2020 Women's History Month

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Women's History Month

Staff Sgt. Virginia L. Adolfson

Alpha Company, Recruiting and Retention Battalion, Washington National Guard

Adolfson, 32, joined in 2006 because nearly every male on her father's side had served and, as an only child, she wanted to continue the tradition. She is honored to be among the 15% in the military who are female and show "by example to my daughters EVERY DAY that they truly can be whatever they want, that gender roles don't exist, and just because they are girls doesn't mean they CAN'T."

Spc. Cliché Basnight

30th Armored Brigade Combat Team, North Carolina

Basnight, 26, joined in 2012 and is on her first deployment with the North Carolina National Guard, to the Middle East. She says Women's History Month "is a chance to show that women can do more – we can achieve more than what others may think we can."

Senior Airman Haley Bell

132nd Wing, Iowa Air National Guard

Bell, 20, joined in 2017 to "become a better version of myself" and loves learning something new every day. For her, honoring women this month "is a chance to share my story. To inspire other young women to find their path and to better themselves."

Lt. Col. Leah Boling

154th Wing, Hawaii Air National Guard

Boling, 55, is the Hawaii National Guard's first female chaplain and wing chaplain. A native of the Philippines, she says it's important to recognize the role of women in the military and in life. "It is crucial that we continue to celebrate women – where we came from and how far we've come along in our journey. As the saying goes, if you know better, you do better."

Senior Airman Emily Brinkman

180th Fighter Wing, Ohio Air National Guard

Brinkman, 20, a fuels specialist, joined in 2016 and enjoys all the traveling opportunities of the Air Force. "Women have come a long way in the United States and I think it is very important to recognize the strength of women today."

Senior Airman Becky Campos

167th Airlift Wing, West Virginia Air National Guard

Campos, 33, is a C-17 loadmaster who enjoys being paid to travel the world. She is thankful for those who paved the way for her to be able to serve in the West Virginia Air National Guard. "I love my job so THANK YOU. But this observance also reminds me that women still have barriers to break. Keep climbing!"

Tech. Sgt. Barbara Pearl Clark

104th Fighter Wing, Massachusetts Air National Guard

Clark, 30, joined in 2011 and found she had to step out her comfort zone and deal with different people, instilling profound confidence in herself. This observance "means a tremendous amount that some may take lightly but I can't. … This means taking the opportunity before me to reach out and let others that may feel like I did, and do, that they are not alone."

Spc. Erin Conway

1-252 Armor Regiment, 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team

Conway, 27, joined the North Carolina National Guard in 2011 and counts as highlights her first deployment, to Iraq, and tank school. "Being one of the first female tankers," she says Women's History Month "will open up a lot of doors and help give confidence to some other females who may be hesitant about joining a predominantly male organization."

Capt. Samantha Domingue

Alpha Troop, 1-303rd Cavalry Regiment, 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team, Washington National Guard

Domingue, 30, was in college when she joined the Washington National Guard in 2009 in search of something bigger than a 9-to-5 job. Asked about Women's History Month, she said: "With gender integration being fairly new in the military, I think it's important to show that there's really not any limitations."

Staff Sgt. Raven Driftmyer

180th Fighter Wing, Ohio Air National Guard

Driftmyer, 21, joined in 2015 and says a highlight has been learning a completely new skill set and being good at it. Asked about this month's observance, she says everyone has different stories and reasons for joining the Air Force.

2nd Lt. Logan England

Bravo Battery, 1-623d Field Artillery, Kentucky National Guard

England, 23, joined the Kentucky National Guard in 2013 and is a field artillery officer. Her favorite part of serving is "the family that I have made." Women's History Month "shows others that woman are serving and doing amazing things. It could be the reason that someone chooses to join the military because, "If she can do it so can I."

Chief Master Sgt. Lisa K. Erikson

148th Fighter Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard

Erikson, 51, joined in 1988 and says the highlight is the lifelong relationships she has developed over 30 years. "Young women often ask what I have done to be successful and get to this point of my career and I always say, it's the friendships you build along the way that will carry you to the pinnacle of your career."

Tech. Sgt. Myrissa C. Everhart

167th Airlift Wing, West Virginia Air National Guard

Everhart, 28, joined the West Virginia Air National Guard in 2009. She says Women's History Month "shows young girls that being different, smart, and standing up for yourself is very powerful. There is no cookie-cutter stamp for women, and this month shows that."

