JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas –
Navy, Army and Air Force staff and students from the Medical Education and Training Campus, or METC, gathered to celebrate Women’s History Month March 28 during a ceremony hosted by the Navy Medicine Training Support Center, or NMTSC, Diversity Council at METC at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.
This year’s theme “Honoring Trailblazing Women Who Have Paved the Way for Future Generations” inspired one of the guest speakers, Petty Officer 1st Class Joy Lewis, an instructor in the Basic Medical Technician Corpsman Program, or BMTCP, to talk about a handful of women in the military who pushed through barriers and set new precedencies for service women.
“These women have opened doors and paved paths so I could be here with you today to discuss a woman who has inspired me in my career,” said Lewis, who spoke about her mentor, retired Force Master Chief Laura Martinez. “The military is often described as a fraternity, a brotherhood. I always admired women who could be a part of the brotherhood but never forget they are women at their core. They have poise, confidence, are a great influence and can hold their own in any environment.”
Lewis discussed the impact Martinez had on her career, whether through direct influence when they worked at the same command or through the mentorship of others influenced by Martinez.
“No matter where you go, a sisterhood remains,” said Lewis.
The next guest speaker, Lt. Cmdr. Sarah Gentry, a BMTCP instructor, discussed the importance of fostering that sisterhood and lifting women up in a world that, according to Gentry, can make them feel less than what they should be.
“While great strides have been made by those women in the past, there’s still much work to be done by us, the amazing women of the present,” Gentry said. “I don’t want us to grow complacent.”
Gentry said that it is up to the women of today to change the views of what a woman should be so future women may feel comfortable no matter what path they take or where they are in life.
“For far too long, society has dictated to us what it means to be a woman through the portrayal of women in various outlets,” Gentry said. “Often, we measure our womanhood against those portrayals. We relinquish our power to define what it means to be a woman. It’s time for us to take that power back. Time for us, the amazing women of today, to dictate to society what it means to be a woman.”