Women’s Equality Day and their inclusion in the United States military

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  • By Tech. Sgt. Reginald Smith, 6th Air Refueling Wing equal opportunity counselor

The commemoration of Women's Equality Day on August 26 by the U.S. government every year comes as women's victory from the dominant discrimination on matters of the state.

The day marks a strong starting point where women got equal representation in different arms of the government.

Women's Equality Day is a significant day mainly observed in the United States to celebrate American women gaining the right to vote constitutionally. It is celebrated annually to commemorate all the struggles women go through in pursuit of being heard.

It is a day that marks the adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment in the history of the U.S. that prevents the national government and the federal government from preventing the U.S. nationals from voting based on gender. Before the amendment, women were subjected to intimidation and discrimination on different platforms.

It is one of the crucial days in the history of the U.S. because it signified the apex of a great and calm civil rights movement that women engineered on the initial women's rights convention in 1848. In the contemporary world, women's equality has gained momentum to have a different meaning away from just giving a right to vote.

With the emergence of different organizations such as Equality Now, the advocacy of equal opportunities for women in various aspects such as education and employment have been enhanced.

The victory earned by women during the Nineteenth Amendment has been a significant factor that has led to an adequate representation and equality in different arms of the U.S. military such as the U.S. Army, Navy, and the Air Force.

According to different studies, the U.S. military has achieved different statuses for being one of the successful institutions on integrating gender in their appointment. This means that women are much more integrated into the military than before. Before the amendment, women were not allowed to take up any combat mission.

Currently, women are not excluded from any task as they play pivotal roles such as pilots, drivers, and mechanics. With the inclusion of women in the military, different women officers have taken crucial roles in the military and especially in some essential missions that the U.S. has undertaken.

One of the woman officers is retired Army Maj. Gen. Robin L. Fontes. Fontes was the first female deputy commanding general in charge of security transition command in Afghanistan. She was one of the military graduates who spent almost twelve years serving in Afghanistan. Other women in the military include Laura Richardson and Katherine Beatty.

Laura Richardson is believed to have served in two different categories in the Army. At first, she was appointed to serve as the first female deputy commanding general of the maneuver division, and later she was promoted to occupy the office of the commanding general of the U.S. Army as the first deputy commanding general.

The adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment was also embraced in the Navy. This happened initially with the "Sacred Twenty" appointed after Congress came up with Navy Nurse Corps.

The initial comprehensive range appointment of women in the Navy was characterized by shortages, mainly during World War I.

The second appointment happened before the U.S. entered World War II, where then-president Franklin appended his signature to a public law that created the Navy Women Reserve.

The first women to serve in the Navy were Harriet Pickens and Frances Wills. Both served in various categories, with Pickens acting as lieutenant and Wills as an ensign.

The Air Force also incorporated women in the troops who served diligently, displaying good leadership qualities in the force.

The women in Air Force are believed to have achieved evident results in different categories like medicine and espionage. One of the women who served in the Air Force is Elsie Ott. Ott is famous for her contribution to the implementation of all the air evacuation courses of action for all the military casualties.

The success story of women within the U.S. boundaries in matters of national importance is a long journey that can be traced in ancient times.

The journey is believed to have given birth to the Nineteenth Amendment in the U.S., which is a clear relief of women from discrimination in holding some crucial positions in the government. Currently, integration is widely observed where women have been able to hold some of the crucial and pivotal roles in the government.