Staff Sgt. Erin Kate Fagnan

Joint Force Headquarters, South Dakota National Guard

Fagnan, 36, joined in 2010 and says the camaraderie formed between soldiers is the best part of serving. "So many women have paved the way for me with their blood, sweat and tears – and for many, with zero recognition. They were the innovators, the trailblazers, the fearless, the leaders."

Capt. Jessica Foster

30th Armored Brigade Combat Team

Foster, 34, joined in 2011, partly to provide an example for her nieces and nephews that there were other places to succeed. "As long as a female is willing to put in the effort, she can do everything a male can do with her career. The 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team on this deployment has proved that with our females in combat arms at every level."

Spc. Isabella Fouchi

30th Armored Brigade Combat Team

Fouchi, 21, joined in 2015 to try something new and take advantage of school benefits. Now deployed to the Middle East, she considers Women's History Month "a chance to reflect on all of the achievements women have made, whether small or big."

Staff Sgt. Marie Georgefils

Barnes Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts

Georgefils, 38, was looking for adventure and a challenge when she joined in 2014. To her, Women's History Month "means progress! Women have always served, be it at home or even now, shoulder to shoulder with other Airmen in the field."

1st Lt. Kari Giles

116th Air Control Wing/Medical Group, Georgia Air National Guard

Giles, 37, joined in 2011 at the age of 28. An elite athlete, she serves on the U.S. Military Endurance Sports Team. "This is a great time to honor those from the past and present to inspire and motivate our future generation to continue the path of greatness showing that we truly can achieve what we believe."

Maj. Jennifer-Ruth Green

Commander, 122d Communications Flight, Indiana Air National Guard

Green, 38, one of fewer than 150 female African American pilots, wants to encourage other underrepresented groups that "the possibilities are endless for personal growth." She says this month is a time to pause and consider women's contributions. "I'm grateful for all the opportunities we have as women in America, as I know that's not always the standard around the world."

Master Sgt. Sharla Hansen

1168th Transportation Company, Iowa Army National Guard

Hansen, 44, joined in 1996. "Little did I know that I would end up making the Iowa Army National Guard my lifetime career!" This month "is an opportune time for both men and women to come to the table and strategize on promoting ongoing female empowerment. Today we have data that show that true female inclusion in the workplace adds tremendous value on many levels."

Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Hoffman

175th Wing, Maryland Air National Guard

Hoffman, 27, joined in 2017 and is a fire protection specialist. "Women's history month is important to me because I work in a career field that is predominantly male. I never let that discourage or intimidate me. I embrace the challenges I face."

CW2 Holly Hommel

30th Armored Brigade Combat Team

Hommel, 51, joined in 2000 after seeing how the North Carolina National Guard helped victims of Hurricane Floyd. She relishes being able to travel so much in the Guard and says of Women's History Month: "It's great that we have a great presence now in the military."

2nd Lt. Ashley Hurd

30th Armored Brigade Combat Team

Hurd, 31, enlisted in 2006 and is a tank commander deployed to the Middle East. She says the Guard "is like being part of a family." Women's History Month "showcases how women have been able to excel in the military."

Senior Master Sgt. Melissa Hurst

180th Fighter Wing, Ohio Air National Guard

Hurst, 36, followed her mother into the military and joined in 2001. Highlights of her service include the pride of being in the Guard and the amazing friendships. Women's History Month "represents how far we've come in history and selfless acts that women have accomplished, overcoming so many roadblocks and representing!"

Staff Sgt. Giuli Iommazzo

44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, New Jersey National Guard

Iommazzo, 29, followed her brother into service 10 years ago and used her benefits to pursue a degree in Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. She is "especially proud to be afforded the opportunity that the Army has given us to fully integrate women into all military positions, contributing to a stronger force."

Master Sgt. Crystal L. Jones

30th Armored Brigade Combat Team

Jones, 38, joined in 1998 and loves being able to mentor Soldiers throughout the National Guard. She is based in North Carolina and was asked about the meaning of Women's History Month while deployed to the Middle East. "It's important to see how far women have come over the years."

Spc. Ablessing King

30th Armored Brigade Combat Team

King, 22, joined in 2016 in her first year of college. "This month shows what women can do. A lot of my friends are in sports and it shows how far women have come."

Lt. Col. Cindi King

30th Armored Brigade Combat Team

King, 53, who joined in 1986, is deployed to the Middle East. As a public affairs officer, she loves sharing the stories of Soldiers who love their country and being part of something bigger than themselves. She has "seen incredible changes in opportunities for females" during her more than 30 years of service in the Army and the South Carolina National Guard.

