DoD theme for Women's History Month: ‘Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories’
by David Vergun, DOD News
March is Women’s History Month. This year’s theme, “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories,” acknowledges the pioneering women, past and present, as important contributors to the achievements of the military services and civilian workforce, said Gilbert R. Cisneros Jr., under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness in a Feb. 27 memorandum
.“We recognize the accomplishments of women in the department and their contributions to national security which helps maximize the department’s warfighting capabilities,” he said, providing an example:
On Nov. 21, 2022, Air Force Capt. Rhea McFarland became the first African American female C-17 pilot to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross for her leadership in Afghanistan.
These women and their stories represent the many untold stories in DOD of women who took on mission-critical assignments and advanced as leaders in the military, research, science, technology, engineering and mathematics, he said.“
The department celebrates their collective victories which strengthen our workforce because we can leverage their unique experiences, perspectives and expertise in support of our mission.
In addition, they inspire future generations of young women from all backgrounds who desire to be a part of the department and share in its mission,” said Cisneros.
In 1971, women made up just 1 percent of the military services. Ten years later, it was 8.5 percent. However, women at that time weren’t allowed to serve in combat military occupational specialties like infantry, artillery and combat aviation.
As of Oct. 2022, there were 231,147 women who made up around 18 percent of the department’s active duty force and all jobs have opened to them in recent years. Also, about 33 percent of DOD civilians are women.
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