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Legacy of Women Aviators Carries on at Fairchild Air Base
U.S. Military Women Serve Worldwide
Corps Lt. Col. Melanie Bell-Carter was born in Cleveland, Mississippi. She
enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1992 and attended the AV-8B Armament
Organizational Systems Maintenance Course at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry
Point, North Carolina.
1993 she was assigned to MCAS Yuma, Arizona, as an aviation ordnanceman,
MALS-13, and in February 1995 she was assigned to Marine Aviation Logistics
Squadron 36 in Okinawa, Japan.
following year, Bell-Carter was assigned to Marine Attack Training Squadron 203
at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina, as an aviation ordnance instructor.
1998, she attended the Aviation Operations Course at Naval Air Station Meridian,
attended Officer Candidate School in October 1998 and the Basic School in
1999 she attended the Adjutant’s Course, and in September 1999 Bell-Carter
attended the Legal Officer’s Course.
assigned as the adjutant and legal officer for Headquarters & Service
Battalion, 1st Force Service Support Group at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton,
California, in September 1999. In March 2000 she became the 1st FSSG
Headquarters human resources officer. The following year, Bell-Carter was
assigned as the adjutant and legal officer for 1st Transportation Support
Battalion. And in March 2002, she served as the adjutant and legal officer for I
Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group.
deployed to Bagram Airfield in August 2002 in support of Operation Enduring
Freedom as the officer in charge of the Joint Visitors Bureau for Combined
Joint Task Force 180.
then assigned to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina in June
2003 where she served as the adjutant and airport liaison officer for deputy assistant
chief of staff for personnel.
2006 Bell-Carter was assigned to MCB Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, where she served as
the adjutant, legal officer and company commander for Marine Aircraft Group 24.
assigned to Headquarters U.S. Marine Corps, Programs & Resources Department
in June 2009, where she served as the administrative officer, security manager,
and operational sponsorship manager.
2010, Bell-Carter was assigned to Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory where she
served as the staff secretary and administrative officer.
deployed in September 2012 to Marine Corps Forces Central Command in Bahrain as
the assistant chief of staff for personnel and commander of Headquarters
Company. In September 2013 she was assigned to MARCENT Coordination
Element-Bahrain as the deputy officer-in-charge.
2014 to June 2015, Bell-Carter attended the Air Command and Staff College at
Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. There she earned a Master’s degree in military
operational art and science. She also possesses a bachelor’s degree in human resource
management, and master’s degrees in human resource development and in management
currently serves as the assistant chief of staff for personnel at Combat Development
and Integration, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, in Quantico, Virginia.
personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (2nd award), Joint
Service Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine
Corps Commendation Medal (2nd award), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal
(3rd award), Good Conduct Medal (2nd award) and a host of meritorious masts, certificates
of commendation, and letters of appreciation.
has two children.
Marine Corps Lt. Col. Marshalee Clarke, a native of
Jamaica, enlisted in the Marine Corps in May 1997.
Following recruit training at Marine
Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, she served as an
administrative clerk at Anacostia Naval Station and then worked as a staff
writer for Marines magazine.
She was commissioned in December 1999
after completing the Platoon Leaders Course. Upon graduation from the Basic
School in 2000, she attended the Financial Management Officer’s Course at Camp
Johnson, North Carolina.
Her first duty assignment after
commissioning was with the III Marine Expeditionary Force Command Element in
Okinawa, Japan, as the assistant budget officer.
In July 2001 Clarke was assigned to
Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, as a budget analyst. During her
tour at Camp Pendleton, she deployed to Camp Commando, Kuwait, as the deputy comptroller
in support of I Marine Expeditionary Force (Fwd.) from February 2003 to August
2003. Upon returning from deployment, she was reassigned as the deputy budget execution
From 2004 to 2007 Clarke served in
Okinawa, Japan, as the exercise budget officer for First Marine Aircraft Wing,
then as the comptroller for III Marine Headquarters Group. While in Okinawa,
she supported operations in South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand and
In June 2007 Clarke deployed in
support of Coalition Forces Land Component Command to Camp Arifjan,
Kuwait, where she served as the U.S. Army Central Command assistant budget officer
and Logistics Civil Augmentation Program budget officer for contracts in Iraq,
Afghanistan and Kuwait.
