghanistan.

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