Fort Jackson held its Women's Equality Day observance Aug. 26 in the Joe E. Mann Ballroom. (Photo by Robert Timmons)

Jackson recognizes women’s equality

By Robert Timmons, Fort Jackson Public Affairs

The purpose for today’s observance is to recognize women’s equality,” said Staff Sgt. Emily Goff, a drill sergeant with 1st Battalion, 61st Infantry Regiment. “It is a day of reflection and commemoration of women’s rights, first introduced only 51 years ago in 1971 and passed by Congress in 1973.”

Goff spoke about Aug. 26, which is Women’s Equality Day. Fort Jackson held an observance in the Joe E. Mann Ballroom to honor women’s equality.

The observance not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but also calls attention to the campaign for equality, not just for women, but for all, Goff said.

Col. Tina Hayes, deputy director of the Nuclear Technologies Department, Research and Development Directorate, Defense Threat Agency was the guest speaker at the observance.

According to Col. Kent Solheim, 165th Infantry Brigade commander, introduced Hayes as the “right person here today to bring this message.”

Hayes was commissioned form John Carroll University as an engineer officer in 2000. After completion of company level commands, she transitioned as a nuclear counter proliferation and counter weapons of mass destruction officer. She was a program manager in the CWMD technologies department at the Joint Task Force Civil Support in Fort Eustis, Virginia, and counter weapons of mass destruction division chief at the U.S. Army Special Force Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

In her current job, Hayes thinks “of the worst possible day the world can see and determine national level strategy and policy to deter our enemies from making a weapon of mass destruction, using that weapon of mass destruction, and respond to the use of a weapon of mass destruction.”

Hayes, who is married to Lt. Col. Dan Hayes, commander of 1st Battalion, 61st Infantry Regiment, offered advice to other women.

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“First, know your worth,” she said. “Second, find mentorship and friendship. And last, be authentic.”

She said knowing your worth is a reminder to have the confidence in knowing your skills, abilities and expertise. “There’s a severe price that comes with under selling your abilities.”

Mentors can assist you on your career journey, Hayes said. They can help balance your life outside of work, or be there to bounce ideas off of in the workplace.

“Be authentic and be true to who you are,” she advised. “We don’t need to necessarily fit in. However, we do need to be competent in our job. That’s why we were hired in the first place. They believe you were right for the job. Now just go crush it.”