Following her deployment, Clarke returned
to Okinawa as the fiscal officer for the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. Soon
after, she was selected to attend Marine Corps Contracting School at Camp
Johnson, North Carolina. After graduation, Clarke was assigned in November 2008
as a contract specialist at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and deployed in
support of Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa as the Uganda contracting officer
and the deputy chief of contracts.
Upon her return, she attended and
graduated from Command and Staff College at Marine Corps University in Quantico,
From July 2012 to March 2014, Clarke
served as the deputy comptroller for Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South
Carolina, and also served as the support battalion executive officer until
Clarke is stationed at the Pentagon
as a Marine Corps Congressional Appropriations Liaison. She holds a doctorate in
management with a focus in Sub-Saharan Africa, a master’s degrees in public administration
and in international management, a Master of Business Administration, a bachelor’s
degree in psychology and a certificate in project management. Clarke is also a
graduate of the Naval War College Command and Staff College and the Marine
Corps Amphibious Warfare School.
Her personal decorations include the
Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps
Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the
Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.
Amy Lee Ann Busby was born on May 20, 1986, in Peoria,
Illinois. She graduated from Pekin Community High School with honors in 2004
and decided that she wanted to do something out of the ordinary with her life. During
her junior year of high school, Amy spoke with a Navy recruiter and was excited
by the idea of travelling the world while having the honor to serve her
country. She enrolled in the Delayed Entry Program and on Aug. 18, 2004, she
began her transition from student to sailor.
After graduating from basic training in Oct. 2004, Busby
traveled to Pensacola, Florida, for the Airman Apprentice Training Core Course to
learn the principles of aircraft fundamentals and firefighting. She was
assigned to Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 120 in Norfolk, Virginia,
from Dec. 2004-06. While there, she met her husband, Brandon Kretchman, and earned the Plane Captain Qualification for
the E2-C Hawkeye and C-2A Greyhound. She advanced to petty officer 3rd class
and obtained her current rate of aviation maintenance administrationman.
In Jan. 2007, Busby received orders to Helicopter Sea Combat
Squadron 28, in Norfolk, Virginia. While there, she advanced to petty officer 2nd
class and earned the Aviation Warfare Specialist designation. While attached to
HSC 28, she worked in maintenance control and then transitioned to quality assurance
as the central technical publications librarian, where her dedication and
support led to a successful Commander, Naval Air Forces aviation maintenance inspection.
During her time at sea, she served as the community outreach and assistant diversity
coordinator, where she led 14 diversity events and volunteered for more than 400
hours of community service. In May 2009, she married Brandon and became Amy Lee
Kretchman. That same year she was recruited to
Commander Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing U.S. Atlantic in Mayport,
Florida, to serve as a wing maintenance advisor.
Kretchman arrived at CHSMWL in Oct.
2010, where she became an advisor to seven tenant commands across the seawall. She
qualified as an Optimized Naval Aviation Logistics Command Management
Information System Database Administrator/Analyst-Intermediate Maintenance
Activity and advanced to petty officer 1st class. Kretchman
trained more than 150 personnel in the upkeep of aircraft logbooks, technical
directives, publications, and critical aircraft accounting data ensuring
compliance with Commander, Naval Air Forces policies and procedures. In June
2013, she welcomed her son, Noah, into the world. After a successful shore tour
her family decided to expand their horizons and chose overseas orders to
Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 12 in Atsugi, Japan, in July 2014.
Kretchman was assigned as the logs
and records leading petty officer for the squadron. She is certified to release
aircraft safe for flight, and MH-60S masters qualified.
