JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- (April 15, 2016) More than 100 members of the San Antonio community attended a Women's History Month ceremony March 23 recognizing the contributions of women in leadership and public service to the nation.Officials from the Navy Medicine Education and Training Command and Mission and Installation Contracting Command hosted the joint base event.Karen Perkins, director of human resources for the Installation Management Command, was the guest speaker for the event. She spoke about this year's theme honoring women who have shaped America's history and its future through their public service and leadership.Event planners used the ceremony to highlight the accomplishments of women by using a display of Army uniforms worn by women from different time periods, two proclamation readings, a slideshow, a poem reading and two songs during the ceremony.Each year, the National Women's History Project selects a theme that highlights achievements by distinguished women. The NWHP recognizes and celebrates the diverse and historic accomplishments of women by providing informational services and educational and promotional materials. This year's theme was "Working to form a more perfect union, honoring women in public service and government," which highlights women who have shaped America's history and its future through their public service and leadership in government."Each of these public leaders succeeded against great odds," Perkins said. "The diversity of their experiences demonstrates both the changes and the opportunities women in public service faced. On every installation, military and civilian professionals touch peoples' lives daily. We want the right people at the right time doing the right jobs."As a Senior Executive Service member, Perkins offered her advice about success not just to women but to everyone."Each of us, no matter what role we play, makes a difference in the support of our national priorities and the defense of this nation," Perkins said. "Each of you has the power to determine if you will be the best at what you do. If you take responsibility for your own actions and you have a positive attitude, you will succeed."Perkins explained how the annual observance took its first steps in February 1980, when President Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation declaring the week of March 8, 1980, as National Women's History Week. In the same year, Rep. Barbara Mikulski, who at the time was in the House of Representatives, and Sen. Orrin Hatch co-sponsored a Congressional Resolution for National Women's History Week 1981. This co-sponsorship demonstrated the wide-ranging political support for recognizing, honoring, and celebrating the achievements of American women.By 1986, 14 states declared March as Women's History Month. This momentum and state-by-state action was used as the rational to lobby Congress to declare the entire month of March 1987 as National Women's History Month. In 1987, Congress declared March as National Women's History Month in perpetuity. A special presidential proclamation is issued every year, which honors the extraordinary achievements of American women.Perkins closed the event by quoting President Barack Obama."During Women's History Month, we remember the trailblazers of the past, including the women who are not recorded in our history books, and we honor their legacies by carrying forward the valuable lessons learned from the powerful examples they set," the president said.