Every day, our servicewomen and our military take giant leaps forward that pave the path for our next generation of heroes.
We’ve come a long way since a few brave women abandoned traditional roles as seamstresses or cooks and instead served in combat – disguised as men – alongside their husbands during the American Revolution.
Women have a larger presence in our military today than ever before. With more than 200,000 women serving in the active-duty military, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) predicted that by 2020 women veterans will comprise nearly 11 percent of the total veteran population.
Every day, our servicewomen and our military take giant leaps forward that pave the path for our next generation of heroes. Here are some of the major milestones for women in the military:
When I served in the military, all roles were not open to women, but I always felt I was evaluated based on my performance and abilities. I learned many lessons during my time at West Point and in the Army that have guided me throughout my career and life. Now – in 2017 – our military is comprised of men and women who serve in all roles – combat and non-combat. I am proud to say that all branches of the military are creating opportunities for women – from occupational specialists to officers – to succeed within the system based on ability, not gender.
According to the most recent U.S. News Best Colleges Rankings, there are 996 women enrolled at the United States Air Force Academy, 826 women enrolled at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and 1,135 women enrolled at the United States Naval Academy. In 2015, I attended the Ranger School graduation that included the first two female Ranger School graduates, which made me reflect on how far we’ve come as a military and as a country. I’m amazed by the many women who have bravely pushed boundaries to allow women to serve to their fullest capacity. And today’s servicewomen and veterans – who continue to thrive and push for female-oriented benefits through VA – give me hope for our future.