The Department of Defense (DoD) announced today the induction of six new members to the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS). DACOWITS provides the department with advice and recommendations on matters and policies relating to the recruitment and retention, treatment, employment, integration and well-being of highly-qualified professional women in the Armed Forces. The new additions include retired Lt. Gen. Judith A. Fedder, retired Sgt. Maj. Norma J. Helsham, Therese A. Hughes, Kyleanne M. Hunter, Pat W. Locke, and retired Rear Adm. Cari B. Thomas.
The committee is comprised of 20 members, who include prominent civilian women and men from academia, industry, public service and other professions, as well as military retirees and veterans. Members represent a distribution of demography, academia, industry, public service and other professions. They are selected based on military experience or woman-related workforce issues.
„I am honored to be part of DACOWITS and to help the committee advise the secretary of defense on important matters affecting the service of women in our armed forces,” stated retired Lt. Gen. Fedder.
Current and newly appointed committee members are:
· Dr. Kristy E. Anderson
· Retired Col. John Boggs, Marine Corps
· Retired Maj. Gen. Sharon K. G. Dunbar, Air Force
· Retired Lt. Gen. Judith A. Fedder, Air Force
· Sharlene W. Hawkes
· Retired Sgt. Maj. Norma J. Helsham, Army
· Therese A. Hughes
· Kyleanne M. Hunter, Marine Corps veteran
· Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Michele S. Jones, Army
· Pat W. Locke, Army veteran
· Retired Maj. Gen. John Macdonald, Army
· Monica Medina, Army veteran
· Janie L. Mines, Navy veteran
· Brian Morrison, Navy veteran
· Retired Fleet Master Chief JoAnn M. Ortloff, Navy
· Vice Adm. (Ret.) Carol M. Pottenger, Navy
· Sgt. Maj. of the Army (Ret.) Kenneth O. Preston, Army
· Retired Rear Adm. Cari B. Thomas, Coast Guard
· Retired Gen Janet C. Wolfenbarger, Air Force
· Dr. Jackie Young
The six new members were sworn-in at the start of the committee’s March quarterly business meeting earlier today. Anthony M. Kurta, performing the duties of the under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness, provided formal remarks.
“I have followed the work of DACOWITS for years while on active duty,” said retired Rear Adm. Thomas, “I am humbled by those whose footsteps that I will now follow.”
About the New Committee Members:
Judith Fedder. A retired three star general officer, Fedder now serves as the director of Global Sales and Marketing for the Boeing Company. Fedder is responsible for new business growth within the company’s premier performance-based logistics unit, and establishes and leads strategic and tactical planning, market coordination, and overall proposal development and support.
Norma Helsham. A retired Army veteran with over thirty-two years of leadership experience, Helsham now works for United Airlines as a lead representative responsible for all manifest operations and handover of the aircraft to flight and ground control personnel at Dulles airport.
Therese Hughes. Hughes has vast professional experience working at the local, county, state, and national level. She currently is finishing a photography project titled, “Military Women: WWII to Present,” honoring women veterans. In 2014, the project was featured at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial located at Arlington National Cemetery.
Kyleanne Hunter. A SuperCobra pilot with over 950 combat hours as an aircraft commander in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, Hunter received seven Air Strike/Flight Medals. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, and works as a research associate for the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Pat Locke. The founder and president of the Seeds of Humanity Foundation, Locke designed the program to promote the development and education of children. She was among the first class of women at the United States Military Academy and the first black woman to graduate from West Point. She is also the co-author of the book, “The Power of Civility.”
Cari Thomas. With over 20 years of leadership, education and training, organizational change and public relations experience as a flag officer in the U.S. Coast Guard, Thomas now works as the executive director of the Navy League of the United States. She previously served as the chairperson of the Board for the Sea Service Leadership Association, which hosts the annual Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium.
About the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services
After over 65 years in existence, DACOWITS is one of the oldest DoD federal advisory committees. The committee was established following the signing of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act in 1948, by then Secretary of Defense George C. Marshall. The new law enabled women to serve as permanent, regular members of the Armed Forces in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and the recently formed Air Force.
The committee provides an invaluable service to the department as an independent body of „citizen” advisors. The committee’s operations and output are focused and formalized. This requires a dedicated core of members who are available to receive specialized training on service issues and group facilitation techniques, and who can provide meaningful feedback and assessments.
The committee provides an annual report to the secretary of defense with information gathered through installation visits, business meetings, relevant reports and survey data, and input from individual Service members. This combination of research and first-hand experiences provides a solid basis for each DACOWITS recommendation.
More information about DACOWITS can be found at http://dacowits.defense.gov/