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MICC commander welcomes all to Women’s Equality Day observance

By Brig. Gen. Christine Beeler | Commanding general, Mission and Installation Contracting Command | Aug. 9, 2019

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas —

We are your wives, daughters, sisters and mothers. We are also your Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen.

All women will be celebrated at the Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston Women’s Equality Day Observance at 10 a.m. Aug. 22 at the Fort Sam Houston Theater, and everyone is invited.

While the Mission and Installation Contracting Command is hosting the event, all of JBSA, veterans from all the services, and community members are welcome to attend the observance ceremony.

On Aug. 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution helped to remove a barrier that divided men and women by granting women the right to vote. The passage of the 19th Amendment is a testament to the courage and tenacity of the women – and men – who challenged the nation to live up to its founding principles.

It's a day that is meant to celebrate women's empowerment. By celebrating Women’s Equality Day, the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston community recognizes not only the significance of women’s contributions but also the value of diversity and an inclusive environment.

When I think about diversity, I think of the words American poet Audre Lorde, who said, "It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences."

If we can recognized and celebrate those differences then we can succeed, and that means we as a nation succeed. We must ensure all Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and Department of Defense civilians are given the opportunity to maximize their talents and potential.

Since 1775, women have served in the Army and have remained an invaluable and essential part of the Army today.

Women have served in the military for generations and have proven that sacrifices and selfless service are genderless. And more than 288,000 women work as DOD employees today serving right alongside Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen.

Today, all branches of services ensure there is an equal opportunity to serve for both genders and is consistent with DOD guidance. We have lifted and overturned the 1994 Pentagon decision that explicitly prohibited women from serving in combat. All military occupational specialties are now open to anyone who qualifies and meets the specific standards of the job in all services.

While we have certainly come a long way in the fight for equality since the 19th Amendment was ratified, we must remain dedicated to the idea that our nation is not complete until every American receives equal treatment and opportunity under the law.

It is my hope that you leave the Women’s Equality Day Observance with a renewed perspective on gender equality, and just like those women and men before us who recognized their differences and helped get the 19th Amendment ratified that no matter what our differences may be is that we as Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen should always be celebrated for what we bring to the fight.

Remember, we are all created as equals and no one can take that away from you without your consent.

(Headquartered at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, the Mission and Installation Contracting Command consists of about 1,500 military and civilian members who are responsible for contracting goods and services in support of Soldiers as well as readying trained contracting units for the operating force and contingency environment when called upon. MICC contracts are vital in feeding more than 200,000 Soldiers every day, providing many daily base operations support services at installations, facilitate training in the preparation of more than 100,000 conventional force members annually, training more than 500,000 students each year, and maintaining more than 14.4 million acres of land and 170,000 structures.)