Her continued involvement with peer and community programs
is inspirational, and she has been awarded the Military Outstanding Volunteer
Service Medal for her work over the last seven years. She was selected as
Senior Sailor of the Quarter for the second quarter of 2016, and has been awarded
her fourth Navy Achievement Medal for her unmatched performance as night shift safe
for flight chief during the 2016 summer and fall patrols on board the USS Ronald
Navy Cmdr. (Dr.) Kelly O. Elmore is a native of Chicago who graduated Summa Cum Laude from Xavier University of Louisiana. She entered the Navy in 1998 through the Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program after earning her medical degree from the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine. She completed her obstetrics and gynecology internship and residency at Naval Medical Center San Diego. Between these training programs she completed a tour as a general medical officer at Naval Hospital Roosevelt Roads in Puerto Rico.
Elmore presented original research on group beta streptococcus antibiotic resistance at the armed forces district annual meeting in Germany. At Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, California, she was the lead women’s health consultant for the John Hopkins University Applied Sciences Lab OB-GYN Process Improvement Project. She co-authored research on the prevalence of peripartum depression, which was presented at the 2011 Academic Research Competition and published in the Oct. 2012 Journal of Military Medicine. In Jan. 2017, Elmore co-authored a book, Perinatal Mental Health and the Military Family.
As the department head of obstetrics and gynecology at Naval Hospital Guam, she improved the branding and access to the NHG Women’s Health Clinic. The department collaborated with the public affairs officer to publish monthly health topics, reorganize the prenatal registration class and offer monthly fertility and contraception group classes. Elmore’s team also improved access to primary care clinics by assuming routine obstetric patients, on-call responsibilities and offering twice-monthly assistance to the Andersen Air Force Base women’s health clinics. These measures increased patient satisfaction, continuity of care and optimized utilization of women’s health resources while celebrating three births with assisted reproductive techniques.
In April 2016, she was competitively selected as the director of health care business at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, California. Her team has bridged the clinical to administrative gap within the Southern California market. The hospital implemented Defense Health Agency referral management guidelines early, leads Navy medicine in ensuring patients receive appointments within one business day and is a best practice site for both case and referral management.
Elmore has been a featured speaker at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton Women’s History Month events, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton sexual assault and rape prevention conferences, and the Navy Region Southwest Black History Month program. While in Guam, she was a subcommittee chair and panelist for the first Joint Marianas Women’s Leadership Symposium. She has been awarded the Volunteer Service Medal for her work with local and county youth programs as a lecturer, mentor and program manager.
In March 2013, Elmore earned an executive MBA from the Naval Postgraduate School. In 2015 she received the Military Health Service Navy Junior Officer Female Physician Leader award and in 2016, the Women of Color, National S.T.E.M. award for military scientists. Her military decorations include the Navy Commendation Medal (2nd award), the Coast Guard Meritorious Team Commendation, the Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Medal.
Dr. Karen Mumy is the director of environmental health effects research at Naval Medical Research Unit Dayton, Ohio, leading the Navy’s largest basic science research lab exploring the risks warfighters face from the unique environments in which they must operate. She received a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Michigan Technological University in 1998 and a doctorate in microbiology in 2004 from Miami University.
Following the completion of her PhD, she was selected for a joint post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Mumy’s post-doctoral research focused on infectious diseases, mucosal immunology, and the underlying mechanisms of inflammation. In 2008, she was appointed to the position of Assistant Microbiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Research Instructor at Harvard Medical School. She also performed infectious disease research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Mumy joined the Navy’s Environmental Health Effects Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, in 2009 as a research microbiologist, and in 2012 she assumed the role of the lab’s deputy director. She was named as the director of environmental health effects research in Feb. 2017. Her scientific team consists of more than 20 active duty, civilian and contractor scientists who focus on deciphering and addressing the health concerns of Defense Department service members exposed to environmental stressors and toxicants.
