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Marine Corps Base Quantico

"Crossroads of the Marine Corps"

Women’s Fellowship Group off ground, taking off

By Cpl. Paris Capers | | March 25, 2014

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. --

The newly formed Women’s Fellowship Group convened for its second meeting at Yale Hall aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico on March 12, 2014, and will continue to give female Marines and civilians across the base an opportunity to discuss freely.

“The fellowship is a place where women across the base can come to discuss all types of issues,” said Master Sgt. Tonya James, one of the senior leaders who spearheaded the program.

“We discuss and come up with solutions by sharing different perspectives with one another.” said James.

Every Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 a.m., the group gathers at Yale Hall and is open to all women across the base. The gathering is an outlet for discussion of issues, concerns and questions.

“I can’t stress enough that it’s not just for Marines, but civilians aboard the base as well,” said James.

At the debut of the program on March 5, 2014, there were 15 people, who said they heard about the opportunity by word of mouth. At the second meeting there were new faces ready with questions, observations and more. “When I heard about the men’s group I thought ‘we [women] should have something like that’ and sure enough, here it is,” said Cpl. Josie Harstad, one of a handful of Marines who attended this week. “It’s the kind of place where you ask a question and realize you weren’t the only one thinking it.”Harstad enjoyed being able to talk with senior leaders and women outside the military about ideas she had for herself and others.

“I felt it was important to have this group so female Marines have a place to feel empowered,” James said. “Because of the way the Marine Corps is changing, more is being asked of females now than any time in the past.”

Since her enlistment into the Corps in 1995, James has seen many changes for female Marines, including physical fitness, uniforms and more, so believes it is important for females surrounding the military to empower one another, rather than solely compete with one another.

“For those on the fence about coming into to the fellowship,” said James to those yet to attend, “you will always take something away, either as a Marine, as a woman or as a person.”

Correspondent: Paris.Capers@usmc.mil

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