An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Tennessee National Guard Hosts Women, Peace, and Security Conference

  • Published
  • By William Jones
  • Tennessee National Guard Public Affairs Office

SMYRNA, Tenn. -- The Tennessee National Guard hosted a three-day conference to discuss a two-fold global initiative discussing the effect wartime violence has on women and children and the meaningful insights women add in leadership positions, from Aug. 15-17.

More than 60 Soldiers, Airmen, and Marines from across the U.S. who attended the conference learned about the positive effect well-informed, educated women have in senior leadership roles and how women, in general, can positively change their communities.

The initiative known as Women, Peace, and Security, WPS, was chartered by the Global South (regions of Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia) and was unanimously adopted by the United Nations in 2000. As of February 2023, 105 countries, including the U.S., have adopted this initiative.

“Tennessee partnered with European Command and the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense on the Women, Peace, and Security initiative,” said Lt. Col. Linda Keiser, Tennessee’s WPS Lead. “The purpose of this initiative is to maximize recruitment, retention, and promoting of women into leadership positions. We are also preparing for the Theater Logistics Readiness training in 2025 in order to encourage more women into Bulgaria’s Joint Logistics Directorate.”

Tennessee’s Adjutant General Brig. Gen. Warner Ross, believes that WPS is essential for the growth and sustainment for the Tennessee National Guard moving forward.

“Women, Peace, and Security is a great opportunity to bring together leaders and discuss a topic that has not received enough attention,” said Ross, “We’re living in a time of a lot of rapid transformations, evolving challenges, and we recognize and try to advance this topic in the role of women; specifically in shaping a peaceful and secure world.”

According to Devin Cate, executive director for the Air National Guard, who spoke at the conference, WPS promotes women’s full and equal participation in peace and security as a prerequisite to achieve sustainable peace. Women have a proven aptitude for building peace coalitions and creating dialogue and compromises among conflicting parties. To this end, when men and women collaborate on a peace treaty, it is 35% more likely to last opposed to 10% when it is brokered by men alone. Therefore, the lasting effect is countries are more secure and safer when women are involved.

Two additional facets of WPS address a positive and a negative component for female Soldiers on the battlefield. As seen during the war in Afghanistan, female Soldiers can better interact with noncombatant women. A negative component for female Soldiers is that military equipment is typically designed for men.

“Education is the key to spreading the message about WPS and having more advocates and spokespeople within our units is the only way to accomplish this,” said Keiser. “The positive roles women play in modern society cannot be overstated.”