She is currently vice chair of the Tri-Service Toxicology Consortium. Mumy has also been a member of a number of working groups and panels within the Department of Defense, including the Tri-Service Alternative Fuels Team and the Air Force/Navy F-35 Aeromedical Support Working Group. In 2014, she was one of the team member recipients of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Commander's Award for her role as part of the Physiological Episode Environmental Control System Air Bearing Investigation Team.
Mumy is a board-certified toxicologist with the American Board of Toxicology and is a member of many scientific societies, including the Society of Toxicology and the American Society for Microbiology. She contributed to the most recent edition of the Encyclopedia of Toxicology and her publications have appeared in multiple well-respected journals, including Science, the Journal of Immunology and Cellular Microbiology. Mumy is an adjunct faculty member at Sinclair Community College in the Department of Biology, where she teaches microbiology, and adjunct assistant professor at Wright State University in the Department of Pharmacology/Toxicology, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on good laboratory practices as well asbiokinetics and biodynamics. She also guest lectures at the Air Force Institute of Technology.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Lillie Chambers grew up in Archer,
Nebraska, where she graduated from Central City High School in 2002. She
received a bachelor’s degree in human relations and was awarded the Alumni
Senior Award and inducted into the Pinnacle National Honor Society. Chambers is
an Active Guard Reserve soldier assigned to the Nebraska Army National Guard’s Regimental
Training Institute as a senior group leader.
Her military education includes the Army Basic Instructor Course
(2015), Small Group Instructor Training Course (2015), Quartermaster Senior
Leader Course (2014), Unit Supply Specialist Course (2013), 92A Advanced Leader
Course (2010) and the Basic Leader Course (2004).
In 2001, Chambers enlisted as a warehouse supply specialist in
the Nebraska Army National Guard’s Detachment 2, Delta Company, 109th Aviation
Regiment, in Lincoln, Nebraska.
She was selected as a PLL clerk (GS-3) for the Army Aviation
Support Facility in Lincoln, Nebraska. She then accepted a GS-7 position for
the State Property Book Office, where she helped manage the state property book
consisting of millions of dollars of inventory. Chambers then took a supply technician
job at the G-6 to help manage the property book for Joint Forces Headquarters. She
was later promoted to a GS-10 as the administrative branch chief at the G-6.
In Sept. 2009, Chambers was selected to serve as an Active
Guard Reserve soldier assigned to Detachment 2, 165th Quartermaster Company, through
Sept. 2011. While there, she won the Chief of Staff 2011 Supply Excellence Award.
She was then assigned as the supply sergeant for the 313th Medical Company from
Oct. 2011 to Sept. 2015. While there, she won the Chief of Staff 2014 Supply Excellence
Chambers is currently serving as the 209th Regimental
Training Institute’s senior group leader.
She is the owner of Mom’s Food Pantry, which helps support
people in need in Bennet, Nebraska, and the surrounding areas. Her family has
operated this pantry for 6 years. They also host a Santa’s Overflow, which distributes
more than 5,000 items to families in need during the holiday season. She is a member
of the American Legion and is also the chair of the Celebrate Bennet Committee,
which hosts a July 4th celebration for the town. On her personal time she also
is a member of the Bennet Boosters and is on the Advisory Board for the Bennet Preschool.
Chambers resides in Bennet, Nebraska, with her husband, Tyson,
and three children, Bettie, Bella and Tucker.
Joane “Joni” Mathews is the human resources manager for the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs in civilian life, and as a brigadier general in military life, she serves as the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s assistant adjutant general for readiness and training.
She was born in Wisconsin into the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians and raised on the Lac du Flambeau Indian Reservation. She grew up to become the first woman in Wisconsin Army National Guard history to be an aviation battalion commander, brigade commander and chief of staff, and in 2016, she became the first female Native American general officer in the history of the entire Army National Guard.
