European Union Training Mission Mali is an example of successful gender mainstreaming within an EU CSDP mission. Gender perspective in both internal and external tasks is systematically addressed during all phases of the mission. EUTM Mali recognizes the value of women’s work for peace and security, including active participation of women in decision-making. One of the role models is Lieutenant Colonel Kirstine of the British Army that was assigned as Executive Officer to the multinational Headquarters of our mission, where she also performed the role of acting Chief of Staff for more than two months.
Lieutenant Colonel Kirstine demonstrated a capacity for high performance, effectively synchronized activities within the staff, and proved from the beginning to be a key element in the mission. During the first four months, in her role as Executive Officer, she managed several critical issues and introduced innovations in reporting and in the staff battle rhythm, further to the updating of plans and standard operating procedures. On top of this, she also did a remarkable job in leading the missions COVID-19 task force, being responsible for seeing that the mission was prepared to mitigate against the pandemic and for coordinating the strategic evacuation of personnel when this became necessary. In assuming the role of acting Chief of Staff, Lieutenant Colonel Kirstine consistently presented the Mission Force Commander with timely and coherent courses of action, thus continuing to demonstrate her value as a highly dependable Staff Officer.
Lieutenant Colonel Kirstine is an outstanding officer capable of meeting several challenges simultaneously. She is a credit to the British Army and proved to be an excellent ambassador for the United Kingdom, its Armed Forces and EUTM Mali as well. For her distinguished service in support of the mission she was awarded a certificate of commendation by the Chairman of the European Union Military Committee.