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Anniversary honors achievements of women warriors

Philip H. Jones

Sgt. Jennifer Peters, 186th Military Police Company, Iowa National Guard, provides security during military operations in urban terrain, or MOUT, as part of mobilization training.

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Oct. 24, 2008) -

Beginning this week and through mid-November, the Army will honor the achievements of its women warriors as part of a three-week "Celebration of Women in the Army."

The commemoration coincides with the anniversary of the full integration of women into the Army 30 years ago with the disestablishment of the Women's Army Corps by former President Jimmy Carter Oct. 20.

"It's important that we remember the generations of women, whose dedication, commitment and quality of service helped open the doors of opportunity for us today," said Lt. Gen. Ann Dunwoody, deputy commander, Army Materiel Command, following her confirmation for four-star promotion. "There are so many talented women in our Army today ... you would be impressed."

Dunwoody received her commission in 1975 as a member of the WAC. On Nov 14, she will become the first woman to achieve the rank of a four-star general in the U.S. military.

During the period from Oct. 20 through Nov. 14, the Army will be highlighting stories that celebrate and honor women warriors who have served throughout America's history. Army Public Affairs has asked installations and organizations at all levels to tell the "Women in the Army" story during this period and invites readers to share your stories online at the national level with Army.mil. (Send stories and photos to: arnews@smc.army.mil or assignmentdesk@smc.army.mil)

From the American Revolution to the present Global War on Terrorism, women have served in an ever-increasing number of diverse roles in the U.S. Army. Ever since Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley ("Molly Pitcher") replaced her husband when he collapsed at his cannon, women have continually proven that the narrow stereotype, limiting their choice of occupation, was wrong, said Col. Jon Dahms, chief, OCPA Planning Support.

Throughout the U.S. Army's history, women warriors have demonstrated their patriotism and fighting spirit, Dahms said. He said that they have proven the heart of a warrior is not limited to one gender. When freedom is threatened, he said women warriors are equal to any task...and when their country calls, they respond - not in gender-hyphenated roles - but as U.S. Army Soldiers.

"Our female Soldiers' patriotism, fighting spirit, and ability to reach across cultures strengthen our nation's presence around the world," Dahms said. "We ask that all installations and organizations share the stories of their own women warriors."

(Philip Jones is a contractor in the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs, Plans Division.)

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