Mathews received her ROTC commission as an Aviation Branch second lieutenant in 1986, and went onto serve 29 years of military service as an active duty soldier, a traditional soldier, a military technician and Active Guard Reserve soldier. During nearly 11 years on active duty, her first assignment was at the U.S. Army Aviation School, Fort Rucker, Alabama, where she served as an instructor pilot and platoon commander.
Upon transfer to Germany, she served as the maintenance platoon leader, company executive officer, company commander, battalion operations officer and battalion personnel officer. Mathews participated in Operation Provide Comfort, where she flew numerous sorties in the no-fly zone of northern Iraq. Transferring back to the United States, she was assigned as the aviation logistics team leader for the Aviation Readiness Division at Fort Sheridan, Illinois. In 1997, Mathews joined the Wisconsin Army National Guard and served as battalion supply officer, state family program coordinator, brigade personnel officer, battalion executive officer, deputy director of personnel, battalion commander of 1-147th Aviation Regiment, brigade commander of 64th Troop Command, and chief of staff for the Wisconsin Army National Guard before becoming the full-time human resource manager for the state employees of the Department of Military Affairs and the assistant adjutant general for readiness and training as a traditional guardsman.
Mathews earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in aviation administration from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks; a master’s degree in military management from Touro University; and a second master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College. Her military education includes Army Aviation Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, Combined Arms and Services Staff School, the Command and General Staff College, the U.S. Army War College, Joint Task Force Commander's Training Course, and the National Security Management Course. She has also completed the initial entry rotary wing course, helicopter instructor course, and maintenance test pilot course.
Mathews’ military awards include the Legion of Merit with one oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal (second award), master aviator badge, as well as other federal and state awards.
Captain Ronda E. Underwood is the Wing Executive Officer for the 436th Airlift Wing at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. In her role as Wing Executive Officer, she directs the staffing and administration work flow to ensure plans, programs, training and operations are fortified for the 436th Airlift Wing in support of C-5 and C-17 aircraft air mobility operations for DoD’s largest aerial port, The Charles C. Carson Center for Mortuary Affairs and the Air Mobility Command Museum. She responsible for coordinating HQ staff tasks across four Groups to ensure timely submission of performance reports awards, mission briefings for 3,261 Airmen supporting 231 facilities and 980 family housing units.
Capt Ronda E. Underwood was deployed as the Pavements Engineer, Operations Division, Installation Directorate, Headquarters United States Air Force Central Command, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar from January-July 2016. While on this deployment she served as US Air Force Central Command, Airfield Pavement Evaluation OIC. During this period, in support of Operations INHERENT RESOLVE and FREEDOM’S SENTINEL, Captain Underwood led Airfield Pavement Evaluation teams into four countries that included Iraq, Afghanistan, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait to certify 10 airfields ultimately assuring a safe operating environment for 9,607 sorties, delivery of 39,500 short tons of cargo and 47,100 passengers. Capt Underwood led Airfield Pavement Evaluation teams to certify combat zone airfields to include Bagaram, Jalalabad, Mazar-E-Sharif, and Khandahar, Afghanistan as well as Al Asad, Taji, Bashur, and Al Taqaddum, Iraq. She drove planning efforts to execute an expedient airfield damage repair mission at a front line airfield in Iraq, which enabled the establishment of a critical supply base in support of the Coalition’s strategic objectives and earned her personal recognition from the Combined Forces Air Component Commander.
Upon graduation from the NC State University, Capt Underwood was commissioned as an Air Force Civil Engineer. While deployed to Afghanistan in 2012, she led the 1st Expeditionary Civil Engineer Group Prime BEEF team outside the wire to construct an airfield to C-130 specifications for the Combined-Joint Special Operations Task Force in SW Afghanistan. During construction, she led the team of engineers to provide perimeter security for US Army Special Forces and immediate medical support after a HMMWV rollover. Her actions directly contributed to saving seven Afghanistan National Army soldiers’ lives and recovering all sensitive items.
