Topic: Gender

Gallery of black women shwo have served as Command Sergeants Major

Sergeants Major Built a Culture of Camaraderie, as Soldiers and as Black Women

Despite making up just 36% of the women of the U.S. Army, Black women soldiers make up almost half of women command sergeants major.

They Did Everything They Could to Make Her Fail. But They Could Not Break Her.

Her fate was sealed before she even stepped off the plane. They were not going to let a female line officer tell them what to do.
Midshipmen march to lunch at the U.S. Naval Academy during the National Discussion on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment at America’s Colleges, Universities, and Service Academies in 2019. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Sarah Villegas, courtesy of the U.S. Navy.

Short Changed: Military Women’s Deaths by Suicide Linked to Sexual Trauma

While men in the military have alarmingly high rates of suicide, the rates among military women are rising faster, and their reasons are different.
Adrienne Barillas leans against a Humvee in South Korea. “She was so proud of wearing that uniform and all that it supposedly represented,” her mother says. “Sometimes I get mad at her for choosing to wear that uniform, then I feel guilty for those bitter thoughts and emotions.” Photo courtesy of Emogene Barillas.

Short Changed: How The Army Failed Spc. Adrienne Barillas

Adrienne Barillas was found naked outside of an Army barracks. The Army ruled her death a suicide. Soldiers and family members say there's more to the story.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III speaks to servicewomen at the Military Women’s Memorial 25th Anniversary Ceremony at the Military Women’s Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, in October 2022. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Alexander Kubitza, courtesy of the Defense Department.

Short Changed: Military Women Face Assault, Harassment, Death. Is Culture to Blame?

The history of the military's response to women’s service has led to an entrenched separate-and-unequal environment.
Dominique Hunter, the Military Breastfeeding Network active- duty director, explains doula and breastfeeding options to new moms at a Womack Army Medical Center maternity fair at Fort Liberty, North Carolina, in 2018. Photo by Twana Atkinson, courtesy of the U.S. Army.

Expectant Service Members Lack Support. Doulas Could Help, Advocates Say.

Members of the military who are pregnant lack options when it comes to giving birth. That might be changing, but challenges persist.
It took a decade for the author to talk about what happened to her while deployed. Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

He Spent Years Learning Other People’s Secret Pains. I Spent Years Hiding Mine.

E.V.’s husband spent years serving military sexual trauma survivors, unaware that she, too, was one.
The Army Honor Guard meets Saria Hildabrand’s body as it arrives in Utah. Photo courtesy of Meredith Barney.

Short Changed: Military Comes with Unique Risks for Domestic Violence, Can Silence Survivors

A War Horse review of military women’s noncombat deaths since 9/11 found domestic violence often ended in death.
In 1974, the U.S. Navy designated its first female naval aviators, four of whom posed for a photograph during their flight instruction. Pictured left to right are Ensign Rosemary Conaster, Ensign Jane Skiles, Lt. (junior grade) Barbara Allen, and Lt. (junior grade) Judith Neuffer. Allen, the first to receive her wings, was killed in a training accident in 1982. The other three officers pictured eventually retired as captains. Photo courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command.

They Were Worried About the Color of Our Bras. We Were Busy Spearheading Change.

During a course at Keesler Air Force Base, R. Van was called by an Air Force major to discuss a matter that required “delicacy" involving a girl and a bra.