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Women’s History Month: A Leadership Perspective

March 26 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

In observance of Women’s History Month, the next Lindsay Lectures Series event will feature two outstanding leaders: CSM JoAnn Naumann, Command Senior Enlisted Leader of U.S. Army Special Operations Command, and LTC Rachel M. Cepis who serves as the USASOC Women in ARSOF initiative Director and Women, Peace, and Security/Gender Focal Point Advisor. 

To reserve your spot, click here.

All active-duty service members get in free upon registration.


Command Sergeant Major JoAnn Naumann was born and raised in New Jersey. She attended the College of William and Mary, majoring in American Studies and Government. After college, CSM Naumann enlisted in the Army as a 35P, Voice Language Analyst, in February 1996. She completed the Arabic Basic Course at the Defense Language Institute and Advanced Individual Training at Goodfellow Air Force Base.

CSM Naumann’s assignments include: 311th Military Intelligence Battalion, Fort Campbell, KY; 344th Military Intelligence Battalion, Goodfellow Air Force Base, TX; and assignments to a Special Mission Units. She completed fourteen deployments throughout CENTCOM and AFRICOM. CSM Naumann served as the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) J2 Senior Enlisted Advisor and Command Sergeant Major for the 15th Military Intelligence Battalion (Aerial Exploitation), JSOC Intelligence Brigade, and Special Operations Command – Korea. She currently serves as the Command Senior Enlisted Leader of United States Army Special Operations Command.

CSM Naumann’s military schools include: Arabic Basic Course, Air Assault Course, BLC, Rappel Master Course, ALC, Basic Airborne Course, Instructor Supervisor Course, Military Freefall Course, and SOF Intel Leaders Course. She is a graduate of the Joint Special Operations Forces Senior Enlisted Academy.

CSM Naumann’s awards and decorations include: Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star w/ 1OLC, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal w/ 2OLC, Air Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal w/ 3OLC, and Army Achievement Medal w/ 2OLC. She is a recipient of the Order of Saint Michael and the Knowlton Award. CSM Naumann is married and has one stepdaughter.


Lieutenant Colonel Rachel M. Cepis graduated from the University of Toledo in 2005 and was commissioned a 2LT in the U.S. Army as a Chemical Officer.

Lieutenant Colonel Cepis attended the Civil Affairs Qualification Course in 2009 at United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School. She graduated the Civil Affairs Qualification Course in March 2010 as a 38A and was assigned to Alpha Company, 98th Civil Affairs Battalion Special Operations (SO) Airborne (A) where she served as an Assistant Operations Officer (Asst. CMOC Chief), Rear Detachment Commander and Civil Affairs Team Leader. In 2011 Lieutenant Colonel Cepis deployed as a Team Leader with Delta

Company, 98th Civil Affairs Battalion (SO) (A) to Central and South America in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM CARIBBEAN, CENTRAL AMERICA then redeployed and was assigned as the AS-3 for the 98th Civil Affairs Battalion (SO) (A). Following her AS-3 assignment, in 2014 Lieutenant Colonel Cepis became a Civil Affairs Qualification Course instructor/course manager in Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne). After her assignment as an instructor, Lieutenant Colonel Cepis served as Civil Affairs advisor Commander’s Initiative Group, USAFJSWCS.

In 2016, Lieutenant Colonel Cepis was assigned to Echo Company, 91st Civil Affairs Battalion (SO) (A) where she served as the Company Operations Chief supporting missions throughout Africa. In 2017, Lieutenant Colonel Cepis was assigned to the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade Headquarters where she served as the Brigade Chief of Operations and in 2018 she was selected to serve as a Battalion Operations Officer and Civil Affairs Advisor in Iraq in support of Special Operations Joint Task Force Inherent Resolve. Immediately following her deployment Lieutenant Colonel Cepis assumed Command of Bravo Company, 98th Civil Affairs Battalion (SO) (A). In 2020, she deployed forward with her company to Honduras where she dual served as the Civil Affairs Commander and Special Operations Chief of Staff/Deputy Commander responsible for 16 additional SOF elements forward deployed in Central America and the Caribbean. After successful completion of company command, Lieutenant Colonel Cepis served as the 83d Civil Affairs Battalion Operations Officer, responsible for the only conventional Civil Affairs Immediate Response Force in support of XVIII Airborne Corps global response. From 2021 to 2022, Lieutenant Colonel Cepis served in the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (SO) (A) as the Plans and Future Capabilities Director. From 2022 until present, Lieutenant Colonel Cepis is serving as the USASOC Women in ARSOF initiative Director and Women, Peace, and Security/Gender Focal Point Advisor.

Lieutenant Colonel Cepis’s military schooling includes Airborne School, Chemical Basic Officer Leader Course, Toxic Agent Training, Environmental Compliance, Military Police Officer Career Course, Survival and Evasion Course (High Risk), Spanish Language Training, Civil Affairs Qualification Course, Jumpmaster, and Army Basic Instructor Training Course. Her awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Commendation Medal (with C device), Army Commendation Medal (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Achievement Medal (with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster), National Defense Service Ribbon, Iraqi Campaign Ribbon (with Bronze Star), Global War on Terrorism Service Ribbon, Over Seas Service Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Peruvian Parachutist Badge and the Army Parachutist Badge.


March 26
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm