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Commentary | March 9, 2009

March is Women's History Month

By Capt. Nkeiba Estelle National Women's History Month committee

In 1987, Congress declared March as Women's History Month to recognize women's achievements in shaping our country. 

Throughout its history, the United States Air Force has striven to ensure a strong commitment to our service's women. President Truman signed the Women's Armed Services Integration Act in 1948, which lead the Air Force to form the Women in Air Force that same year. In 1976, women were accepted into the military using the same process as men. For more than 60 years, the culture surrounding women in the military has evolved. 

Basic training has progressed from lessons in etiquette to training chemical warfare. Men and women run side by side through confidence courses, marksmanship training and field exercises. Women now take on greater responsibility filling roles as commanders, chief enlisted managers and combat aviators. 

At Langley, women are serving in critical leadership roles. Among them are Brig. Gen. Judith A. Fedder, Director of Logistics for Headquarters Air Combat Command and Chief Master Sgt. Suzan K. Sangster, Command Chief Master Sergeant of the 480th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing. Still others carry out positions such as squadron commander, squadron superintendent and other key leadership roles. They all continue to blaze a trail and serve as role models for present and future generations of Air Force women. As we continue throughout this month celebrating women's history, take the time to learn and pay tribute to the women around you who work tirelessly to ensure operations at Langley and the world are successful. 

The Langley Women's Heritage Committee has several events planned for the month culminating with a tribute luncheon March 25 at the Bayside Enlisted Club featuring Chief Master Sgt. LaSonja C. Richardson, 1st Dental Squadron Superintendent.