Chief Hospital Corpsman Kadia Griffin discusses her career in the U.S. Navy with counterparts from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces during a women’s leadership conference as a part of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training, Nov. 7. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Joshua Fulton)

BRUNEI - Women service members from the U.S. Navy and Royal Brunei Armed Forces came together Nov 7 for a leadership conference and exchange as part of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Brunei 2017.

The conference brought together women from both nations’ forces to share their military experiences and discuss the extraordinary benefits that military women bring to the armed forces of their nations.

“Today we came together to share our different perspectives and discuss how we as women can assume leadership positions and how our service in the military contributes to a stronger force,” said Chief Hospital Corpsman Kaida Griffin. “Nearly every nation’s military has been historically made up of men, and so it is great to recognize that women are capable of doing everything that their male counterparts are capable of doing.”

Conference attendees discussed the history of women’s involvement in military services, compared the similarities and differences female service members experience in their respective militaries, and highlighted benefits an integrated and diverse military brings to every nation.

The conference gave participants a unique opportunity to develop lasting friendships while learning from the knowledge, ideas and best-practices shared by their counterparts.

“It is important to open our views to the perspectives of different countries,” said Lt. Norasiah Binti Hossin, Royal Brunei Air force. “If we don’t think outside the box, we can’t develop, and it was a great experience getting to bond with our U.S. partners and exchange our thoughts and ideas on women’s leadership in the military.”

CARAT Brunei features 5 days of shore-based and at-sea training events designed to address shared maritime security priorities, develop professional relationships, and enhance cooperation between the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps and the Royal Brunei Armed Forces. CARAT is a series of annual maritime exercises between the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the armed forces of partner nations to include Bangladesh, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Thailand, and Timor-Leste.