In August 2012, she was assigned as the garrison Squadron Commander on G-Series Orders for the 554th RED HORSE Squadron ensuring squadron plans, troop construction, operations, and personnel readiness were kept on track while 80% of the squadron was deployed to the AFCENT AOR. She oversaw the construction of Headquarters Air Force and PACAF’s premiere Pacific Regional Training Center, approximately 251 million dollars.
In August 2013, she served as Executive Officer for the 36th Contingency Response Group (CRG) Commander at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. In her role as the Executive Officer, she directed the staff and administrative work flow for 422 Airmen in the PACAF’s premier expeditionary combat support force, where she led 16 Airmen through monthly quarry and base denial blasting operations using over 3,900 pounds of Class I explosives.
Technical Sergeant Jessica K. Revere is the Noncommissioned officer in charge of the Base Education and Training section, 5th Force Support Squadron, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota. She is responsible for the management of all Education and Training functions for two wings. She overseas and advises Squadron Unit Training functions for the entire squadron. She manages two test control facilities that impact all base personnel.
TSgt Revere entered the Air Force in October 2002. During her time as an F-15 Avionic Technician she held multiple roles including TISS team lead. In 2007 she retrained into the Education and Training Career Field. In 2010, she was selected as an Enlisted Aide to the J8 Director. Prior to her current position, Technical Sergeant Revere was the Medical Group Training Manger and Education and Training Functional Manager, 375 Medical Group, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.
2006 Airman Leadership School, Langley Air Force Base (AFB), Va.
2006 Associate of Applied Science in Avionic System Technology, Community College of the Air Force (CCAF), Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2008 Associate of Applies Science in Education and Training Management, CCAF, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2010 Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management, Bellevue University, Bellevue, Neb.
2014 Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality and Fitness Management, CCAF, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2015 Noncommissioned Officer Academy, McGhee-Tyson Air National Guard Base, Tenn.
2017 Student, Master of Science in Elementary Education, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Va. (Expected grad, May 2018)
1. May 2007-January 2009, Unit Training Manager, Warner Robins Air Force Base (AFB), Ga.
2. January 2009-July 2010, Medical Group Training Manager, Keesler AFB, Miss.
3. July 2010-October 2011, Enlisted Aide to the J8 Director, Pentagon, Washington D.C.
4. October 2011-July 2013, Junior Enlisted Aide to the Vice Chief of Staff, Washington D.C.
5. August 2013-April 2015, Enlisted Aide to Air Mobility Command Vice Commander, Scott AFB, Ill.
6. April 2015-July 2016, Medical Group Training Manager, Scott AFB, Ill.
Air Force Commendation Medal with five oak leaf clusters
Air Force Recognition Ribbon
2006 Senior Airmen Below the Zone
2007 Distinguished Graduate, Education and Training Technical Training
2009 Education and Training Manager of the Year
2013 Air Force DW Junior Enlisted Aide of the Year
2013 Air Force Enlisted Aide of the Year
2013 Stripes for Exceptional Performers to Technical Sergeant
2015 Distinguished Graduate, Noncommissioned Officer Academy
2015 Commandant Award, Noncommissioned Officer Academy
Ms. Talena Edwards is the Small Business Professional assigned to the 11th Wing, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. Ms. Edwards was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. She has worked in the acquisition field as a Contracting Officer and Procurement Analyst since 2000. She joined the Small Business Programs Office in 2015.
After arriving, she immediately developed and began working toward the plans, goals and objectives for the Small Business Programs Office. She spent hours in the community developing a closer transparent partnership with the stakeholders, hosting a forum each month, and scheduling one-on-one meetings with companies. She spends time networking with her peers, attends training events to develop her skills, and attends conferences to gather market research for our contracting personnel.
