FORT BUCHANAN, PR- Soldiers and employees of the 1st Mission Support Command, U.S. Army Reserve-Puerto Rico, participated of the Women's Equality Day event, held at the Fort Buchanan's Community Club, Aug. 24.

Col. Maria A. Juarez, commander of the 166th Regional Support Group, U.S. Army Reserve-Puerto Rico, was the guest speaker during the event.

"It took hundreds of years to get to where we are today. This has not happened overnight," said Juarez during her speech, while highlighting the role of several female officers she has worked with in the past.

Juarez, who was the only female commissioned in her Army Reserve Officer Training Course class, also distinguished the great advances achieved by women in the Army, to include the ability to attend and get certified in combat arms schools.

"It gives me goosebumps when I think about those great achievements," said Juarez with great emotion.

Capt. Maria Rivera Baez, Operations Officer for the 393rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, was present in the audience.

"This was a very good presentation because it reminded us where we were back in the day, when women did not have the rights we have today," said Rivera-Baez, who also explained that her service in the Army has allowed her to accomplish many goals.

Nelson Pagan-Martinez, a Military Technician assigned to the Fort Buchanan Reserve Personnel Action Center, was positively impacted by Juarez' speech.

"This is a very inspirational speech. It not only showed me the service trajectory that women have followed in the U.S. Army and how they are increasingly becoming key leaders of the organization, but also clearly demonstrates how women can serve with the same capabilities than a man," said Pagan-Martinez.

Representing approximately twelve percent of the military personnel assigned to the 1st Mission Support Command, females Soldiers play a critical role in the command, which has deployed a hundred percent of its force around the world, since 2001.

As a way to sustain its readiness as the largest federal U.S. Army command in the Caribbean, with approximately 5,000 Soldiers assigned, the 1st Mission Support Command conducts a comprehensive effort to maximize human potential to ensure fair treatment for military personnel, family members, and civilians without regard to race, color, gender, religion, or national origin, and provide an environment free of unlawful discrimination and offensive behavior.

Women's Equality Day commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting the right to vote to women. The amendment was first introduced in 1878. In 1971, the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as Women's Equality Day.