“I’m a woman phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, that’s me.”
These are words that resounded as women from the 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade recited the poem “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou, during Fort Bragg’s Women’s History Month observance March 28, held in Weaver Auditorium of Womack Army Medical Center.
This year’s theme, “Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination” celebrated women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
“The 2013 Women’s History Month’s theme honors generations of women through American history that have used their intelligence, imagination, sense of honor and tenacity to make extraordinary attributions in the STEM field,” said Col. Sean A. Gainey, commander, 108th ADA Bde. “This is a month to recognize their great achievements not only in the military and the STEM field, but what they contribute day in and day out.”
Guest speaker Shannan Dixon, director of the Masters in Genetic Counseling Training Program at the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine, spoke to the audience of her contributions as a genetic counselor as well as a mentor to her students.
“It is our responsibility to help future generations, men and women alike, to continue to make the world a better place and to move technology and science forward,” she said. “Take the time to talk to children about their goals and their passions and help them develop an interest … especially those that are more challenging and require hard work, focus and dedication.”
Dixon also thanked the women in the audience for their contribution to the military.
“All of you are strong and dedicated women. You have to be in order to serve as a part of this strong community of Fort Bragg and to also serve in as your heritage role as a wife, mother, daughter and friend. I have the utmost respect for you all.”
Stated by President Barack Obama’s proclamation for Women’s History Month 2013, “Women’s History Month is a time to remember those who fought to make that freedom as real for our daughters as for our sons. Written out of the promise of the franchise, they were women who reached up to close the gap between what America was and what it could be. They were driven by a faith that our Union could extend true equality to every citizen willing to claim it. Year after year, visionary women met and marched and mobilized to prove what should have been self-evident.”
According to Army statistics, since September 2012, women serve in 95 percent of all Army occupations and make up about 15.7 percent of the active Army.
For more on women’s history in the Army, visit www.army.mil/women/.