Local JBER woman inducted into Athena Society


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Brig. Gen. Catherine Jorgensen, director of the joint staff, Joint Forces Headquarters, Alaska National Guard, gives a speech at her promotion ceremony last September. Jorgensen was inducted into the Anchorage Athena Society at a luncheon at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage, March 31.

SGT. EDWARD EAGERTON

Brigadier General Catherine Jorgensen, director of the joint staff, Joint Forces Headquarters, Alaska Army National Guard, was inducted into the Anchorage Athena Society at a luncheon at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage, March 31.

The Anchorage Athena Society is a program of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce and is part of Athena International, a nonprofit organization that seeks to support, develop and honor women in positions of leadership.

“It’s quite an honor to be nominated and recognized,” said Jorgensen. “Getting nominated was an opportunity to have my eyes opened to what they do for empowering women in business and leadership positions, and their commitment to mentorship as well.”

Jorgensen is no stranger to leadership. In September, she was the first woman to be promoted to the rank of brigadier general in the history of the Alaska Army National Guard. With this rank comes a large amount of responsibility.

“She simultaneously wears two hats,” said Brig. Gen. Leon M. Bridges, the assistant adjutant general of the Alaska Army National Guard. “She is the Army land component commander, [and] ... director of the joint staff.”

For Jorgensen, being inducted into the Athena Society affords her the opportunity to act as an ambassador to the National Guard.

“For the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, the military is a big piece of what goes on here in Anchorage, and it really opens up another avenue for them to see what we do in the military,” said Jorgensen. “A lot of times women don’t realize the opportunities they have in the military, because they aren’t exposed to those things, and so being a part of this opens up opportunities for me to share what goes on in our organization and what other women can do.”

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