By Spc. Monica K. Smith, CAB Public AffairsMarch 26, 2009
HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD, Ga. The 3rd Infantry Division's Combat Aviation Brigade hosted an observance in honor of Women's History Month, March 19 at Hunter Army Airfield. Soldiers, Family Members and civilians from the 3rd ID came to Hunter to hear retired Brig. Gen. Rebecca Halstead who was the first female from the United States Military Academy to be promoted to the general officer rank and also the Army's first female Chief of Ordinance.
"General Halstead is the very first female general officer out of West Point," said Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Anderson, member of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, and equal opportunity advisor for the brigade. "We thought that was significant, showing another step for women and her speaking went with our goal to commemorate women in history who have influenced our nation."
During the observance, Halstead spoke about women who have made significant contributions and on what inspired, motivated and prepared them.
"What's most important is not about gender, race or even personal achievements," said Halstead during the ceremony.
"It is not about what is on the outside; it is about what is on the inside - our hearts and souls, our courage and character. Those are the things, which define us, which will be our most enduring contributions, igniting hope and inspiration for others."
The event included a musical number performed by Spc. Vanessa Eliassaintortiz, member of Company B, 603rd Aviation Support Battalion, who sang a song entitled, "Legacy."
"I wanted to portray that all women are a legacy," said Eliassaintoriz. "It went well with our theme, 'Women taking the lead to save our planet.'"
In keeping with the Army's dedication of 2009 as the 'Year of the NCO,' the observance also showcased six women who recited the Noncomissioned Officer Creed.
"We're (female leaders) now being recognized for the hard work that we do," said Sgt. 1st Class Marlene Dacosta, Co. B, 603rd ASB, who led the six Soldiers in reciting the creed. "I'm very proud to stand with some of my Soldiers here and reflect what they are trying to accomplish and encourage them to pursue their careers."