AFGSC holds Women’s Leadership Symposium

  • Published
  • By Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs
  • Air Force Global Strike Command

Airmen from across Air Force Global Strike Command gathered here July 25-27 to attend the 2023 AFGSC Women’s Leadership Symposium.

Strikers met to discuss the importance of equity in leadership at all levels as well as the successes achieved and challenges still experienced by women in the military. The in-person attendees represented every installation in the command and a broad spectrum of professional backgrounds, with additional Airmen participating in the symposium virtually.

Capt. Cheyanne Aldrich, 608th Air Operations Center intelligence analysis chief, served as lead for the event.

“It was amazing seeing all the hard work and unique ideas the team planned for nine months come together,” Aldrich said. “This year’s mission was to be bold and empower Strikers to be bold, and I believe we accomplished that.”

Strikers explored the theme of boldness through speakers, panels, and roundtable discussions. The topics discussed focused on the theme with four specific objectives:​

  • Personally define BOLD
  • ​Empower Strikers to make BOLD-informed decisions​
  • ​Highlight how to navigate the workplace with a BOLD mentality ​
  • ​Obtain actionable tools to lead BOLDLY & be a BOLD wingman for others

When asked what her favorite portion of the event was, Chief Master Sgt. Sharika Ceasor, Senior Advisor on the WLS executive team, said:

“Roundtable talks for sure! Attendees of the 2022 Symposium desired more time to connect and network, so this year, the team designed a fluid timeframe to capitalize on the demand to connect. Shaping such an intimate experience to further explore topics helped some people to really open up and share their own experiences, and even engage with panelists regarding questions they were not comfortable asking in a more public setting.”

The 2023 symposium was the fourth iteration of the recurring event, which each year brings notable speakers and experts together with the Airmen of AFGSC, to push forward issues specifically relevant to women in the military. This year’s speakers included Bronze Star medal recipient and former prisoner of war Jessica Lynch; Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne Bass; and journalist, author and speaker Tanya Biank.

“I’m beyond grateful to have been given the chance to lead this event,” Aldrich added. “I met so many amazing people along the way who empowered and provided me with valuable lessons to carry forward in my career.”

Gen. Thomas Bussiere, the Commander of AFGSC, tasked the Airmen in attendance with action.

“We’re in the business of human dynamics, so it’s our obligation to take care of each other. It’s our obligation to make sure our wingmen are being cared for. It’s our obligation to make sure when something bad happens that we don’t stand for it.” he said.

“Take what you’ve learned, internalize it and go back into your units, go back to your squadrons, and go back to your wings and propagate what you’ve learned. Grow, mentor and develop those around you with what you’ve internalized, and then next year we’re going to do it again.”