Overcoming obstacles, making history

March is women’s history month, and as such, I’ve decide to focus on women for this blog. One, because I am one! And two, because there’s a ton of great history out there on women in the military.

My first google search brought up a statement saying women have been in the military for more than 3,000 years. Although that may be the case for cavemen/women, common sense told me those statics were probably not for the United States! So, I dug a little deeper. Turns out even the accurate numbers were impressive – American women have been in the military dating back to the Revolutionary War!

Were they allowed to enlist at that time? Absolutely not. They had to disguise themselves as men in order to join forces with them. The women did a variety of things to get into the military. Some chopped their hair short, others took the names of their deceased brothers, some just dressed the part – all were creative in their endeavors and got away with it…for a little while, at least! They were by far the bravest women out there – and we owe our military equality to the courageous moves they made in their day.

I know some of you are saying “equality – what’s this girl talking about?” but I truly feel I’m an equal. Was I scared to death the day I arrived at Lackland Air Force Base and met my 6-foot male instructor for the first time? Yes, absolutely! But, as much as he yelled and screamed and tried to intimidate me with push-ups and sit-ups and cleaning out my wall-locker, he never made me feel inferior to my male counterparts. Since joining the military I have been extremely fortunate to work for males and females alike who have never made me feel inferior to my male counterparts.

For this, I’d like to say thank you to the women who have come before me. Thank you to those who date back to the Revolutionary War. Thank you to those who managed to stay strong while photos of pinup girls on jets were a popular trend. Thank you to the women who broke through the job stipulations (as far as women flying or fighting alongside the men during war) and proved their strength and abilities on the battlefield.

Thank you to the women who I have the opportunity to work beside here at Truax Field. You are all truly an inspiration. It is with great honor I stand beside you!

As women’s history month comes to an end, take a moment to read about the accomplishments of our predecessors and recognize the sacrifices they have made for us. Without their efforts, Truax Field wouldn’t be the place it is today. It’s an amazing place to train and to serve our country – men and women together – one unit, one fight!

 

 

Here are some of our women of the Wing:

150109-Z-VW421-108 Key West disimilar aircraft deployment Cajun Care 2014 Cajun Care 2014 Cajun Care 2014 141206-Z-HS473-026-2

About Tech. Sgt. Andrea F. Rhode

Tech. Sgt. Andrea F. Rhode is a photojournalist for the 115th Fighter Wing in Madison, Wisconsin.