ACP shares an inspiring story of a Navy veteran’s military transition and the things she’s overcome. The first of March marks the commencement of Women’s History Month. It’s a month to reflect on the resilience of women everywhere, including women who served in the military. G.I. Jobs Magazine reflected on the stories of incredible women veterans in the March 2021 issue.
It wasn’t until 1948 that American women were granted the right to enlist. Before that time, women joined in the fight for freedom in different ways. They acted as military nurses and rose to the occasion on home soil when male soldiers were called to duty.
As of a 2018 report, almost 20% of US military members identify as women. And, their courage is unparalleled both in and out of service.
Adjusting To The Military Transition
When the time comes to leave active service, getting out of the military can be daunting. It might feel like you’re adrift in the ocean with neither a compass nor land in sight. That’s how transitioning Navy LTJG Logan Ballard feels as she approaches her transition.
Ballard serves as an intelligence officer, but is facing medical separation due to a back injury. Suddenly, Ballard faces an adjustment not only from the military transition but also to a body that now operated differently.
How ACP's Veteran Mentoring Program Helped Ballard
In December 2020, Ballard signed up for ACP’s Veteran Mentoring Program, a free, yearlong mentorship designed to ease the burdens of transition. She was paired with Ila Eckhoff, a five-time ACP mentor who has built a successful career in the finance industry and is an outspoken advocate for rights of the disabled, having been born with cerebral palsy.
Despite working in different industries, the two became fast friends, utilizing mentorship to reframe Ballard’s view of herself personally and professionally. In a moment of reflection Ballard expressed, “My thoughts used to be consumed by all the things I could no longer do. But Ila taught me that my disability does not alter my drive, dedication or power. Once I changed my mindset and accepted that my disability is a part of who I am, everything fell into place.” In Ila, Ballard found a mentor who understood the challenges and frustrations of having a disability, who also taught her to recognize the empowerment that comes with having one.
How To Sign Up For the ACP Mentorship Program
For the military community, Women’s History Month is a time to honor veterans like Ballard. It’s a time to honor people who exhibit tenacity in the face of huge life changes and challenges–a reality for so many veterans.
Ballard serves as an inspiration for women who feel overwhelmed as transition approaches but still put their best foot forward. If you feel the same way, sign up for an ACP Mentorship today at acp-usa.org.