Press Room

Female soldiers unite through new sorority

BALTIMORE – Several female troops united to create the Kappa Epsilon Psi Military Sorority, Inc., also known as KEΨ. The sorority is open to all female service members, regardless of branch, who are serving or have served honorably in the military.

The mission of KEΨ is to honor past female service members, unite current female service members, and mentor the future leaders of our armed forces. Many of the members say the organization is a unique asset to the military.

“There are so many challenges that come along with being a woman in uniform,” said Sharise Payne, an Army staff sergeant with Maryland’s 231st Chemical Company, also a member of KEΨ. “This is a great opportunity for military women to get out and help, as well as mentor other women.”

The sorority was founded April 4, 2011, by YaShica Hill, who served as the first national president of the sorority and by Moneka Smith-Dailey, who served as its first national vice president.

Many sorority members mention that they enjoy the opportunity to connect with others who have served in the military.

“It’s a new organization, but I’m excited to be a part of something that’s meaningful to fellow military women,” said Latasha Bell, who is a Navy petty officer 3rd Class electrician’s mate and a veteran. “I think it’s a great way to connect with other women who may have had similar experiences.”

KEΨ’s local chapters meet twice a month. Nationally, all chapters meet annually at the Reveille Retreat. This retreat is a reunion for all KEΨ sisters. It is also an opportunity for newer troops to get advice from a diverse group of more experienced service members.

“I wanted to be a part of a sisterhood,” said Belinda Mann, an Army staff sergeant with the headquarters element of Maryland’s 70th Regional Training Institute and among the first to join the Maryland Guard. “It gives me the opportunity to go out into the community and mentor fellow female Service members.”

Candidates with less than two years of military service are teamed up a mentor who has more military or civilian experience. Several veteran service members have joined the sorority to advise and help new female troops while also helping the community.

Twenty women chartered the first chapter of KEΨ on May 25, 2013. The sorority is already working toward expanding the organization to have a chapter on every military installation. Since the first KEΨ chapter started, several other women have begun the process of bringing local chapters to their own communities.

Male service members have followed their female counterparts by creating a similar organization Kappa Lambda Chi Military Fraternity, Inc., also known as KΛX, founded on July 4, 2013.

“Oftentimes, joining the military means not going to college full time like many other young adults,” said Kerry Campbell, a former Army Reserve and National Guard soldier. Taking college courses is encouraged in today’s military, said Campbell, but joining a sorority is not always an option for military members since many cannot attend college full time. “Now it is.”

Some members view KEΨ as a college experience that they never had the chance to experience. The women of KEΨ have created bonds that could exist far beyond their military careers. Most say that joining feels equivalent to extending their family.

“Being a part of this organization is no different than it is with my family,” said Payne. “I love my sorority sisters as if we were relatives, and to be honest, you couldn’t tell me that we aren’t.”

KEΨ members actively participate in community service. The Virginia-District of Columbia chapter has provided many hours of community service local charities such as the D.C. Central Kitchen and the Interfaith Clothing Center.