Women’s History Month observance: Together, everyone achieves more
By Abigail Meyer, Fort Bliss Bugle Editor:
(El Paso, Texas, March. 16, 2017) March is Women’s History Month, a time when the nation reflects on women’s contributions to society through the years. It’s a nationwide observance and, for the Army, serves as a time to recognize achievements by female Soldiers.
The U.S. Sergeants Major Academy hosted an observance in the Kenneth W. Cooper Lecture Center here Friday, packing the room.
This year’s theme is honoring trailblazing women in business and labor and aims to show special recognition to the achievement of women in the labor force and business. Guest speaker Lt. Gen. Gwen Bingham, assistant chief of staff for Installation Management, spoke to the assembly.
“It’s a very fitting and exciting time to reflect on the outstanding commitment, sacrifice and achievement of our women warriors and our Army civilians,” Bingham said. “We recognize the triumphs and trials, the inspiration and determination of so many women who have made our Army what it is today. A shining beacon of freedom and opportunity. A place of inclusion, diversity and outstanding leadership.”
Bingham has served in the Army for more than 35 years, including a stint as commanding general of White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.
“During my own 35 years of duty, I’ve seen the Army make tremendous progress recognizing the importance of equality and diversity regardless of gender, race, religion or creed,” Bingham said. “I too am grateful to stand on the shoulders of pioneers who have come before me. I’m proud to see women in the military and public service continually accomplish significant milestones. It’s no secret that women play a vital role in today’s Army.”
Bingham said the month serves to remind us of the strength our Army and nation has gained and will continue to gain through offering more opportunities for women.
“With all MOSs (military occupational specialties) now open to women, we have seen our first women graduates of both armor and infantry officer basic leader courses,” Bingham said. “They’re following on the trail blazed by those who have gone before them and blazing their own as they push forward.”
During the observance, students assigned to USASMA recognized and highlighted several women in business and former Soldiers.
“During this important month, in honor of all of our women Soldiers, today, past and present, let us all continue eradicating any and all inequities facing women in our Army and society today,” Bingham said. “While we have made enormous progress and strides over the last decade, there is still much more work to be done. After all, true parity is in the eye of the beholder.”
Bingham said the Army knows that integrating women into military positions makes the Army and armed forces a stronger team.
“We can and we should take pride in all that we have achieved as a service and what women have achieved as civilians, Soldiers, teammates. Together, everyone achieves more,” Bingham said. “We are not a perfect Army, but we are leading our nation in so many ways as it relates to equality, diversity and opportunity.”
Master Sgt. Kathy Cade, a USASMA student, found Bingham’s speech inspiring and said it’s important to remember the trailblazers of the past.
“In the military, being the standard bearers that we are, even to the civilian world for outside of the military, it’s important that we lead the way in honoring those who led the way,” Cade said. “Having met her today is even more inspiration that I can be whatever I want to be. As she said, ‘If I can conceive it and believe it, then I can achieve it.’”
Congress designated March as Women’s History Month in 1987 to encourage the observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history. To learn more about women’s service in the Army go to www.army.mil/women.
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