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NEWS | July 11, 2024

Army Reserve Careers Group leader impacted by Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium

By Maj. John May Army Reserve Careers Group

Over 1,300 women from all branches of military and civilian service gathered in Arlington, Virginia for professional development through networking, education, and mentorship June 26–28 at the Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium hosted by the Sea Services Leadership Association.

The theme of this year’s symposium was ‘Strength Through Service’. The symposium featured panel discussions, service specific breakout sessions, and women senior leader guest speakers. Panels addressed inclusion, women in non-traditional roles, military family challenges, and leading with compassion.

United States Army Reserve Careers Group Operations Researcher and Systems Analyst, Lt. Col. Kaylee Bandy was among those in attendance. She indicated that many of the symposium topics are relevant to her efforts to initiate a Female Mentoring and Morale Program chapter at ARCG.

Bandy said ARCG is in the early stages of formalizing a FMMP at the Group Headquarters in Fort Knox, Ky., with the intention of expanding to battalions in the future.

“The symposium reminded me that it takes one voice to tackle issues and rally for change,” Bandy said. “It showed me that our first line, middle, and senior level leaders are all invested in improving our forces and creating conditions for success for our women warfighters. The FMMP, a product of the Army’s Women’s Initiatives Team, is a fantastic platform with a similar focus on mentorship, professional development, and gender specific needs analysis.”

The Army Women’s Initiatives Team is a group of representatives from across the Army who study issues, develop policy changes, and make recommendations to Army leaders about women in the Army.

Women of all ranks from all branches of service attended the symposium in pursuit of mentorship, policy and hardship discussion, and personal and professional encouragement.

“The symposium validated challenges specific to female warfighters,” Bandy said. “We were able to propose solutions to shared problems, identify available resources, and promote outlets for change. It was a revolutionary networking event, bonding women from across all branches.”

“There is a coalition of women, across the globe, taking the hard jobs, breaking barriers, blazing trails, shattering ceilings, and challenging the norms. These women are betting on themselves because there is a congregation of women betting on each other,” Bandy said.

Bandy is leading a critical effort for the Army and Army Reserve as the program manager for the Department of the Army Career Engagement Survey. She is also in the process of launching the first ever Headquarters Department of the Army Standardized Exit Survey.

“The program is designed to anonymously gauge active and reserve component Soldier sentiment regarding propensity to serve, inclination to separate and overall service experience,” Bandy said. “Our most precious resource is the men and women in our formations. This program of surveys provides a valuable opportunity for our warfighters to communicate their opinions and attitudes regarding their Army service.”