2021 Women's History Month

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Maj. Annaliese M. Baumer

Headquarters, 86 Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Mountain), Vermont National Guard

Baumer joined in 1998 to ski on the Vermont Guard's biathlon team and pay for college. This month's observance, she says, shows "that the Army is getting better and better at its commitment to diversity and inclusion."

Senior Airman Jenny N. Bazile

119th Operations Support Squadron, North Dakota Air National Guard

Bazile joined the Guard in 2017 and just graduated from college. Women's History Month, she says, "means so much because it shows that women all over the nation come together and show that we are powerful, strong, independent and reliable to our nation."

2nd Lt. Deborah D. Beaman

Battery B 1st Battalion 145th Field Artillery, Utah National Guard

Beaman, who joined in 2014 at the age of 35, says "Women's History Month is an incredible way of highlighting those historically significant milestones: Women being able to serve in the military, women being able to vote, and (very significant to me with the branch I am going into) women allowed into combat arms."

Tech. Sgt. Tanya Brown

182nd Force Support Squadron, 182nd Airlift Wing, Illinois Air National Guard

Brown has served eight years and says Women's History Month "is a moment to reflect and appreciate how far women have come from cleaning and cooking at home to actually being allowed to be a part of something bigger."

Chief Master Sgt. Valerie J. Buchholz

119th Wing, North Dakota Air National Guard

Buchholz has served almost 32 years and is responsible for all transportation operations at the 119th Wing. She calls Women's History Month "an amazing opportunity to highlight women in the military. Things have come a long way since I first enlisted. There were not very many women in the unit and far fewer in supervisory and/or high ranking positions."

Staff Sgt. Dezaray Colon

105th Airlift Wing, New York Air National Guard

Colon has served since 2016. She says Women's History Month demonstrates "that women can really do anything we set our minds to with the right support!"

Chief Master Sgt. Elizabeth Ann Colton

105th Airlift Wing, Logistics Readiness Squadron, New York Air National Guard

Colton, who has deployed five times during her 26-year military career, praised "the courage and sacrifice of many women before me" who changed the course of history. "I am grateful to be able to achieve the highest enlisted rank and set the example for those who follow me."

Sgt. Rebecca Crowther

Recruiting and Retention Battalion, Utah National Guard

Crowther, a combat medic, has served six years. "This observance is amazing to me to see where women started in the military to see where we are now is truly amazing. I am so grateful for the women that came before me."

Sgt. 1st Class Selket I. Damon

Joint Force Headquarters, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, New Jersey Army National Guard

Damon served 17 years in the Marine Corps Reserves before joining the Guard. "When women's unique needs, contributions and responsibilities go unrecognized, unheard or are marginalized, over half of the world gets ignored."

Sgt. 1st Class Zulma De Jesús Ramos

Joint Force Headquarters Detachment, Puerto Rico National Guard

De Jesús has served in the military for 19 years and says of this observance: "You take pride of what you do for your Soldiers, your family, and your community. It is a rewarding feeling."

Senior Master Sgt. Kimberly Dishon

106th Rescue Wing, Logistics Readiness Squadron, New York Air National Guard

Dishon, a 16-year veteran, says this observance allows her to look back and see how far women have come. "Whether it be Pvt. Cathay Williams, who served under a male pseudonym, William Cathay, in 1866, or Esther McGowin Blake, who was the first woman to serve in the U.S. Air Force. Women have made great accomplishments over the last 150 years with the United States military and it is exciting to think about how much further we can go."

Brig. Gen. Denise M. Donnell

105th Airlift Wing, New York Air National Guard

Donnell's parents, brother and sister all have served in the military. This observance "recognizes the incredible diversity and strength of our Air National Guard. Although I have rarely been the 'first' to achieve a specific crew qualification or leadership position, I recognize that many women (and men) have paved the way for my success."

