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Evolution of women in U.S. military

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kaitlyn Brewer
  • 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
March became the official Women’s History Month when the White House issued a public progress report in 2011, stating younger women are more likely than their male counterparts to hold a college degree. It also noted the workforce is approximately equal in terms of gender.

David Dollman, the 20th Fighter Wing historian, said women have been fighting for our country since the Revolutionary War, starting with Molly Pitcher, who cooled down cannons with buckets of water in the American Revolution Battle of Monmouth.

Although Molly Pitcher had to push to be recognized and to be a part of fighting for our country, women are now more recognized and respected as they can now sign up for the military just as easily as any male.

“World War II was the biggie,” said Dollman. “This is when we started seeing the WASPS, known as Women’s Air Service Pilots, Women Army Corps, and the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service. During Pearl Harbor, women fighter pilots transported planes from the mainland to Hawaii which served as a great help to our victory.”

Dollman went on to say when he was a liaison for the Navy women did not have to pick up draft cards because women could not get drafted.

As of June 15, 2016, the Senate voted women should also have to register for draft cards, which if it were to become law would officially recognize women as equal and fully capable to fight in the United States Armed Forces.

“I’m really proud to be respected and a woman in the military,” said Staff Sgt. Regina Rose, 20th Force Support Squadron first-term Airman’s course lead.

Dollman said women have worked hard to gain recognition since the Revolutionary War and continue to set the bar high.

“I get to help our mission to this country by informing pilots everyday so they take out the correct threats as well as ensuring they make it back safely,” said Senior Airman Brittany Bryson, 79th Fighter Squadron all-source intelligence analyst.

Senior Airman Yesenia Perez, 20th Maintenance Group Operations weapons standardization load crew member, said she impacts people in the military by sharing her knowledge and teachings, so the next generation can build off her findings regarding loading missiles.

Molly Pitcher rushed buckets of water to pour on hot cannons during the Revolutionary War, Jennie Hodges disguised herself as a man to participate in the Civil War and in the wake of World War II female nurses helped amputate wounded soldiers and flew fighter jets. Since America’s fight for independence women shared their male counterpart’s patriotic customs and have always been involved with the military. All these events have paved the way for modern day female heroes who are able to sign up for our country just as easily as men.