Ms. Edwards attended the Annual Women as Veteran Entrepreneurs (WAVE) event to provide information to woman-owned businesses on upcoming opportunities, gather market research and, discuss business partnering and teaming for new businesses. Ms. Edwards is active in her community as an Assistant Girl Scouts troop leader and volunteer. She has completed more than 100 hours of service over the past year by providing meals and singing at a local women’s shelter, teaching girls how to make pillows for breast cancer survivors, and serves as a judge at the annual camp weekend cooking competition.
Ms. Edwards hosted three international camp counselors for three days in her home. She has also volunteered over 40 hours at a local school with organizing car wash fundraisers, setting up and working at an indoor winter carnival, and cooking desserts for a bake sale. Ms. Edwards also serves weekly in three volunteer ministries at her local church and is currently enrolled at the University of Phoenix, taking courses towards completing a Doctoral in Leadership degree.
Navy Cmdr. Tanya C. Coaston is the manpower analyst officer at Operational Health Support Unit Pensacola Detachment C, Navy Operational Support Center New Orleans. A native of New Orleans, she received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from William Carey School of Nursing in 1990 and a master’s degree from Loyola University in healthcare system management in 2010. She entered the Navy Reserve in April 2003.
Coaston graduated from Direct Commissioned Officer School in Pensacola, Florida, and was assigned to Navy Operational Support Center New Orleans. In 2008, she transferred to Navy Operational Support Center Houston.
In 2009, Coaston was promoted to lieutenant commander and served as the officer in charge of the Intensive Care Unit for the Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, Northern Lights Global Medic Mission. In 2011 she was selected as an individual augmentee for Operation Enduring Freedom and served as the healthcare clinical governance unit coordinator in the ICU at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan. In 2012, Coaston served as a recorder on the O-5-O-6 selection board for fiscal year 2013. She was promoted to commander in 2016.
While serving in the Navy Reserve, Coaston has consistently managed an increased level of responsibility in diverse assignments. In the course of her military career, she has served as squad leader, assistant clinic division officer, credentialing officer, assistant command fitness leader, clinic division officer, awards officer, command advocate mobilization officer, Nurse Corps liaison/nurse communication officer, and assistant officer in charge.
Coaston has completed two years of joint professional military education at the Navy War College. She is a subject matter expert in process improvement and certified as a Lean Six Sigma Green and Yellow belt at Southeast Louisiana Veterans Healthcare System. She has successfully passed the course examination for the Black Belt and is awaiting certification.
Her awards include a Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
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Marine Corps Lt. Col. Melanie Bell-Carter was born in Cleveland, Mississippi. She enlisted in the Marine Corps...
2006 Bell-Carter was assigned to MCB Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, where she served as
the adjutant, legal officer and company commander for Marine Aircraft Group 24.
currently serves as the assistant chief of staff for personnel at Combat Development
and Integration, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, in Quantico, Virginia.
Secretary Announces All Military Occupations Open to Women
"Women will now be able to contribute to our mission in ways they could not before. They'll be allowed to drive tanks, fire mortars, and lead infantry soldiers into combat. They'll be able to serve as Army Rangers and Green Berets, Navy SEALS, Marine Corps infantry, Air Force parajumpers and everything else that was previously open only to men. And even more importantly, our military will be better able to harness the skills and perspectives that talented women have to offer."
Defense Secretary Ash Carter
Full Speech >
Carter Opens All Military Occupations to Women
Dec. 3, 2015
The U.S. military is authorized to begin integrating women across all occupations and specialties “right away,” according to a Defense Department statement. Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook briefed reporters on Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s decision and the accompanying statement. Story | Statement
"Throughout our history, women have served our country with valor, from the battlefields of the Revolutionary War, to the deserts of Iraq, and mountains of Afghanistan. These women, military and civilian, continue to make great strides and break down barriers within DoD."
Female veterans aren’t always recognized like their male counterparts are, in civilian society or when they’re looking for the help they’ve earned. Blog
Vice Chairman Speaks at Officer Women Leadership Symposium