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HomeNewsFort Campbell Lifeliner females, APSU Women's Soccer build bonds

Fort Campbell Lifeliner females, APSU Women’s Soccer build bonds

Written by Sgt. Neysa Canfield
101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (AA) Public Affairs

101st Sustainment Brigade - LifelinersFort Campbell KY - 101st Airborne Division

Clarksville, TN -Female officers from the 101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade “Lifeliners,” 101st Airborne Divison (Air Assault) with boots laced and uniforms on were ready to head out to the field.

This field, however, had markers, goal posts and seats for spectators. Eight officers from the “Lifeliner” Brigade visited the Austin Peay State University women’s soccer team for Women’s Equality Day August 26th, at Fortera Stadium, here.

First Lt. Francine Lane, executive officer for 218th Military Police Company, 716th Military Police Battalion, 101st Abn. Div. Sust. Bde., volunteered to speak to the student athletes.

Second Lt. Natalie Pyle, platoon leader for the Ground Support Equipment section in 584th Support Maintenance Company, 129th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade, 101st Abn. Div. (Air Assault), shares techniques she used during her time in college that helped her succeed with a group of Austin Peay State University women’s soccer team players at the Fortera Stadium club level room, Clarksville, Tn., Aug. 26, 2016. (Sgt. Neysa Canfield/101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)
Second Lt. Natalie Pyle, platoon leader for the Ground Support Equipment section in 584th Support Maintenance Company, 129th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade, 101st Abn. Div. (Air Assault), shares techniques she used during her time in college that helped her succeed with a group of Austin Peay State University women’s soccer team players at the Fortera Stadium club level room, Clarksville, Tn., Aug. 26, 2016. (Sgt. Neysa Canfield/101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)

“I wanted to be able to share some of my personal success stories and challenges with these girls,” said Lane, a Rancho Cucamonga, California native. “I was a college athlete just like they are now, so I know how hard it can be to balance the different things going on in their lives.”

A former United States Military Academy volleyball player, Lane shared with the APSU athletes what she said was one of biggest leadership lessons she learned during her time in college.

“With any relationship, including teams, there are always issues that arise, and you have the choice to either face and resolve them or ignore them and let them fester,” said Lane.

First Lt. Francine Lane, executive officer for the 218th Military Police Company, 716th Military Police Battalion, 101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade, 101st Abn. Div. (Air Assault), shares her personal experience involving conflict resolution as a former athlete with a group of Austin Peay State University women’s soccer team players at the Fortera Stadium club level room, Clarksville, Tn., Aug. 26, 2016. (Sgt. Neysa Canfield/101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)
First Lt. Francine Lane, executive officer for the 218th Military Police Company, 716th Military Police Battalion, 101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade, 101st Abn. Div. (Air Assault), shares her personal experience involving conflict resolution as a former athlete with a group of Austin Peay State University women’s soccer team players at the Fortera Stadium club level room, Clarksville, Tn., Aug. 26, 2016. (Sgt. Neysa Canfield/101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)

As a freshman at West Point, Lane said she witnessed how addressing and resolving issues early on can keep the team’s mindset focused on what is important and keep their relationship strong. She added she was able to carry out that lesson through her four years in college and even through her military career as a platoon leader and now an executive officer.

After each of the officers shared personal stories and team-building techniques with the team, players and officers broke down into small groups to answer any additional questions the players had.

Among the players was Natalie Smith, a native of Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee.

Smith, who plays center back for the APSU women’s soccer team, said she didn’t grow up around a military community, so having the opportunity to listen and talk to the female officers allowed her to learn a lot about both the military and females in the military.

“My perception of military females has changed,” Smith explained. “They aren’t just these hard core fighters; they are just regular people.”

Smith added that it was great to hear the personal stories that each officer shared about their experience in teams, school, and even in the military, but the one thing that she really took away from the visit was not taking things for granted.

“Being a senior, the end [of college] is just around the corner, so hearing that some of these former athletes are still getting to play every once in a while, and [still] getting to see old friends and teammates [they once played with] was nice to know,” said Smith.

Lt. Col. Gina SanNicolas, commander of the 129th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade, 101st Abn. Div. (Air Assault), shares the methods she uses to balance social and professional life with the Austin Peay State University women’s soccer team at the Fortera Stadium club room, Clarksville, Tn., Aug. 26, 2016. (Sgt. Neysa Canfield/101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)
Lt. Col. Gina SanNicolas, commander of the 129th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade, 101st Abn. Div. (Air Assault), shares the methods she uses to balance social and professional life with the Austin Peay State University women’s soccer team at the Fortera Stadium club room, Clarksville, Tn., Aug. 26, 2016. (Sgt. Neysa Canfield/101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)

As the visit came to an end, Kelley Guth, head coach for the APSU women’s soccer team, gathered her players to the corner of the club level room, in front of the wall with a big red “AP,” to take a group photo with the female leaders.

“It’s always great having special guest coming to speak to the athletes,” said Guth. “This was a great opportunity to have women in leadership roles come talk to the players and be an example to our girls who are young college students still trying to find their way, and I hope we can continue this relationship with the military community.”

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