AFMAO conducts first all-female dignified transfer training for Women’s History Month

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jayden Ford
  • Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations

Women across Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations came together to perform the first all-female dignified transfer training at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, March 1, 2024.

Members from across Team Dover were invited to witness the training, which was held in honor of Women’s History Month, and is just one example of AFMAO’s dedication to celebrating the contributions of all members of its team, as well as promote diversity and inclusion.

“The purpose of the demonstration is to highlight the solemn mission of AFMAO while shedding light on the significant roles our female joint service members and total force Airmen play in the execution of this unique, no-fail mission,” said Senior Master Sgt. Ayana Hodges, AFMAO Operations Support Division
superintendent and event coordinator.

This marks the first time AFMAO has conducted dignified transfer training utilizing females for every position involved in the solemn movement.

“We had women of all ranks and various career fields represented,” said Lt. Col. Crystal Glaster, AFMAO deputy commander and dignified transfer host for the event. “It’s a reminder that we are present, actively engaged and contributing to the Department of the Air Force and Defense mission. Our country needs all our collective talents now more than ever, and it’s my hope that this visual representation encourages all to continue to serve with pride and excellence.”

The event was open to members from across the base who do not normally get to see a dignified transfer in person.

“The families of our fallen decide on the type and level of media support we provide for the Dignified Transfer, which means it is not typically viewable by the general public,” Hodges said. “Providing this opportunity to Team Dover bridges the gap between what is publicly broadcasted during the Dignified Transfer and the many support elements working behind the scenes to provide that care, service, and emotional support to the families before, during and after the solemn movement.”

Upon conclusion of the event, members reflected on the important role women play in AFMAO and the overall Department of Defense mission.

“It is important to honor the achievements of women across the DoD, and we wanted to take time today to do just that,” Glaster said. “It’s our diversity that gives us the strength to do what our nation requires of us, and it’s a good reminder how all of us play a role in making our military great.”

This month, members of AFMAO will continue to honor the important role women have played in our mission and around the world.

“In the grand scheme of things, there are far fewer females serving than there are male service members,” Hodges said. “It is incumbent on us as leaders and change agents to reach out, develop and mold our junior teammates, so that they can empower and grow future generations.”