On Women Veterans Recognition Day, we take a moment to pay tribute to the unwavering dedication and sacrifices of our remarkable women Veterans. Today serves as a poignant reminder that women have long fought for the right to serve and have become an indispensable part of the United States military.
We are especially proud of the women Veterans that work at DIS, and of the important work we are privileged to do for women Veterans, especially the VA’s Office of Women’s Health.
Over 5% of DIS employees are women Veterans, including:
- U.S. Navy Rear Admiral (Retired) Ann Burkhardt
- U.S. Army Major (Retired) Greta Fennel
- U.S. Air Force Technical Sergeant Kristie Ford
- U.S. Marine Corps Master Sergeant (Retired) Kimberly Leone
- U.S. Army Colonel (Retired) Juanita Pettersen
The Role of Women in the Military: An Evolution
Throughout history, women have played a vital role in defending our nation and the freedoms we enjoy. From disguising themselves as men during the Revolutionary War to serving as nurses during the Civil War, and even flying combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, women have made significant contributions. However, it was not until the historic passage of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act of 1948 that women were officially acknowledged as a permanent part of the military. In 2023, we commemorate the 75th anniversary of this landmark legislation, honoring the invaluable contributions of women Veterans who have served and continue to serve our country.
The Significance of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act of 1948
Prior to the enactment of the Act, women served as nurses, clerks, and in other support roles but were not permitted to serve as regular members of the Armed Forces. However, with the onset of World War II, women began to join the military in unprecedented numbers. The establishment of the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) in 1942, followed by the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) in the Navy, Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) in the Army Air Forces, and the Women’s Reserve of the Marine Corps, marked significant progress.
Unfortunately, despite their invaluable contributions, women often faced discrimination and unequal treatment. The Women’s Armed Services Integration Act aimed to address these issues, providing women with equal opportunities to serve our country.
The Significance of Women Veterans Recognition Day
Women Veterans Recognition Day is not intended as a separate Veterans Day solely for women. Instead, it stands as a commemoration of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act of 1948. It is a day to honor the service of women Veterans and to rekindle our commitment to supporting and advocating for equity and inclusion.
Our Commitment to Women Veterans
Today, there are nearly 2 million women Veterans living in the U.S.
To all our women Veterans, we express our heartfelt gratitude for your unwavering service and sacrifice. We honor your extraordinary courage, unyielding dedication, and steadfast commitment to our nation.