|HOME | PRESS | SPONSORSHIP | JOIN OUR TEAM ||
Sgt. Teri Hansen, 366th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
BAGHDAD – 03.20.2010 "American women have stood resolute in the face of adversity and overcome obstacles to realize their full measure of success," said President Barack Obama March 2 during his presidential proclamation on Women's History Month. "Women's History Month is an opportunity for us to recognize the contributions women have made to our nation and to honor those who blazed trails for women's empowerment and equality."
The 1st Armored Division Equal Opportunity office sponsored a Women's History Month observance at the 1st Armored Div. Chapel March 20. Maj. Sabrina Baker, the equal opportunity and sexual assault program manager for 1st Armored Div., organized the event.
In honor of this year's theme for Women's History Month, "Writing women back into history," they will highlight the many contributions of women throughout history who have served in the military, according to Baker.
The event began with a historical walk-through of women throughout history, conducted by Maj. Paul Davis, officer in charge of the Logistics Civilian Augmentation Program for 1st Armored Div. The presentation featured the roles of women in the military or supporting the military as far back as 1775 when the Army was formed.
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Jeanne Pace, personnel executive officer for U.S. Forces – Iraq, spoke at the event. She served in the Women's Army Corps. WAC was created May 14, 1942, as an auxiliary unit that allowed women to serve for the first time in the U.S. Army in positions other than nursing.
Pace graduated as an honor graduate from WAC Basic Training at Fort McClellan, Ala., in 1972. After graduation, she was assigned to the 14th Army WAC Band, the only Army band at that time allowing women in and also the only band to be made up entirely of women. Pace served with the 14th until 1977, one year before the WAC was disbanded.
Pace spoke on her career in the Army, emphasizing the differences between today's Army and the Army in 1972. Women were issued purses to be worn on the forearm or carried by hand. It was never to be adjusted or worn on the shoulder because that was considered too formal, she explained.
"We actually had makeup classes in basic training. We were taught the appropriate way to apply makeup," she said.
After her speech, Lt. Col. Lane Turner, commander of Division Special Troops Battalion, 1st Armored Div., presented Pace with a Women's History Month plaque as a token of the division's appreciation for speaking at the event.
Maj. Gen. Terry Wolff, commanding general for 1st Armored Div., and commander of U.S. Division-Center, briefly spoke at the event, thanking distinguished guest Gen. Ann Dunwoody for her attendance and all women for their service.
Dunwoody is the commanding general of Army Materiel Command and is the first female four-star grade officer in the U.S. military. She presented Pace with her coin and thanked Pace for her service and for sharing her experience.
Both women were then surrounded by attendees wanting to thank them both for being role models to women in the military. Dunwoody and Pace hugged, laughed and took pictures with the audience, expressing appreciation for their service as well.
"It is an honor to serve with the women and men who are here in Iraq today," said Dunwoody. "While Chief Pace and myself are seen as the trailblazers of our time, the men and women in the military today will be remembered in the same way."