Each year we recognize March as “Women’s History Month,” acknowledging and celebrating the past and ongoing contributions that women have made. During this time, we remind our nation and the world of the importance of women’s contribution to society and the barriers that exist to full gender equality.
In 2020, the Department of Defense pays tribute to the women who pushed gender-defined barriers, fighting for what they believed in and paving the way for the women who serve both in uniform and as civilians in our DoD workforce today. This year’s theme “We can do it… and she DID!” commemorates the 75th Anniversary of World War II, which opened a new chapter in the lives of American women. As husbands and fathers, sons and brothers shipped out to fight in Europe and the Pacific, millions of women marched into factories, offices, and military bases to work in roles traditionally reserved for men in peacetime.
Women played an immeasurable role during WWII, serving bravely and with distinction from the initial attack on Pearl Harbor to the last days of the Pacific campaign. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, then commander of U.S. forces in Europe, declared, “[Women] have met every test and task assigned to them … their contributions in efficiency, skill, spirit, and determination are immeasurable.” Since WWII, the entire DoD has led the way in diversity, inclusion and equality. Today, women have the equal right to choose any military occupational specialty, including ground combat units that were previously not open to them.
At TAD, we have always had an appreciation for the unique and varied ways women contribute to the security of our nation. They are vital to our Division’s existence. Women like Nikki Schmidt at TAA, who is leading the team building the power grid encircling Afghanistan. Or, Rachael Raposa in TAD Contracting, who works collaboratively with public, private, and international entities to secure contracts for our overseas teams. Or, Kirsten Smyth and her UCDC team, working tirelessly to hire and ensure training for our downrange workforce. These are only a few of the many incredible women guiding our team toward success every day, but serve as examples of the caliber of over 33 percent of our workforce. ALL women at TAD are valued for their contributions to the betterment of the organization.
So I know that we are all busy with the multiple tasks and challenges we have each day, but I would ask that you take time this month to pay tribute to those women who forever changed the course of the United States military, and thank those who continue to define our future through their service today.
Thank you again for what each of you do every day as part of our team!
COL Chris Beck