EL PASO, Texas - With Women's History Month upon us, one cannot
help but recognize and pay homage to the women in our Army.
First Sgt. Jessica Taylor, from the 4th Financial Management Support
Unit here, trains Staff Sgt. Icenie Herring on personnel management
techniques and soldier readiness requirements, February 25, 2013.
The month of March is Women's History Month. (US Army Photo by Sgt.
1st Class Matthew Veasley)
The lengthy journey for women's equality in the military
was nothing short of grueling and callous, but women
persevered and fought for their right to belong to the
nation's mightiest fighting force.
The Women's Army
Corps or WACs, was an all women branch of the United States
Army formed in the early 1940s. More than 150,000 strong,
the WACs were the first women to serve in the Army with jobs
other than nurses during the two World Wars.
many stereotypes and opposition women continued to fight for
equality and were formally accepted into the Army in 1978,
at which time the WACs were disbanded.
women were not authorized leadership positions or any
position of power or authority, which subjugated women to
their own organization. Men across the nation opposed the
concept of allowing women to serve in the military.
There were campaigns and protests that labeled women wanting
to serve in the military as lesbians or prostitutes, but
this gross representation did not prevail and women fought
their way to the top.
“I feel a great pride about
being a woman in the military,” said Dr. Angela Rawlings,
sergeant major with the United States Army Materiel Command.
“Women have come a long way since the WACs. We are even
looking into putting women into combat arms Military
Occupational Specialties, which is a great progression for
women in the Army.”
From the beaches of Normandy to
the sands of Afghanistan, women have played an integral part
in the progress and foundation of the United States Army.
Through time-hardened advancement, women in the Army
have persevered and exceeded the standard in many venues and
at every echelon of military operations.
experiences, I feel equal. I feel that the Army has done a
great job with equal opportunity for both sexes that
equality is not as an prevalent issue anymore,” said 15-year
veteran Staff Sgt. Rachel Coronado from the 15th Sustainment
Brigade. “Women have come too far in the military and I
would encourage women in general to fight through the
adversity and never settle for average, because women before
In the early 1970s, it was a challenge
for the nation to accept or adapt to the integration of
women's rights, but more specifically in the military. The
primary stigma was the biological and physical aspects
between men and women.
Time has proven that this is
not always the case. Females have performed on levels that
exceed those of many male soldiers in many military-related
“We fight stigmas everyday as women,”
said 1st Sgt. Jessica Taylor from the 4th Financial
Management Support unit here. “The main thing we have to do
is assess soldiers as soldiers and not as males versus
females. We need to get rid of all those old mind sets and
go into a new era of ideals that focus on actual statistics
of performance and not their (sex).”
Taylor, one of
very few female first sergeants on Fort Bliss, credits her
success to hard work and a can do attitude. She also
challenges her seniors, peers and subordinates to continue
to fight for impartiality and continue to uphold the highest
“I am sure the WACs had many
more road blocks than women today have had to endure,” she
said. “In this profession you will have roadblocks and
oppositions, but each day you have to make ground and
progress as leaders, as soldiers, and as women and that's
how you overcome. Women must always remain relevant. Stay
educated, the more you know, the more power you will have.
Always keep yourself relevant against your peers because
that's the only thing that will break these negative
Women's History Month is the entire month
of March. Take the time to recollect and thank women for
their contributions to this great nation and always remember
the struggles others before you have endured to give us the
rights we benefit from today.
By Army Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Veasley
Comment on this article