Women's History Month - Female leaders discuss leadership, service
Colonel Marina Ray, Army retired Staff Sgt. Janet Bailey, Hannah Chadee and Peggy Hall share their experiences in life and leadership at the Women's History Month Luncheon March 28 at the Maxwell Club. (U.S. Air Force photo by Rebecca Burylo)
Women's History Month - Female leaders discuss leadership, service

by Rebecca Burylo
Air University Public Affairs

4/5/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- Four women, diverse in career backgrounds, shared a bit of themselves at the Women's History Month luncheon and panel discussion March 28 at the Maxwell Club, answering questions on leadership, character and their roles as women in society.

Highlighting the areas of nursing, leading through service and prioritization, the panel members, organized by Maxwell's Equal Opportunity Office, were eager to share their backgrounds in celebration of this year's theme, "Women Inspiring Innovation through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics."

The panel included Col. Marina Ray, commander of the 42nd Medical Group; retired Army Staff Sgt. Janet Bailey, advocate for the Wounded Warrior Program; Hannah Chadee, director of M.D. Connection and volunteer member of EMERGE Montgomery; and Peggy Hall, Women Veterans Program manager at Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System.

Ray, who has been in the military for 25 years, said she knows that it not only takes responsibility to be a leader, but compassion as well. After being struck by a car in the third grade, Ray was touched by the kindness of the nurse who cared for her and inspired her to pursue nursing.

"I can be firm when I need to be firm, but I also have that compassion," she said. "When you're leading an organization and leading individuals, you're ultimately responsible for that organization and want to make a positive impact."

Serving numerous tours during her Army career, Bailey witnessed firsthand the loss and injuries war can incur and dedicates her life to helping those who have suffered both emotionally and physically during their service. Bailey appreciates the push her military career gave her to test her limitations.

"In my career field in the Army, being a woman pushed me to accomplish many things that society would deem difficult for females," she said. "As a mother, a wife, a Soldier and going to school for advanced degrees, in this society people would look at me and say it's difficult, but I say it's achievable. It can be done."

Service to others also translated into a sign of leadership for Chadee as she and her aunt and uncle watched Princess Diana and the royal family dock near their home in Toronto, Canada. Chadee was intrigued by the princess' global compassion and hoped to emulate her character in her future career.

"I thought Diana was a wonderful figure to the world because in her position she was royalty, but yet she would interface with some of the individuals that no one would want to interface with," she said.

Along with her role in the health care field, Chadee also serves on multiple boards dedicated to improving the quality of life for those in the Montgomery community.

Nursing school, like Ray, navigated Hall into her leadership role where she currently manages health care services for female veterans, serving as their counselor, educator, adviser and advocate. Hall applies the nursing process she was taught in school to look, affect, evaluate, set goals, plan, examine criteria and have objectives in all areas of her life.

"It helped me prioritize. That's what it was all about," Hall said. "You can use it in your family, in your work making sure you access, plan, implement, evaluate and modify."

Col. Trent Edwards, 42nd Air Base Wing commander, congratulated each panelist with a certificate and called for a tree to be planted in their honor in cooperation with the Maxwell greenhouse.

Other events held throughout March included a proclamation signed at the Enlisted Heritage Research Institute to signify women's achievements in the workplace. Women pulled a bus, decorated with children's artwork of female role models, at Maxwell Elementary Middle School, demonstrating their physical and emotional strength. A poetry contest for MEMS students inspired their prose around this year's theme. Winner, Zachary Meade presented his poem entitled, 'Chien-Shiung Wu, a Journey' at the luncheon.