Positively Military

Makin Island Sailors, Marines Volunteer at Hong Kong Animal Shelter during Port Visit

A group of 24 Sailors and Marines from amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) and embarked 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) spent a day at a local dog shelter as part of a community service project in Hong Kong, May 27.

Sailors and Marines volunteered to bathe dogs and perform yard work at the Hong Kong Dog Rescue Center during the ship’s May 25-28 port visit.

Airmen advise Afghan women officers, instill hope

The Afghan air force Kabul Wing was the first to graduate six female Afghan maintenance officers in 2012.

“We are here to give oversight and support along with technical expertise,” said Maj. Jennifer Bradley, 440th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron flightline maintenance adviser, who is deployed from Detachment 510 at the University of New Mexico as an Air Force ROTC instructor.

“We show them new aircraft and how to maintain it,” Bradley added.

But, it is not only about learning the job, but showing the women there is someone they can look up to and see they have succeeded, said Capt. Vanessa Vanden Bout, 439th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron, gender integration adviser and force support squadron adviser, who is deployed from 3rd Air Force, Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

“Bradley has shown them they are not just females but individuals,” continued the Vermilion, Ohio native. “She is giving them both courage and hope to serve their country. It’s plain and simple mentorship. That’s what she’s teaching them.”

The major wanted to show the Afghan female officers the capabilities of women.


Texas National Guardsmen Inspired by Burundi Soldiers

MUDUBUGU, Burundi (May 14, 2012) — It was the first time U.S. Army Sgt. Idalissa Hernandez set foot into a Burundi national defense forces training center. For the soldiers she helped mentor there, it was the first time a female Soldier came to share best practices with them.

Hernandez and Staff Sgt. Michael Easdon, Task Force Raptor, 3rd Squadron, 124th Cavalry Regiment, Texas National Guard, were invited by the Burundi Peoples National Defense Forces to participate in a Peace Support Operations Soldier Skills Field Training course held here from April 9 to May 11, 2012.

“When I first was asked to go up in front of the group to share what I knew, I was nervous and didn’t know how they would receive me as a female,” said Hernandez, squad leader, 702nd Military Police Company, Task Force Raptor. “Once they realized that I knew what I was talking about, they quickly accepted me as a mentor and a Soldier, regardless.”

Hernandez is a military police instructor at the Texas National Guard Regional Training Institute, back home at Camp Swift, near Bastrop Texas. She noticed many similarities between mentoring U.S. and Burundi Soldiers.

Lots of good photos of Burundi troops getting trained by US Soldiers. I know our forces regularly train with other nations, but this is the first that I’ve heard of it occurring in a non-South African nation. I’m not surprised by it, though. It is likely that it has been going on for quite a long time, probably since Somalia.

You should read each of the articles, as I only post highlights.







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