Tech. Sgt. Fallon Dortch

118th Wing, Tennessee Air National Guard

Dortch and her sister followed her grandfather and father into the military. This observance "means a lot to me to see how far women have come in the military. I am thankful I get the opportunity to serve and for the women that paved the way for the rest of us."

Tech. Sgt. Jessica Clary Dubik

137th Airlift Squadron, New York Air National Guard

Dubik loves talking with high school students interested in joining the Guard. "I think it's great to see the diversity and experiences of women serving in the military. While the percentage of women serving is rapidly growing from when I first enlisted in 2009, it's still primarily a male dominated career path. We've come a long way and there's nowhere to go but up!"

Spc. Tiffany Etheredge

508 Military Police Company, New Jersey National Guard

Etheredge, a Guard member for almost seven years, says this observance "is a time to recognize women that take pride in doing the same job of a man, or a job that was once only occupied by only men. It's also a time to recognize the outstanding achievements that women do as well as the other roles we naturally take on in life."

Staff Sgt. Elizabeth Ewell

143d Security Forces Squadron, Rhode Island National Guard

Ewell, a paramedic in civilian life, sees women's history as "one of sacrifice and honor. Thinking about the women who came before us in service might feel like a history lesson, but to me, their lives and dedication to being women in the military carry large significance."

Sgt. Ashley A. Fernández Figueroa

190th Forward Support Company, Puerto Rico National Guard

Fernández, a culinary specialist, has served 14 years. She says being a woman in the military is a lot easier than in the past. "Being part of history in which women are recognized for their hard work in an environment built mainly for men is a great accomplishment."

Master Sgt. Erin Goodwin

118th Wing Public Affairs, Tennessee Air National Guard

Goodwin joined the military in 2002 and the Guard in 2010. "While we operate as one unit, I am thankful for the women before me who paved the way to make 'oneness' possible."

Capt. Kristina Guerrero

158 Fighter Wing, Vermont Air National Guard

Guerrero, who piloted the final military flight for the Women Aviation Service Pilots (WASPS) over Sweetwater, Texas, says: "The military women I know are some of the most exemplary and inspiring women I have ever met. ... Military women deserve to be celebrated."

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Deena D. Haag

Recruiting and Retention Battalion, Utah National Guard

Haag, an Apache helicopter pilot, says "When I joined in 1996, I was denied entry into a military occupational specialty (MOS) that I wanted because I was a female. This chapped my hide. Twenty-five years later, my daughter can now join any MOS she desires if she earns it."

Cpl. Danaymi A. Hernandez Torres

162nd Quartermaster Battalion, Puerto Rico National Guard

Hernandez is a water treatment specialist who joined the Guard in 2014. Women's History Month, she says, "is a good opportunity to highlight who we really are and what we do in the military as empowered women."

Staff Sgt. Emily Hoff

Recruiting and Retention Battalion, Utah National Guard

Hoff, a nine-year veteran of the Guard, says this month "means recognizing, respecting, and honoring women who have made a positive impact. I think it is important to understand the strides we've made and remember we haven't always been able to do what we do today."

Capt. Allison Kari

105th Logistics Readiness Squadron, New York Air National Guard

Kari is the first woman in her family to join the military. "I hope that I can serve as a role model to future women both in and outside of my family that it is possible to achieve anything you dream of, and that your gender doesn't limit what you can achieve."

Staff Sgt. Cristine Lee-Lam

105th Airlift Wing, New York Air National Guard

Lee-Lam joined in 2014 and her daughter is active-duty Air Force. "I am extremely honored to be a part of this observance. This will empower me even more to keep driving forward."

Tech. Sgt. Sheryl Lomonaco

Headquarters, Washington Air National Guard/Regional Force Support Liaisons

Lomonaco, who has served since 2011, says "there's a lot more work to be done and a lot more trails to explore, but we are here and we are setting up goals and crushing it. With much gratitude to all the women who paved the way for us and all the men who supported us."

