By Brig. Gen. James Bonner, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general
Today we celebrate a key milestone in the history of our country through the observance of Women’s Equality Day. On Aug, 26, 100 years ago, our nation passed the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. Through the sacrifices of suffragists like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a world of possibilities opened up for American women.
Women have served in our military since the American Revolution, and throughout our history, the Department of Defense has made incredible strides in opening up opportunities for them. In 1977, Fort Leonard Wood helped lead the Army with the integration of male and female Basic Combat Training companies. Later in 2015, we were the first to integrate females into a combat arms occupational specialty, 12B, combat engineers. Now, all military occupational specialties are open to any qualified candidate, regardless of sex.
Diversity is one of our military’s greatest qualities. The complete integration of women throughout the military gives us stronger formations and allows us to access a wider range of backgrounds and diversity of thought to solve complex problems. Through inclusion, we are able to build teams that fully leverage each member’s amazing potential.
Our female teammates are instrumental to the success of Fort Leonard Wood, the Army and our sister services. On this Women’s Equality Day, remember that we are all responsible for building and maintaining a culture that treats everyone with dignity and respect. Thank you all for your continued support as we celebrate this incredible day.
Victory Starts Here — Victory Through Skill