MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - U.S. Special Operations Command
personnel stood patiently and anxiously waited at USSOCOM headquarters for the
results from a “Women's History Month” essay writing contest, March
Evelyn Lachance, chief of knowledge management, USSOCOM, thought
an essay competition recognizing influential women in the lives of Special
Operations Forces (SOF) personnel would be a great way to kick-off "Women's
"Women have always been the first role model a child comes in
contact with; our mothers and other women in our lives have molded our
character, taught us right from wrong, and loved us unconditionally," said
Five members from the command submitted for the writing
competition and the USSOCOM Booster Club donated $100 for the first, second, and
third place winners.
Each participant was asked to write an essay on an influential
woman in their life and was given a month to complete their essay. The essays
were judged on originality and most significant SOF impact tie.
"The first-place winner was awarded a $50 gift certificate, and
the second and third place winners were awarded a $25 gift
Mary Ann Giese, chief information officer of strategic planning,
was the USSOCOM first-place essay winner. Giese wrote her essay about her
mother, the person she attributes all her success to.
"My mother, Margaret Mary Leslie, never wore a cape, but without
a doubt, she is my hero. She led our family and taught me leadership lessons
that will last a lifetime," said Giese.
Giese included a few of those lessons in her essay - lessons
that had great influence on her development as a leader.
Giese wrote, "It's not about you." Although her mother never
said those words, she demonstrated by example her selflessness as she dedicated
all her waking moments, time and energy to her eight children and
Her other lessons included, "As a leader, you set the standards
… you stay positive and keep the faith."
Women's History Month is dedicated to women who have made a
difference in our personal and professional lives. In the month of March, we
honor these women and their sacrifices.