By Rhonda Apple, Pentagram Staff WriterMarch 6, 2014
Editor's note: March is National Women's History Month. This article is the first we will run in recognition of women's service, contributions, and history-making moments
After serving in the Army for 10 years, one month and 14 days, Sgt. 1st Class Bobbie Cox pledged the rest of her military career to serving as a Soldier.
On Feb. 28, Cox reenlisted in an "indefinite status" at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, where she was also honored at the memorial as a charter member since March 15, 2011 and in recognition of her reenlistment.
Cox is a human resources sergeant and the operations noncommissioned officer in charge at the U.S. Army Physical Disability Agency, Crystal City, Va. She is assigned to the U.S. Army Human Resources Command, Fort Knox, Ky., and tasked to the Army Headquarters Command Battalion's Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Garrison on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.
"I chose the Women's Memorial for my reenlistment because this is a remarkable memorial for women past, present and future who have given, are now giving and [in the future] will give the ultimate sacrifice for this great nation," said Cox. "To me it was an honor to reenlist in the Hall of Honor."
Cox selected 2nd Lt. Lisa Bynoe, an Army Reserve officer at Fort Totten, N.Y., and government civilian with JBM-HH Trial Defense Services, as her reenlisting officer. A former noncommissioned officer, this was Bynoe's first reenlistment as the officiating officer.
"I can't think of a better woman to reenlist me than 2nd Lt. Bynoe, one of my [former] battle buddies, who has marched in the NCO ranks and now through the officer corps, will continue to ruck on and establish new boot prints for women of all ranks," said Cox. "This is a remarkable day for both of us, since I'm her first reenlistment. Today, we will both make history."
Surrounded by her husband, Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Cox, a station commander at Frederick Recruiting Co., Fort Meade, Md.; the couple's daughter Haleigh, 3; son Colton, 11-months-old; friends and work colleagues, Cox was honored by the Women's Memorial Deputy Director and retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. Jan Fitzsimmons prior to taking the oath of reenlistment.
Fitzsimmons presented Cox with a U.S. flag and read a citation, honoring the Soldier's record of service upon her reenlistment. She said the flag was unfurled at the memorial "to commemorate the reenlistment of Sgt. 1st Class Cox and in recognition of her outstanding service to the U.S. Army and the nation."
Cox's military service is registered in the database at the memorial. "About 255,000 women's records of service are recorded and part of the memorial," said Marilla Cushman, director of public relations at the Women's Memorial.
According to the Women's Memorial website, it is a unique, living memorial honoring all military women -- past, present and future -- and is the only major national memorial honoring women who have served in our nation's defense during all eras and in all services.
Cox said it was difficult to find the words to describe the Women's Memorial and how she felt about reenlisting there. "It's a place for women of all branches of service and all ranks to go to get a deep appreciation of what the women of the past have done for present and future women in the military," she said.
"Here you can see and clearly understand the huge boot prints these women have made and what the rest of us have to fill," the 31-year-old Wheeling, W. Va., native said. "We also will add our own set of boot prints as we continue this path in history."