KENNESAW — Local military women and women working in the defense industry will have a new support group as Women in Defense, a national security organization, launches a new chapter in Cobb.
The new chapter, which is the national organization’s 20th chapter and its first in Georgia, will be headquartered at Kennesaw State University, according to retired Maj. Gen. Maria Britt, a former commanding general of the Georgia Army National Guard and associate vice president for operations at Kennesaw State University.
“Kennesaw State University’s Coles College of Business is a sponsor, and they will work behind the scenes to help this nonprofit organization,” said Britt, who will also serve as chapter president. “Several members of (the school’s) board will be members of Women in Defense. The ability for us to help bring this group of women and men in our state is something that Kennesaw State University is very excited about and proud to be the sponsor of.”
The organization chapter will partner with the university to offer professional and leadership development through educational and professional workshops, promote STEM education for young women and serve as a networking group for Cobb’s defense community, Britt said.
Britt, who had a 28-year career in the military and was the first female head of the Georgia National Guard, said a defense-community focused organization was a long overdue necessity in Cobb.
“When I heard about it I was thrilled,” she said. “I saw it as an opportunity to help women in a very specific niche — a niche that currently doesn’t exist.”
Britt said while there were professional groups for women in Cobb, the county lacked an organization that catered to the defense community, and the group will provide a way for women with military or defense backgrounds to help each other.
“There are things that we can help each other with, based on the experiences we’ve garnered over the years, which can help bring women forward,” she said. “I’m excited about the fact that this a very narrowly focused organization. There are a lot of women out there that are excited about being a part of this organization.”Women in Defense, which has 19 other chapters across the nation, was founded in 1979 to help women expand their knowledge of national security issues and the nation’s defense community. Women in Defense is an affiliate of the National Defense Industrial Association, a national security advocacy organization that started in 1919.