Sgt. 1st Class Meredith Kiser

30th Armored Brigade Combat Team

Kiser, 36, a combat medic, joined in 2000 "because I love working a job where I don't get paid 70 cents to a male's $1, and college money." Women's History Month means "empowerment. We've had a lot of strong, amazing women come before us and I am proud to be given the chance to uphold the honor."

1st Sgt. Kencis Kleinschmidt

63rd Army Band, New Jersey Army National Guard

Kleinschmidt, 45, joined the Marine Corps in 2006 and the New Jersey National Guard a few years later. "My favorite part of serving is when young girls see me in uniform and whisper to their parents, ‘Wow! It's a girl Soldier!' "

Staff Sgt. Ann M. Langenfeld

812th Engineer Company, Ohio Army National Guard

Langenfeld, 40, joined in 2010 and says her favorite part of serving is "hanging out with, teaching and leading the junior enlisted Soldiers." An emergency room nurse and combat medic, she appreciates "that the military thinks it's important to recognize the contributions of female Soldiers as the Army works towards total integration."

Capt. Emily Lilly

230th Brigade Support Battalion, West Virginia National Guard

Lilly, 40, joined in 2013 after having two children. "I think it's important for children to see role models who are like them, whether it be gender, skin color, heritage or any other defining feature. ... I hope that every little girl who has a big dream can look at the amazing women we have serving today and say, "I can do that, too!' "

Capt. Karley Litaker

30th Armored Brigade Combat Team

Litaker, 34, joined in 2009 after college "to be a part of something larger than myself." She says one of her female mentors in the National Guard "explained to me that women bring something different to the team; they bring a different perspective and thought process that helps improve the organization."

Tech. Sgt. Alison Bruce-Maldonado

154th Wing, Hawaii Air National Guard

Bruce-Maldonado, 59, joined the Marine Corps in 1981 and the Guard, where she is a photojournalist, in 1991. The highlight of her service is singing the national anthem at more than 100 official and off-duty events. "Without this continuing legacy of celebrating women, our history will only be his story," she says about Women's History Month.

Col. Yvonne Mays

Joint Force Headquarters, New Jersey Air National Guard

Mays, 54, is the first in her family to earn a college degree, thanks to military benefits. She has served since 1983 and in the Guard since 1998. This month "is an opportunity to take a moment and reflect on service members from all branches who happened to be women that served their states and nations honorably, as well as those who assisted in breaking down barriers in order for them to do so."

Staff Sgt. Aubrey Mellott

180th Fighter Wing, Ohio Air National Guard

Mellott, 25, joined in 2014 and most enjoys meeting new people and building strong relationships in the 180th Fighter Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard and throughout the Air Force. "Females in the military can be a symbol to young women everywhere to be empowered to do anything they want."

Master Sgt. Linda Molesky

30th Armored Brigade Combat Team

Molesky, 54, joined in 1984 and considers the military an adventure, with highlights including meeting new people and going to new places. A food services culinary specialist with the North Carolina National Guard, she says of Women's History Month: "It's neat to see how far we've come."

Spc. Brook Morris

Support Company 216th Engineer Battalion, Ohio National Guard

Morris, 22, joined in 2015 "to do what the boys did because I wanted to prove that I could." Women's History Month is "truly touching. Being a part of something that has so much history means so much to me. Carrying on traditions gives me so much pride and sense of accomplishment."

Sgt. Jessica Mowery

211th Surface Maintenance Company, Ohio National Guard

Mowery, 25, joined in 2013. "Something about the strictness, professionalism and dedication of the military appealed to me." Mowery decided to work as a mechanic for the Guard, despite being warned that it wasn't a typical job for women. "I'm the only female in my section at my unit as well as the only female mechanic at work, and that's not stopping me."

Senior Airmen Brooklyn L Muir

109th Air Control Squadron, Utah National Guard

Muir, 22, joined in 2017 for the education benefits and has grown to love the Air Force. She is "forever grateful that women fought for the right to vote, to serve, to lead, and to be anything you desire to be. This is a part of history that is not done evolving and I am grateful to be inspired by all the amazing women willing to push boundaries every day."

Capt. Caroline Muriama

West Virginia Joint Forces Headquarters

Muriama, 41, is a logistics officer in her 20th year of service. She sees Women's History Month as a way to pay homage to the women who "bravely fought in the Civil War in a generation where women's roles were more defined by their role as homemakers. And because of women like them, a generation of women served in different capacities in World War I, II, to present."

