Honoring Women in the MilitaryMarch 25, 2009
Yesterday I was privileged to participate in the Inaugural Army Women in Transition Symposium, held on Capitol Hill in the Rayburn House Office Building. I was asked to be a panelist on the “Workforce Development and the Transitioning Army Woman Soldier” panel. The other panels were “Role of Women in the Army and Its Evolution” and “Legislative Perspective — Available Resources, Continued Challenges.”
The audience included active duty and retired military officers and noncommissioned officers, as well as Hill staffers and congresswomen. Having served in the U.S. Army for nine years (1978–87), I was invited to share my perspective as I transitioned from the military to the private sector (association management) — in particular how I have come to now lead one of the largest women’s organization in the United States. I’m delighted to say that my story was well received, as were my comments that AAUW strongly supported the updated GI bill and that women transitioning from the Army to civilian careers should look to careers in the STEM fields.
Following the symposium, I attended the U.S. Army Women’s Foundation Hall of Fame Luncheon. The keynote speaker was General George W. Casey, Chief of Staff of the United States Army. He honored all the attendees and commended the fact that it’s Women’s History Month. By the way, have you seen the wonderful feature we have on our website for Women’s History Month?
Hall of Fame inductees were U.S. Army Brigadier General Evelyn “Pat” Foote (Ret.) and Command Sergeant Major Cindy Pritchett. Foote, a good friend of AAUW, received a Women of Distinction Award at our 2008 National Conference for College Women Student Leaders. BTW, U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Wilma Vaught (Ret.) sends her greetings to her “friends at AAUW.” It’s due to her leadership that we have the Women in Military Service for America Memorial here in Washington, D.C. And I am proud to say that my name is listed there as a United States Army Veteran.