Leading Ladies: Women, War and Military Culture Change


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"Leading Ladies: Women, War and Military Culture Change" presentation given by Ilona Meagher to participants of the second annual Female Faces of War Conference on the Battleship Massachusetts. Fall River, MA. March 28, 2009.

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  • I’d like to thank Johanna LeClair and Laurie Carlson for inviting me to be here with you today. I’m so excited and honored to be a part of this. Over the past four years, I’ve had the great privilege to participate in quite a few events focused on veterans’ issues, but this one is a first for me. What a great way for all of us to close out Women’s History Month, coming together to talk about the remarkable contributions being made by women in the military today -- as well as salute those women who came before who made the successes of today possible.
  • I’m a veteran’s daughter, so I have a soft spot for those who wear the uniform. My dad’s a pretty cool guy.
  • My 15 years in an American uniform – American Airlines, that is.
  • Leading Ladies: Women, War and Military Culture Change

    1. 1. Leading Ladies:Women, War and Military Culture Change<br />Female Faces of War: <br />First Do No Harm<br />03/28/09 - Conference at Battleship Cove<br />By Ilona Meagher, author of Moving a Nation to Care and editor of PTSD Combat: Winning the War Within<br />
    2. 2. Veteran Dad: My Hero<br />
    3. 3. “Serving” in Uniform  <br />
    4. 4. Permission to come aboard?<br /><ul><li> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CPWRoKHlBs</li></li></ul><li>Women Serving: History<br />
    5. 5. Women Serving: Today<br />Total U.S. military forces<br /> ~ 1.5 million Total Active Duty<br />Portion of female service members<br /> ~ 35,000 Officers<br /> ~ 165,000 Enlisted<br /> ~ 200,000 Total Female Active Duty<br />Top-ranked female service members<br /> 6 - Lt. Gens/Vice Adms<br /> 13 - Maj. Gens/Rear Adms (U)<br /> 37 - Brig. Gens/Rear Adms (L)<br />1,282 - Cols/Capts<br />&quot;If you tried to pull women out of the equation, this country could not fight a war.&quot; -- Lory Manning, a retired Navy captain and director of the Women&apos;s Research and Education Institute<br />
    6. 6. Leading Ladies: Highly Trained <br />
    7. 7. Leading Ladies: Highly Skilled<br />
    8. 8. Leading Ladies: Drill Instructors<br />
    9. 9. Leading Ladies: World Ambassadors<br />
    10. 10. Leading Ladies: Silver Stars<br />
    11. 11. Leading Ladies: Sacrifice and Service<br />
    12. 12. Leading Ladies: Greatest Sacrifices<br />
    13. 13. Leading Ladies: Greatest Sacrifices <br />
    14. 14. Leading Ladies: First African-American Naval Combat Pilot<br />
    15. 15. Leading Ladies: Air Force Crews<br />First all-female combat mission C-130 crew <br />
    16. 16. Leading Ladies: First VMI Cadet<br />First female cadet to serve in a US war from Virginia Military Institute<br />
    17. 17. Leading Ladies: Four-Star Generals<br />
    18. 18. Notable Women: Iraq War<br />How did women impact the Iraq War in its first year?<br />Jessica Lynch<br />Sabrina Harman<br />Tami Silicio<br />
    19. 19. Issues Facing Women in Military<br />15 percent of the force and serve in 91 percent of military specialties.<br />DoD report shows cases of reported military sexual trauma increased 9% from 2007-2008 to 2,932 incidents.<br />October 2008: Veterans Admin study found that 1-of-7 coming in for medical care at the VA suffered from MST.<br />Female veterans 4X likelier to become homeless than civilian women.<br />
    20. 20. Returning Home: Storytelling<br />Dr. Edward Tick, War and the Soul:<br />According to author and healer Deena Metzger, a story is a ‘map for the soul.’ It is ‘a living thing. A divine gift.’ When we tell our own stories and listen to those of others, we come in touch with all three: life, divinity, and soul. <br />
    21. 21. Returning Home: Storytelling<br />…Telling our story is a way of preserving our individual history and at the same time defining our place in the larger flow of events. It reveals patterns and meaning that we might otherwise miss as we go about the mundane activities of living; it invites us to see the universe working through us. <br />Storytelling also knits the community together. It records or recreates the collective history and transforms actor and listeners alike into communal witnesses.” <br />
    22. 22. Veterans: Our Hope<br />“Veterans are the light at the tip of the candle, illuminating the way for the whole nation. If veterans can achieve awareness, transformation, understanding, and peace, they can share with the rest of society the realities of war. And they can teach us how to make peace with ourselves and each other...”<br />-- ThichNhat Hahn, Vietnamese Buddhist monk who worked tirelessly for reconciliation between North and South Vietnam during the Vietnam war<br />
    23. 23. Leading Ladies: A Short Clip<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZxuYjLnxGo<br />