March 5, 2015 –
CAMP SANTIAGO JOINT MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER- First Lt. Ayesha Jimenez and 1st Sgt. Virgen Rodriguez, from the 271st Human Resources Company, U.S. Army Reserve-Puerto Rico, reflected about the role of female Soldiers in today’s Army during a short interview at the Camp Santiago Joint Maneuver Training Site, March 5.
The female leaders shared their point of views as they led a detachment of approximately 50 Soldiers during a pre-mobilization training, in preparation for an upcoming deployment to the Middle East.
The fact that these two female Soldiers are leading the troops takes especial relevance during the International Women’s Month.
“This is a great experience. As a leader, to me is very important to be able to influence my Soldiers while creating a positive environment,” said Jimenez, who is a human resources officer in the Army Reserve and a nurse in her civilian occupation.
“I would like to show everyone that women are able to perform any task. We may be gentle, but we are not weak. There are many female Soldiers who are mothers, wives and are able to do their jobs with the support of their families,” added Jimenez, who also wants to complete her master's degree in nursing with a cardiovascular specialization.
Meanwhile, Rodriguez described the importance of maintaining a healthy balance between the military service and the family.
“We want to send the message to those women, who may have some concerns about reaching their goals. Once you know what you want and you get organized, you can achieve any goal, as long as you have the support of your loved ones. It is critical to keep the family informed about the job that you have. In that way, they will support and admire you,” said Rodriguez, who is the second woman who currently holds the rank of first sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve-Puerto Rico.
The 1st Mission Support Command, U.S. Army Reserve-Puerto Rico has approximately 4,200 service members assigned. From those, approximately 600 troops are female.
All the positions across the U.S. Army Reserve-Puerto Rico, the largest U.S. Army command in the Caribbean, are available to female Soldiers.
The crucial role that Jimenez and Rodriguez play during the mobilization of their unit, clearly showcases the importance of the service of female troops in current operations and how their selfless sacrifices continue to break through gender barriers.