Tech. Sgt. Alejandra Luna

105th Airlift Wing, New York Air National Guard

Luna, the first woman in her family to serve, joined eight years ago. She says this observance "means being the voice for other women. Many doors have been opened for us but there are still many barriers to break. We as women can do anything we put our mind to. Being scared or nervous only means that you care, so always push yourself to do more."

Capt. Laureen MacGregor

Recruit Sustainment Program, Recruiting and Retention Battalion, Utah National Guard

MacGregor followed her father into the National Guard 10 years ago. "I believe that when women are supported and support one another, we can do anything."

Tech. Sgt. Lauren Martin

151 Intelligence Support Squadron, Utah National Guard

Martin, a 16-year veteran, says this observance underscores "how extraordinarily far women have gone, and continue to go, in the military. It wasn't that long ago where it was simply unheard of for a woman to join the armed forces, to wear the same uniform as men and fight alongside them."

Col. Yvonne Mays

Joint Force Headquarters, New Jersey Air National Guard

Mays, who joined the military in 1983, says this observance "is a reminder that inclusiveness is the superpower that will build trust and understanding. ... There is no limit to what we can do and be if we apply this to any one/group who is missing from the table of today's challenges."

Capt. Candice McClure

158 Fighter Wing, Vermont Air National Guard

McClure says she has seen substantial progress for women at the wing since she joined in 2007. "While there is still work to do in creating true equity among our Airmen, we've certainly come a long way. I'm excited to see what the future holds for the women just starting out, or those looking to join."

Sgt. Kaitlin McGee

Recruiting and Retention Battalion, Utah National Guard

McGee was a young girl when she decided she wanted to be in the military after seeing a photo of her uncle who died in the Vietnam War. This month, she says, "is a wonderful time to teach younger generations, especially young girls, the struggles women as a whole have gone through to get to where we are today."

Spc. Felicia Olmos

Charlie Battery, 145th Field Artillery Battalion (The Animals), 65th Fires Brigade, Utah National Guard

Olmos, a cannon crewmember who joined in 2017, says this observance "means a time to highlight a few of the very many strong and successful women that are out there now. It's also a time to remember those women who were trailblazers and made a huge difference in the world."

Sgt. Chelsea Ong

Utah National Guard Medical Detachment

Ong is a combat medic who joined the military in 2004. "This month of observance provides a moment of reflection and appreciation for all the opportunities for jobs and missions that women were not able to perform in the past."

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Megan Passamoni

86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Mountain), Vermont Army National Guard

Passamoni joined in 2002 after someone told her she'd never make it past basic training. She says Women's History Month shows "that women's voices matter. They bring so much to the team and can offer a diversity of thought that is often lacking."

Pfc. Kaitlin Quinton

Bravo Battery, 1-103 Field Artillery, Rhode Island National Guard

Quinton is a cannon crewmember who joined in 2019. "What this month means to me is everything – because I finally saw in my life that there are men who don't think we can do it, and a lot of guys still think, 'Why are females here,” or, “You can't do this.” No, I can do the same as you, maybe even better, you just have to let me do it."

Sgt. Maj. Christine Raftery

1-134th Cavalry Squadron, 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Nebraska

Raftery, who joined the Guard in 1995, says this observance "signifies to me that we have had an active part in the country's history, by helping to shape the nation during times of conflict and crisis. ... Women today are only limited by the amount of effort they are willing to commit to in order to achieve their goals."

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Atacha P. Randolph

Joint Force Headquarters, Virgin Islands Army National Guard

Randolph has served almost 28 years "in an organization where most of my leaders are females in what is viewed as a predominately male institution. Women are being recognized for their ability to lead in the military."

Lt. Col. Kristin Rebholz-Hatten

128th Air Refueling Wing, Wisconsin Air National Guard

Rebholz-Hatten has served more than 22 years. She says this observance "should be something that is 'honored' or valued EVERY day of the year. Women play a critical role in every aspect of the military, from fixing the aircraft, to flying the aircraft, to leading and performing logistics, financial, force support, security, and medical duties, to name a few."

