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Promoting and Supporting the Cadet Activity

Leadership Presentations

Morning Session

SHARP in the Army - CPT Rachel Beck

I will present a perspective on integrating the SHARP program into company-level training and discuss techniques that worked to get soldiers to take ownership of the program, to educate them on the resources available, and to improve the climate for reporting.

Women in Combat Roles - CPT (P) William Denn

William Denn is an active-duty Army officer with two combat tours leading infantry, armor, and intelligence units in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has written in the Washington Post advocating in favor of opening the military's combat arms to females because of the gains they can bring to intelligence collection and in increases in small team performance. He will discuss the current debate of gender inclusion in the Army’s combat arms and how he believes women can contribute within these units.

Integrating Work and Military Life - CDR David Smith

"Women comprise 16% of all military officers, are less likely to be married than their male counterparts, much less likely to have children and 7 times more likely to be married to another service member than their male counterparts. With the increase in women in the military over the past 40 years, we have seen a corresponding increase in dual military couples who represent over 10% all married officer couples. Challenges for women in military relationships include career path management, collocation, timing of children, childcare and "traditional" family norms in the military. I will present strategies, best practices, and data-driven and experiential recommendations for a successful career and family."

Bloom Where You Are Planted - COL (R) Janice Dombi

Being open to uncertainty, and prepared to invest the time to meet the challenges, will yield amazing experiences that you do not even know exist. Taking leadership positions that are not on the beaten path provides you an accelerated opportunity to "Find Your Voice." With the skills you develop, you will expand your level of confidence and the ability to accept new and exciting jobs at a moment's notice. I will provide examples of developing skills during a career that started with a job what my peers labeled "the kiss of death." After 30+ years of service that included 5 Commands, four Masters Degrees, being selected as the first woman to command a Division in the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and co-founding the "In Her Boots" program to reduce the number of sexual assaults in the Department of Defense, I know the importance of Blooming Where You Are Planted.

Avoid the Popularity Contest - MG (R) Maria Britt

Leadership is about being responsible to the greater good, not the individual. Women tend to hold themselves back for fear of being labeled as bossy or that other 'B' word. Sometimes people will disagree with you and get angry. Stay on the high ground and practice 'leadership' not 'likership'. Being respected is more important as a leader than being liked. If you try to please everyone, you're not making the tough decisions. This workshop will discuss why it's so hard for women to be perceived as both competent and nice.

Women Serving in Combat - Emily Miller

Emily will discuss the challenges and opportunities as a woman serving on the front lines of combat. As a lieutenant, she led an all-male engineer platoon in Iraq and later served as one of the first Cultural Support Team members attached to 75th Ranger Regiment on combat missions in Afghanistan. Emily will draw on these experiences to illustrate the necessity of integrating women into combat roles, in addition to the enormous benefits this diversity brought to her teams – everything from enhanced intelligence, superior results, and a more effective fighting force.

Taking Risks - COL (S) Heather Blackwell

My speech will encourage our young future leaders to take leadership risks...not for their own benefit, but for the benefit of their personnel. I have three short personal stories of leadership risks that describe how we inspire, involve, and empower our personnel.


Afternoon Session

SAPRO - MG Jeff Snow

Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (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. MG Snow is the Director of the SAPRO.

Authentic Leadership - Alex Glade

Creating an environment of trust begins with being an authentic leader. Striving to be more self-aware and straightforward can help us become a better version of ourselves and provides a continuous learning process. How do we use authentic leadership to lead our teams, peers, and superiors? Courage and reflection helped my development in every leadership role in the Army from Engineer platoon leader, Company Commander, and advising other countries on their humanitarian assistance and disaster response measures.

Can Change Occur in a Strong Culture?  COL (R) Lou Yuengert

The biggest obstacle to meaningful change is a strong culture, especially in successful organizations. This is true because the culture represents the things that make the organization successful over time (or that are perceived to contribute to that success). The visible manifestations of culture are relatively easy to change but the things that undergird those symbols are less visible and are much more difficult to address. Without change to these invisible aspects of culture, no lasting, meaningful change can take place.

Women Serving on Combat Ships - LT Katie Burkhart

LT Katie Burkhart will discuss her experiences as a female serving onboard warships 21 years after women were first allowed to serve at sea on combat ships and offer a perspective on what a community looks like two decades after integration. She will also discuss the 2010 policy that allowed women women to serve aboard submarines and the Navy's approach to ensuring the new female submariners were not marginalized on a mostly-male crew.

Prevention and Response to Sexual Assault - LT Edgar Luna

My presentation will explain the dynamics of sexual assault in a Marine unit from the perspective of a uniformed victim advocate and company grade officer. I will focus on describing and framing the most problematic impediments to implementing more effective prevention and response programs. These tend to be both cultural and structural, such as commanders unintentionally projecting tolerance for sexual harassment.

FIND A MENTOR!  CAPT Brigid Pavilonis

A key part of achieving professional success is having a good mentor. No matter how smart or hard-working you are… you need a senior person in your organization to be your champion, career coach and advice-giver. Don’t dismiss their value and assume you can go it alone! Good mentors offer perspectives that years of experience have afforded them—and these lessons can be passed on to you. You can find a mentor at a conference like this, at your academy or school or at a summer assignment. Find one today!

Leadership and Liberty: How to Have Fun in Civilian Clothes and Return a Snappy Salute the Next Morning - Laura McTaggart

I will discuss the potential perils and pitfalls of going on liberty among your peers, higher-ups, and subordinates and how to make sure your conduct is never unbecoming. Everyone deserves a little fun, but we are all officers first.

After DADT - Emily Miller

After serving as the first LGBT active duty board member for KnightsOut and developing underground networks of over 7,500 LGBT service members, Emily will discuss her experiences at the company level following the implementation of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT). The repeal of DADT has revealed profound implications: the value of leadership excellence in the face of changing policies, the importance of leveraging diversity to improve unit cohesion and performance, and the role authentic leadership plays in changing deeply held attitudes and beliefs.

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