Photo Information

Marines from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River filter into the chapel for the third annual Vivian A. Holmes Female Marine Symposium, Feb. 25. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Mary M. Carmona/Released.)

Photo by Cpl. Mary M. Carmona

Third annual female Marine symposium held aboard New River

14 Mar 2014 | Cpl. Mary M. Carmona

Marines from Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and MCAS Cherry Point attended the third annual Vivian A. Holmes Female Marine Symposium at the MCAS New River Chapel, Feb. 25.

The symposium, founded in 2012 by retired Master Gunnery Sgt. Vivian A. Holmes, was designed to mentor and inform female Marines on topics pertaining to their Marine Corps careers. More than 20 guest speakers attended the event.

Representatives from Military and Family Life Counseling (MFLC), Jacksonville Vet Center, Onslow Pregnancy Resource Center and many other organizations urged the Marines to take advantage of the free help available to them.

One major theme of the event was support.

“I will not leave you; I will make sure you have what you need,” said New River MFLC counselor Wendy Harris. “We are all here for the same reason – to support you.”

Another topic of information was re-enlistment. Marine attendees learned about proficiency and conduct marks, B-Billet’s available and the tier system – all of which can affect a Marine’s re-enlistment process.

“Competition is key,” said Gunnery Sgt. Casondra A. Gonzales, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron career planner. “You want to stand out among your peers. The little things can impact you.”

The final speaker of the event was Shirley John of the Women Marines Association.

John urged Marines to get involved with the association as well as volunteer in the community.

“The best way you can get to know your community is to volunteer every chance you get,” she said.

After the presentations the attendees were given the opportunity to speak with the guest speakers, and visit stations set up around the chapel that had additional information.