I first pitched this project accidentally while sitting on a bus filled with 2014 GI Film Festival filmmakers. Striking up a conversation with Catherine Campbell, producer of the documentary film Oro Macht Frei, I found myself talking about my experience in the US Army Military Police Corps, and my desire to highlight the amazing women in leadership with and for whom I had served. That conversation continued throughout the festival and beyond, as the conversation became an idea that became a project that became a plan.
TAKING COMMAND: A DOCUMENTARY
Purpose: “To showcase women in command positions in the US Army Military Police Corps, past and present, providing a forum for them to share their unique experiences and challenges of leading soldiers in today’s military to audiences both civilian and military.”
Description: Military women don’t “lean in” — they step up. Women have served in the military police corps since WWII, and have distinguished themselves in peacetime operations and in combat. For example, Army Sergeant Leigh Ann Hester became the first woman since WWII to receive a Silver Star for actions in combat in Iraq, leading a counterattack on insurgents, who were attacking her convoy.
There are several popular examinations of women in leadership positions in the civilian sector, such as Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead”, and Lois P. Frankel’s “See Jane Lead.” Women have served in leadership positions in the Army’s military police corps for decades, and we believe that these leaders have valuable perspectives as important as those shared by Sandberg and Frankel.
The image of the female military police company commander, completing the mission and taking care of Soldiers, displaying powerful agency, will contribute greatly not only to providing the American public with another facet of women in the military—that of the woman as leader—but also may provide leadership insights to industries and organizations outside the U.S. Army.
We have drafted a budget, a preliminary schedule, and have contacted Army Public Affairs Offices to begin coordination for this project. The plan is to start by diving into history at the US Army Military Police Corps Regimental Museum. From there, we have planned several interviews with the goal of raising funds to complete a promotional video. This project will then be used to promote, raise awareness, and apply for grants to complete a feature-length documentary. Throughout this process, we will be actively working to involve other veterans in the production of the film, and hopefully creating a project that will engage our subjects and audience with respect and interest that will cross civilian and military lines. Stay tuned as we get our Web site and social media up and running!