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Athena Thriving: A Unit Guide to Combating Gender Discrimination in the Army


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Directing Staff
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An excellent article outlining the challenges the military continues to face wrt gender issues and discrimination, how to better improve communications & services for (and between) different genders and gender vs leadership, and detailing how to approach any number of complications/questions related to gender matters affecting one’s service.

Whether one is in a formal leadership position or not, the article contains vital insight for expanding one’s understanding of the issues facing many while serving. (Equally relevant for CAF)


Authors Listed Alphabetically

Capt. Ashley Barber received her commission through ROTC at Norwich University in 2013. She is a military intelligence officer currently serving in the 10th Mountain Division G2. She has previously served in MI brigades and IBCTs (LI). She completed her KD time in 2/10 IBCT (LI) as the brigade AS2 and the 2-87 Infantry Battalion S2 through iterations of LTP, JRTC, and a deployment to Afghanistan. She tweets at @BarbtheAsh.

Maj. Chris Barber is honored to serve as an Army Physician Assistant and PA educator. He is currently assigned to the Keller Army Community Hospital at West Point, NY. MAJ Barber spent 10 years as an enlisted infantryman before commissioning and attending the Interservice Physician Assistant Program (IPAP). He has multiple combat, operational, and humanitarian deployments. Any views expressed by MAJ Barber belong to him alone, and do not imply endorsement by the Defense Health Agency or Army Medical Command.

Lt. Col. Ian Fleischmann commissioned from the United States Military Academy in 2004 and is selected to command a military intelligence battalion. He is currently assigned as an operations officer with the Headquarters, Department of the Army, G-8. He is a career MI officer with intelligence assignments from battalion to division level in Infantry, Cavalry, Field Artillery, and Aviation units. He and his wife aspire daily to raise their three boys to be men of character. He tweets at @TecumsehBurning.

Capt. Michelle Gonzalez, PhD, is a clinical psychologist currently serving as the behavioral health officer for the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team of the 3rd Infantry Division. Capt. Gonzalez has a long standing research and clinical career focused on serving ethnic, racial, economic, and gender minority groups. CPT Gonzalez has specialized clinical training in the treatment of sexual trauma with an emphasis in women’s mental health, having completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Durham VA Medical Center. As a female Army Officer and research scientist, Capt. Gonzalez continues to “fight the good fight” in pursuit of gender equality and equal opportunity.

Lt. Col. Trey Guy received his commission through Army ROTC at the Virginia Military Institute in 2003 and is selected to command an air defense artillery battalion. He is a career Air Defense officer, currently working as an instructor at the Joint Forces Staff College. He has served in short range air defense units as well as joint and combined assignments. He is a proud and loving husband and devoted father to two young ladies and two young men. He tweets at @Treyguy13.

2nd Lt. Gillian Longoria is an armor officer currently attending ABOLC at Fort Benning, GA. She is a proud 3rd generation service member, a TCU grad, and a survivor. She hopes to inspire other young Hispanic women to find their voices in the military.

Capt. Christina Lowry commissioned as a chemical officer and served with the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, including rotations to Korea and Germany. She is a survivor who pursued law school in the hope of empowering and supporting other survivors. Having graduated from law school through the Funded Legal Education Program, she is currently attending the Judge Advocate Officer Basic Course with orders to Fort Sill.

Lt. Col. Tony Newman received his commission through ROTC at Rochester Institute of Technology in 2003. He served as a logistics officer in tactical, operational, and strategic positions. He is currently assigned to the White House Communications Agency and will take command of a brigade support battalion next summer. He is a husband and father to two daughters and two sons. He tweets at @ABNSupplyGuy.

Lt. Col. Stoney Portis is a PhD student at Duke University and will take command of a combined arms battalion next summer. He tweets at @stoneyportis.

Spc. Sheyla Scholl is a former CBRN soldier of the Minnesota Army National Guard, spouse to an active duty Airman, and a mom of two. After being diagnosed with stage 4 blood cancer in 2017 at 19 years old, she founded a nonprofit called Combat Boots & Cancer to help change the military’s attitude toward injury and disease while serving. She has served as a consumer reviewer on the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program twice. She is a dedicated public policy advocate for issues affecting national guardsmen, cancer patients, disability in the military, and survivors of sexual violence, while healing from her own military sexual trauma. She tweets at @terminalyill3st.

1st Lt. Neha Sharma is an intelligence officer in the US Army Reserve, pending active orders in USAG Wiesbaden, Germany. Originally from Chennai, India, 1st Lt. Sharma immigrated to the United States right before 9/11. She is currently working on her second master’s degree, is a published researcher, civil rights activist, women’s rights advocate, and a survivor. She tweets at @chicagloww.

Lt. Col. Scott Stephens is an armor officer and commander of a combined arms battalion. In his 22 years of service, he has led armor and combined arms units from the platoon to battalion level through multiple combat and rotational deployments, as well as serving in a variety of broadening assignments. He is the proud husband of an Army veteran, and the loving father of one fierce young woman and two amazing young men. He tweets at @scottjstephens.

Capt. Jordan Supan is a logistics officer currently commanding the Brigade Field Maintenance Company for 3rd Brigade Combat Team at Fort Hood, Texas. She was enrolled in the Simultaneous Membership Program while in college, serving in the Georgia National Guard while pursuing her commission through Georgia Southern University’s ROTC Program. The daughter and granddaughter of service members, she has long been an advocate for comprehensive gender inclusion of all military branches and combat roles. As a survivor, she is dedicated to inciting change in our Army to create an organization that will support our personnel, allow them to thrive, and provide them with the dignity and respect owed to all people in our formation. She tweets at @MarchingWith7.