Are you a girl or young woman who is thinking about what you would like to do for a career in the near or not too distant future? Have you considered the vast number of career and education opportunities available in the military? Did you know that while serving in the military, you will be trained in technical skills as well as develop as a leader?

Are you a parent, coach, educator, principal, superintendent, youth group leader, or someone who has influence over young people? What do you know about the opportunities available in the military, not just for women, but in general? Is what you know based on facts or what you’ve seen or heard in the news, movies, television, or social media?

Are you a woman who has served in the military or alongside our military as a civilian or military family member? Do you find that military women are often misunderstood by the general public or are poorly represented in the media? Are you interested in learning about the current opportunities available to women today? Would you like to hear from women who have served recently or are currently serving?  

If you want the answer to any of these questions, then please consider attending the Women in the Military information presentation and panel program coming up on Wednesday, March 8th. The event is being held in recognition of Women’s History Month and is co-hosted by the KC Army Recruiting Battalion and the Greater Kansas City Chapter of Association of the US Army (KCAUSA).

  • WHAT: Women in the Military Panel Discussion
  • WHEN: Wednesday, March 8, 6:00 – 8:00 PM
  • WHERE: Kauffman Foundation Conference Center located at 4801 Rockhill Rd, Kansas City, MO
  • WHY: Inform the general public about the career and education opportunities available in the military, with a particular focus on encouraging girls, young women, and adults with influence over young people to recognize the value of military service.
  • HOW: The event is free to attend. Please contact Rich Beckett at Richard.l.beckett.civ@mail.mil to RSVP.

There will be food and refreshments, a presentation by female Army Recruiters about the opportunities for women in the military (along with some myth-busting regarding common misconceptions and fears), and a panel program comprised of six women who can offer various perspectives based on personal experiences serving in, or alongside, the military.

There are six members on the panel.

Sergeant Johanny Perez, Recruiting Command Female Engagement Team. SGT Perez is originally from Puerto Rico, the eldest of two children in a single parent household. She moved to the U.S. in search of opportunity, but after an uncertain path with college and a toxic relationship, she returned home and eventually enlisted in the Army at age 25. Johanny began her career as a human resource specialist in South Korea, followed by an assignment in Hawaii. She became a Sergeant while in Hawaii and was selected to be an Army Recruiter in 2014. Her role as a recruiter enables her to share her story to young people of how the Army has afforded her and her family life changing experiences with career, education, world travels, and the empowerment to strive towards her potential.

Sergeant First Class Margarita Ingles, Recruiting Command Female Engagement Team. SFC Ingles is a native of Puerto Rico. Her family didn’t support her desire to join the military, so she started college intending to becoming a doctor. She eventually enlisted in the Army when school costs became unaffordable. Margarita served on active duty for eight years, but completed her contractual commitment and returned home when her father became ill. She joined the Army Reserve to continue to serve and started working towards a nursing degree. Soon afterward, she became a Career Counselor, which led to her becoming a recruiter. Margarita’s goal in joining the Army has always been to make her family proud, and she has been very successful in this. Now, she strives to share what opportunities the Army has to offer so other young women can succeed personally and professionally, while also making their family proud.

Captain Dana Porter, Recruiting Command Female Engagement Team. CPT Porter grew up in a military family (her father served for 22 years) and spent her youth traveling around the United States. Coming from a typical middle-class family, she was raised valuing hard work, education, and service to others. Dana knew that going to college would require means outside of what the family could support, so she enlisted in 1997 knowing that the Army could provide her with the opportunities to accomplish her educational goals. After deploying twice to Iraq, she applied for a commission in the Medical Service Corps, receiving a commission as a Second Lieutenant in 2009. Assignments since becoming an officer include Platoon Leader and Company Commander. In 2014, CPT Porter was selected to become a U.S. Army Healthcare Recruiter, a role where she loves the opportunity to tell her Army story to others while informing them of the numerous benefits available in the Army Medical Department.

Lieutenant Colonel Jane Sander, Commander of KC Army Recruiting Battalion. LTC Sander is a perfect example of how someone who knew nothing about the military while growing up can join the service and leverage the many opportunities made available to achieve a career of outstanding success. Jane enlisted in the Army, inspired by her immigrant background to take full advantage of America’s opportunities. Once she learned about the ROTC program, she earned a scholarship and then her commission. Jane has served over 23 years in the Army and plans to continue her service. Past assignments include Company Commander, Schoolhouse Instructor, Army Special Operations Forces (ARSOF) Psychological Operations Detachment Commander, Battalion Operations Officer, Battalion Executive Officer, and three deployments to Iraq.

Emma Toops, Major, US Army (Retired), President of the Greater KC Chapter of the Association of the US Army. Emma served nearly 18 years on active duty and took an early retirement in 2013, finishing her career as a Major. She now serves as an entrepreneur (having established Toops Consulting, LLC) and non-profit leader. Her work in coaching and consulting focuses primarily on Bridging the Veteran/Civilian Culture Gap to affect improved communications and interactions between veterans and civilians. Emma is President of the Greater Kansas City Chapter of the Association of the US Army and is the Treasurer for the Heart of America Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America. She is also a veteran mentor at Veterati and LinkedIn’s Veteran Mentor Network. Organizations that she works with include the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), Soldier For Life – Transition Assistance Program (SFL-TAP), MyVA Veteran Community Engagement Board (CVEB), Veteran Community Project (VCP), and Kansas City Veteran Coalition (KCVC). Her past military assignments include Headquarters Company Commander, Battalion Rear-Detachment Commander, Operations Orders Manager and combat tours to both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Cynthia L. Hogle, Ph.D. Student. Cynthia’s research focuses on media narratives regarding combat veterans. She is driven by a passion for improving civil-military relations and communications. Cynthia served as a federal civilian in both Iraq and Afghanistan. She served on a civil-military team in Iraq as a Public Diplomacy Officer for the U.S. Department of State, working on provincial development projects. In Afghanistan, Cynthia was embedded as a cultural intelligence analyst for the U.S. Army where she wrote reports and briefed military leadership. Her work and interviews with Afghan women resulted in the seminal report regarding women in the region and the establishment of a center for women and girls.

Bring your questions, an open mind, and come out to learn about the many career and educational opportunities in the Army and to hear from some women who have been there and done it!

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