Women’s History Month celebrates progress

  • Published
  • By Col. Jerry Martinez
  • 62nd Airlift Wing commander
Throughout our history, women have made great contributions to our country. 

Women fought for independence, became doctors, ministers and lawyers; and this was all before finally gaining the right to vote in 1920. 

It's in honor of these great women of our past that McChord celebrates Women's History Month this March. 

In the Revolutionary War, when troops marched into battle, women were among their number, whether in disguise in uniform, fighting out of uniform or serving in support roles for the combat forces. 

Our freedom and victory belong to the total force of American men and women who fought so bravely. 

Female patriots stood proud again in the Civil War, distinguishing themselves and serving with honor, such as the first female Medal of Honor recipient, Dr. Mary Walker, a surgeon for the Army Medical Corps who was captured as a prisoner of war during her service. 

Women continued to serve through the years. 

In Air Mobility Command, we're lucky to be able to claim some of these pioneering women as our own. 

During World War II, Jacqueline Cochran and Nancy Harkness Love crusaded to assist the then Air Transport Command by using female pilots to ferry aircraft for non-combat missions. 

These first female military pilots, the Women's Airforce Service Pilots, proved their worth, flying over 60 million hours in 77 different types of aircraft. 

Their contributions, along with others in the Women's Army Corps, propelled our services to where we are today. 

The first female Airman, Soldier and Marine in combat have already deployed and returned, only to be replaced by other female servicemembers.

 When missions and operations launch worldwide, women continue to serve in the proud tradition of those that came before them and paved the way. 

Women are serving in Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom every day, and their ability to serve as equals is proven and unquestioned. 

Like our country, women's rights have come a long way in a relatively short amount of time thanks to the bravery, courage and determination of the first few who refused to take no for an answer. 

I hope you will join me at some of the wing's events this month to celebrate these incredible women.