by Pat Baillie, Associate Director, Training & Professional Development | Women have been part of the military for many years–sometimes as nurses, and sometimes dressing as men to fight battles. In 1983, when I was in the Air Force, they opened up several positions for women to serve in combat positions. Over the years, women have moved closer and closer to the front lines, and today they are integrated into most units and military services.
We still hear discussions about women’s ability to handle combat situations, and what would men do if a woman was captured with them. But, just like we have seen with Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’s repeal, most of the thoughts around how good someone is in combat, based on being LGB or a woman, is based on stereotypes or biases, and are proven wrong under real-time war situations.
This month, as we honor women in all their roles in society, we see the military providing positive images and chronicling the experience of women in the military. This is a great opportunity to see how women are in the workplace called the military, and how they are navigating and succeeding, facing challenges, and finding inner strength. The US Navy Institute put out a newsletter with recommended readings and I thought this was great link to share!
As we take down the barriers to success–whether as women, people of color, or LGBT–we find a common human experience, and can learn from each other as we talk about our perspectives and reactions.