Lt. Col. Marie Roberts

97th Troop Command, Utah National Guard

Roberts, a 23-year veteran of the Air Force and Army, met her husband while both served at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. "I'm proud to be counted among the sorority of women who have served and contributed to our country's national defense."

Lt. Col. Desirée Rojas Sepúlveda

Medical Command, Puerto Rico National Guard

Rojas, a dentist who is setting up COVID-19 vaccination centers in Puerto Rico, says this observance "highlights the importance of women in history and their continuous struggle to overcome discrimination and inequality throughout the years."

Staff Sgt. Samantha Sanders

105th Airlift Wing, New York Air National Guard

Sanders joined the Guard in 2015. "This observance means that there are significant events in history that can be attributed to women which are being recognized no matter how long ago it happened."

Master Sgt. Kayla L. Skelton

119th Joint Force Headquarters, North Dakota Air National Guard

Skelton, who has served more than 18 years, says Women's History Month is very meaningful. "I love that women in service are recognized and honored by our military leaders."

Senior Master Sgt. Tina Sly

119th Wing, North Dakota Air National Guard

Sly followed her mother into the National Guard in 1997 and her two sisters also joined the Guard. "I think it's great to highlight the females that are serving in the military and bringing awareness to other females having a desire to join!"

Senior Master Sgt. Cordeliaous Felisha Sowell

118th Force Support Squadron/Force Development Office, Tennessee Air National Guard

Sowell has served almost 22 years and says Women's History Month "reminds not only women but all the importance of and many monumental contributions women have made to shape the present we have today and the future to come."

Capt. Melissa Stenquist

65th Field Artillery Brigade, Utah National Guard

Stenquist, a 13-year veteran, followed her father and grandfather into the military and has two children in the Marine Corps. "Observing my heritage helps me recognize my personal accomplishments and the accomplishments of my family and culture."

Capt. Amelia Thatcher

Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, Joint Force Headquarters, New Jersey National Guard

During her 15 years of service, Thatcher has seen the end of Don't Ask, Don't Tell and the combat exclusion of women, even oscillations in AR 670-1. "Women's History Month is an opportunity to think about what changes and what stays the same and why – and who will take up the mantle of progress."

Staff Sgt. Nicole Travis

105th Base Defense Squadron, New York Air National Guard

Travis joined in 2014 and loves being an inspiration for younger girls. This observance is "just a great way to let people know that everybody serves in the military, that women are welcome and encouraged to join."

Master Sgt. Ayshah Tual

105th Base Defense Squadron, New York Air National Guard

Tual, a security forces craftsman who joined in 2001, says this month provides the chance to reflect on women's contributions and "allows us to share their stories, show young girls how they impacted where woman stand now and inspire them to build their path for the future."

Staff Sgt. Theresa Ulloa-Smotherman

118th Wing, Tennessee Air National Guard

Ulloa-Smotherman, an Air National Guard recruiter with almost seven years of service, says this observance is "a chance for us to admire and celebrate all of the women who came before us and what they accomplished and sacrificed. It's a time to remind ourselves we need to continue to contribute and empower all women for future generations to come."

Master Sgt. Taylor Voelker

119th Wing, North Dakota Air National Guard

Voelker calls Women's History Month "so important because women were not allowed to create history for a long, long time. I think it is our turn to loudly and proudly lead the way in the future by lifting one another up; walking side by side with men, not behind them."

Staff Sgt. Shanequa Washington

182nd Support Squadron, 182nd Airlift Wing, Illinois Air National Guard

Washington, who joined in 2013, considers this observance a way "to honor and shine a light on the servicemembers past and present making a difference.'

Airman 1st Class Bridget Wood

182nd Support Squadron, 182nd Airlift Wing, Illinois Air National Guard

Wood, the first woman in her family to serve, says "this observance means being a part of something bigger than myself. Although I am still young I feel that there are so many opportunities in the military that I am determined to get."