US Army Corps of Engineers
Middle East District

Celebrating Women’s History Month: Striving to make the world a happier, more equal place

Striving to make the world a happier, more equal place

USACE Middle East District, Public Affairs
Published March 5, 2019
Celebrating Women’s History Month

Anneliese Mielke, Equal Employment Assistant with the Transatlantic Middle East District, poses with her mother, her inspiration.

Celebrating Women’s History Month

Anneliese Mielke, Equal Employment Assistant with the Transatlantic Middle East District poses poolside during a news interview about Metro Merfolk.

“Everyone has challenges to go through and as women we are unfortunately sometimes still fighting stereotypes, but as a strong woman, I am pushing for the final change to end that,” said Anneliese (Anni) Mielke, Transatlantic Middle East District’s Equal Employment Assistant.

New to District, Mielke has been on board for just one month, assisting the EEO and providing EEO counseling to the organization. She has worked for the Department of Defense for two years now, coming to TAM from the Defense Contract Management Agency.

“Being an EEO assistant was completely the direction that I try to move with my life,” Mielke said. “Limit discrimination, be an advocate for the process to ensure everyone is treated fairly and equally. Those are also the goals of the EEO office. From my personal standards, as well as what I do outside of this position, it all flows into what I do here and how I represent myself.”

Mielke, from Ashburn, Va., and living in Winchester, describes herself as a young, business-oriented female. “I always face challenges due to my age and my gender and am not always taken seriously. I am highly dedicated and professional for my age, and with time, that begins to show. But I always have to prove myself in whatever I do, just so people can see I know what I am doing.”

She is still working toward her business administration degree at University of Maryland University College. “I chose this major because no matter what position I am in, business skills and time management are always the keys for success,” she said. 

“Although I have been inspired and influenced by all women who have shown strength to overcome issues that women face – those who fight for civil rights and peace – there are many women I look up to,” Mielke said, “including my mother, who has always been there for me with my crazy dreams. I was always a wild moon child with ideas that were out of this world, like being a mermaid business owner and also wanting to be a government employee. And Morgana Alba, one of the co-founders of MerMagic Con., started Circus Siren Pod in 2017 and changed my life, helping make me who I am today.”

Along with being a dedicated federal employee, Mielke owns several businesses centered around Mermaids. “I own and run a convention, called MerMagic Con, as well co-owning Metro Merfolk, a company created to train kids and adults how to swim like mermaids. I also own Mermaid Seanna (Ackermann) the Shenandoah Siren, and am a manager for the Circus Siren Pod, the largest traveling mermaid team on the east coast.

She has also seen success and media attention for these undertakings. “Being 24 years old, I was the youngest person to receive the 40 under 40 award of Loudoun Mirror Times. My companies have been seen on ABC’s Nightline News, FOX5 News, Channel 9 News, Washingtonian Magazine, Washington Post, On Tap DC, and Voice of America.”

“My outside businesses are all about inclusion and getting away from the pressure and stress of the world, even if just for a couple seconds,” Mielke said. “Mermaids have always been known for peace, and I try to bring that with me wherever I go. Metro Merfolk specifically, where the title specifically says the Merfolk so no matter if you are a cis female or a trans female, our belief is that everyone should be included, no matter who you are.”

Beyond her career and business interests, Mielke loves her horses and is in training to be a foster parent. “Helping the world is my passion,” she said. “I am a driven person and I will not stop moving forward, trying to help make this world a happier and more equal place for as long as I walk this earth.”