Shayla Serrata spent nearly 5 years in the Army as an artillery officer before joining Team AMSG this past February, and has loved every minute of it, but it’s her dedication to health and wellness that got her an invitation to the Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium.

Shayla attended the Sea Services Leadership Association Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium at the end of June in Arlington, Virginia, where more than 1,300 attendees gathered. Featured speakers included Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, to the first female Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Lisa Franchetti, and Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Carlos del Toro.

Shayla was invited to host the fitness and wellness portion, and she and a counterpart also ran workout sessions for symposium attendees.

“I was happy I attended the conference. It’s nice to see that we as a military community are attempting to address the gender-based issues concerns that are inherent to the military. I see that we also have a long way to go before these issues are resolved, and that the spectrum of issues is greater than we imagined and varies based on the type of job one has within the military,” said Shayla. “Lastly, it was refreshing to see strong, dedicated female leaders who have made a career out of the military.”

As a fitness coach of more than 12 years, Shayla is an experienced coach and fitness enthusiast participating in strength and conditioning working. This experience and dedication is was one of the reasons she was selected to be part of the Captain Molly’s Iron Crew and asked to attend the symposium.

The event was a time for inspirational speakers, fitness activities, networking, and leadership development. This year’s theme was “Strength Through Service,” encouraging attendees to discover themselves as unique leaders, focusing on topics such as fitness, mental health, professional alignment, and balance between military service and personal life.

While the Sea Services Leadership Association is “an organization dedicated to the mentorship and development of women leaders in the sea services and beyond,” Shayla says the symposium was open to anyone, and Shayla encourages everyone to attend future events: “I highly encourage everyone to attend and get a view of the support, mentorship, and leadership that the SSLA (Sea Services Leadership Association) has to offer!”

Written by: Sheila Rupp