Sea Services Leadership Association

Finding Your Fit Through Leadership, Connection and Fitness

SSLA Press Release
Media Contact: Lt. Kathleen Barrios,

Norfolk, Va. (July 6, 2023)

The Sea Services Leadership Association (SSLA) brought together about 1,500 registrants comprised of service members, government and civilian professionals at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, Ca., June 29th-July 1st during the 34th annual Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium (JWLS) and Career Development Day.

SSLA is proud to host all eight uniformed services including the United States Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, NOAA Corps, Space Force and Public Health Service, of which members from all were in attendance at JWLS 2023.

The overall symposium theme was “Find Your Fit,” with three key pillars: leadership, connection and fitness.

“Finding your fit was a powerful theme! Each person found different ways to find their fit throughout the entire symposium. Some explored new leadership themes, many created new connections, and a bunch of us went the extra miles and ran the 5k, joined the yoga session, and did the strength training session,” said SSLA President Capt. Emily Bassett. “This year’s Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium was a huge success, and I can’t wait until next year’s.”

Master Sergeant Tyskanay Schofield, U.S. Air Force, kicked off the first day of the symposium with high energy during her opening remarks that led into a panel on “Leadership Types and How You Fit as a Leader” where the audience was educated on the Enneagram Human Personality Category Test and how to apply your leadership style to everyday life. Other notable leadership panels included topics on healthcare and family planning, finding your fit, leadership during ethical dilemmas, and how to overcome barriers to career advancement. The second day, June 30th, featured discussions including DoD policy updates, resilience and stress management, the power of connection, and finding success through failure.

Connection was formed throughout JWLS 2023 in the service-specific breakout discussions as well as during a comedy night and a networking event at Petco Park.

Fitness, the third pillar of this year’s theme, was applied through a morning yoga session, JWLS 5k run/walk, and fitness circuit at Liberty Station.

JWLS 2023 featured well-known public figures from military and government, public speakers, authors, and influencers to drive discussions on issues of importance to women in the uniformed services, including Admiral (ret.) John Richardson, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations Vice Admiral Rick Cheeseman, Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall, Personal Advisor to the Chief of Staff and Secretary of the Air Force Command Master Sergeant JoAnne Bass, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Troy Black, The Assistant Secretary of the Navy the Honorable Mr. Franklin Parker, and many more.

“Planning the biggest symposium for women in the uniformed service is quite a feat, but we are proud to have provided a forum for leaders to come together to better themselves and learn from each other,” said JWLS Co-Chair Maj. Kyleigh Cullen. “We cannot wait to start planning for JWLS 2024!”

SSLA was established in 1978. It is currently the only non-profit organization in the United States dedicated to providing professional development through networking, education, and mentorship of women from all four maritime uniformed services – the United States Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and NOAA Corps. SSLA is a national non-profit and non-political organization and an officially recognized affinity group for the sea services, continually advising the services about issues affecting Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and NOAA personnel and their families. SSLA also maintains partnerships with the Navy’s Women’s Policy Office and the Coast Guard’s Gender Policy Advisors, as well as the United States Marine Corps’ Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management Branch and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Women’s Association (NOAAWA).

To learn more about the SSLA Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium and SSLA, visit and

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