Sgt. 1st Class Stella Ezimma Okigbo

Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey National Guard

Okigbo, who calls herself ageless, joined in 1997. She considers Women's History Month a celebration of female empowerment. "When given various opportunities, women have shown the capability to be successful in any role they undertake."

Staff Sgt.Lindsey Oser

30th Armored Brigade Combat Team

Oser, 26, joined in 2012, persuaded to enlist by her sister, who is also a staff sergeant in the Guard. Asked what this observance means to her, she says: "We are here to support each other. It shows how well we work together as a whole and, despite the differences we have, we are just one big family."

1st Sgt. Ashleigh Palmer

167th Airlift Wing, West Virginia Air National Guard

Palmer, 32, joined in 2006 and says it remains one of the best decisions she has ever made. She says this month's observance is very special to her. "In the Air National Guard it doesn't matter if you are male or female – all jobs can be done by both genders. How good you are and able to perform the job is up to you, and what you make of it."

Sgt. Christina L. Ramirez

1-145th Armor Regiment, Ohio National Guard

Ramirez, 33, was a flight attendant when she decided to join in 2013. A combat medic, one of her favorite moments was rappeling from a Black Hawk helicopter. This observance signifies empowerment to her. "Yes, joining at 27 was a challenge. Yes, being a woman and really putting your endurance and resilience to the test was a challenge. But the rewards gained are unimaginable and absolutely worth it and within reach if you want it bad enough."

Master Sgt. Rebecca Reaves

167th Airlift Wing, West Virginia Air National Guard

Reaves, 41, joined the West Virginia Air National Guard in 2005, attracted by the education benefits. "To me, this observance is to recognize and celebrate the impact women have made in the world."

Staff Sgt. Brittany Robarge

180th Fighter Wing, Ohio Air National Guard

Robarge, 22, joined in 2015 and is "forever grateful" for the military shaping her to who she is today. Asked about the significance of Women's History Month, she says "even though we all have different reasons why we joined, we are able to put our differences aside and come together when we are needed the most."

Capt. Candance A. Rose

30th Armored Brigade Combat Team

Rose, 38, joined the North Carolina Guard in 2013. One of two female officers in the North Carolina Marine Patrol, Rose notes the military has "opened a lot more doors to women to be in roles that they have never been allowed to previously. … I want other young women to know that they are capable, strong and that they can achieve anything they set their mind to."

Tech. Sgt. Lindsay Sadler

180th Fighter Wing, Ohio Air National Guard

Sadler, 31, says one of the highlights of her 12 years of service in the Ohio National Guard was helping provide medical and dental care to poor people at a temporary clinic. "I love striving for equality but also understanding and appreciating the differences between genders," she says about Women's History Month. "We've come a long way and are in a great place and that is such a good feeling."

Spc. Marquise Saunders

30th Armored Brigade Combat Team

Saunders, 24, joined in 2012, encouraged by her mother. She says this observance is a chance to appreciate pioneering women like "Sgt. 1st Class Janina Simmons, the first African American female who made it straight through Ranger school. It's individuals like her who keep raising the bar."

2nd Lt. Katarina Schumacher

Nevada Army National Guard

Schumacher, 24, is the first female Armor officer in Nevada Army Guard history, in charge of four M1A2 Abrams tanks and 16 Soldiers in Delta Company, 1-221st Cavalry. When not training with Delta Company, she helps Guard members, reservists and veterans as intake coordinator at the University of Nevada, Reno's, Veteran Services Office.

1st. Lt. Alisa Stoddard

30th Armored Brigade Combat Team

Stoddard, 32, enlisted in 2012, joining her brothers, father, grandfather and husband in military service. Women's History Month is "motivating to see the history of women who have served. It makes me want to better myself and take pride in all those who serve."

Spc. Leannah Rose TeKrony

1-147th Field Artillery, Alpha Battery, South Dakota Army National Guard

TeKrony, 21, joined as a medic in 2016 and cherishes the friendships and relationships she has made in the South Dakota National Guard. Now deployed to Germany, she says: "There are still many challenges and hurdles to face. Women are built with different capacities than men. That's the way it is. But we are stronger as a force together."

Senior Master Sgt. Jacki Weddle

167th Airlift Wing, West Virginia Air National Guard

Weddle, 39, joined in 2000 and knew instantly this is where she was meant to be. This month's observance means "representation. I have a 10-year-old daughter who I hope looks up to me and will hopefully follow my career path into the military. We need to show these young girls/women that they are capable of anything they choose!"