No fron­tiers are too far for women: Some thoughts on the con­clu­sion of Women’s His­tory Month

The Outpost - - Chaplain’s Corner - By Casey Garcia

Women were the back­bone of the na­tion dur­ing World War II, tak­ing on the jobs left va­cant by mil­lions of men serv­ing in the Army. At the end of a long day, each woman would punch out and re­mind us: Any­thing a man could do, she could do.

Fast for­ward decades later and women still show us it’s no longer a man’s world. Since 2013, women have done the hard work of break­ing through the previous bar­ri­ers in a se­ries of re­mark­able firsts: the first women to grad­u­ate from the Army’s Ranger School, the first woman to grad­u­ate from the Ma­rine Corps’ in­fantry of­fi­cer ba­sic course, the first women to in­te­grate into Army in­fantry units, the first woman to be­come an Air­borne Ranger, and, just this year, the first woman grad­u­ated from the Ma­rine Corps’ highly chal­leng­ing Win­ter Moun­tain Lead­ers Course. This list will con­tinue to grow un­til a woman has oc­cu­pied ev­ery job pre­vi­ously closed to them, up to the very top of the chain of com­mand.

Ti­tle VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a fed­eral law that pro­tects individuals from discrimination based upon sex. This law makes it il­le­gal for an em­ployer to dis­crim­i­nate against individuals in hir­ing, fir­ing, and other terms and con­di­tions of em­ploy­ment, such as pro­mo­tions, raises, and other job opportunities be­cause of their sex.

There are now hun­dreds of women serv­ing in po­si­tions that had pre­vi­ously been closed to them, both in and out of the mil­i­tary, and tens of thou­sands of others who are as­pir­ing to do the same. The United States is strong be­cause ev­ery­one de­serves a chance to serve our coun­try. To fight for our na­tion is not a priv­i­lege for a few, it is a right and re­spon­si­bil­ity for all Amer­i­cans in the 21st cen­tury.

Women have left their mark on ev­ery in­dus­try and ca­reer path, and at YPG are break­ing the mold for other fe­males to fol­low through pro­grams like science, tech­nol­ogy, engineering and math (STEM) ca­reers. Women in STEM are often the mi­nor­ity in their pro­fes­sions, as well as in col­lege cour­ses, a re­al­ity that can be dis­cour­ag­ing. How­ever, we must en­cour­age all of our youth to pur­sue their dreams. So here is to strong women: may we know them, may we raise them, may we be them.

Yuma Prov­ing Ground ac­tively re­cruits fe­male en­gi­neers to serve the na­tion in the Army’s busiest test cen­ter and Yuma’s premier high tech­nol­ogy work­place. Here, Paula Rick­l­eff (right), pro­gram an­a­lyst, dis­cusses STEM opportunities at the prov­ing ground with a re­cent col­lege grad­u­ate. (US Army photo)

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