Seven South Dakota National Guard women joined Suriname’s Ministry of Defense Leadership conference for women in uniform May 12 -14. They participated as part of the State Partnership Program Subject Matter Expert Exchange (SMEE). Their visit furthered the South Dakota National Guard’s efforts to work together with Suriname on areas of mutual concern to women working in the military.
The symposium focused on gender issues within the military, law enforcement and other uniform services, developing response and support groups, mental and physical health concerns and other challenges specific to women in uniform. The South Dakota team led a session on leadership titled, “The female mind, the dilemma of leadership, can women handle command and control?” The American team received positive feedback from their Surinamese counterparts who felt inspired by the presentation.
The conference began Monday, May 12, 2014, with a formal ceremony and concluded Wednesday, May 14, with a sports and fitness day including prizes for the participants.
This training highlights the ongoing cooperation and friendship between the armed forces of the United States and Suriname.