As March begins, Common Defense joins the nation in celebrating Women’s History Month by highlighting and honoring the experience and contribution of women serving or who have served in the Armed Forces.
Even before women were officially allowed to enlist in the U.S. military, women played integral roles in the nation’s Armed Forces. Since the advent of the Women’s Army Corps in 1943, women’s roles, specialties, and skills within the military have greatly expanded and changed the course of our history, but their stories are often left unheard. This Women’s History Month, Common Defense hopes to do just that—uplift the stories and honor the service given by almost 2 million women veterans and over 200,00 active military members.
As we recognize the experiences and contributions of women veterans, it is imperative we also recognize the various barriers that women-—particularly women of color—continue to face in the military today. Women suffer from high rates of sexual assault and harassment, gender discrimination, and fewer promotional opportunities. Female Veterans also receive less support in their transition back to civilian life, leading to higher rates of homelessness than their male counterparts. The compound of sexual assault and combat increases women’s risk of developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, making life after service even more difficult, and for women of color, these struggles are additionally compounded by racism. While Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s reckoning with the military’s pervasive white supremacy and sexual assault issues is a first step, we recognize our military still faces significant challenges in making the Armed Forces an equitable and safe space for all women.
Team Common Defense