Builder Constructionman Kasey Reed and Steelworker Constructionman Jody Gorsuch were the first female Seabees of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 24 to complete training for The Lioness Program.
The Lioness Program, established in 2004, stations female troops with Marine combat units. The Lioness members therefore play a vital role in security and the fight against terrorism, by searching females and children, since Muslim cultural tradition dictates that men are not permitted to look up nor touch females.
When asked in an interview about her role as a Lioness, Reed commented, “It is a great experience, allowing women to show their importance in a joint effort with their male counter parts.”
Reed and Gorsuch participated in a week long training course instructed by the Marines. The Seabees received classes covering a wide array of topics from Marine combat skills to combat life-saving techniques, and personnel searches to basic Arabic language skills.
After the completion of the training program, Gorsuch stated, “Completing the program has provided me with a great sense of accomplishment through attaining these new skills and knowledge.” She went on to describe the experience as “empowering for women.”
Both women were excited and confident in regard to their new role and assignment with the Marines.
Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nicole Harmon