MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan --
Women and men aboard station gathered in the Club Iwakuni ballroom to attend the 2012 Military Women’s Symposium in honor of National Women’s History month here March 27.
“This is a great forum for women and men to attend because it allows the two genders to understand what it is like to be in the military from different points of view,” said Maj. Elizabeth Pham, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron Section 3 training officer, Marine Transport Squadron detachment officer in charge. “These classes give everyone tools to use in the future for self improvement and education.”
Those who participated divided into small groups and attended different workshops throughout Club Iwakuni.
Some of the workshops included uniform regulations, promotions, fitness reports, looking out for fellow female service members, pregnancy, stress relief, selfesteem and sexual harassment.
Throughout each workshop, attendees shared personal stories and events with each other as a way to openly discuss ways of coping with or overcoming negative situations.
“Everyone benefits from personal stories,” said Christina Sanders, secretary for the commanding officer of Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron. “This way we can easily help with overcoming fear, self esteem issues as well as any form of harassment military members face.”
Leaders asked them to recall how they felt when boot camp or basic training was complete, so they may remember how they felt when they were brand new to their respective service.
“We are all Marines, regardless of race or gender, at the end of the day, you just have to be the best version of yourself. You just have to be a Marine,” said Pham.
The event concluded with a question and answer segment. Attendees asked mentors questions pertaining not just to women in the military, but also everyday stress and work-related issues. Mentors responded with personal wisdom and experience.
Lt. Col. Michael R. Coletta, H&HS commanding officer, gave closing remarks on the day’s events. He thanked the women for their contributions throughout the years and for continued service to home and country as well as their service in the military.0