By Mr. Russell Toof (Regional Health Command Europe)August 23, 2019
LANDSTUHL, Germany -- Women's Equality Day is celebrated every year on August 26. The theme for this year is 'Celebrating Women's Right to Vote.' Women's Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but also calls attention to women's continuing efforts toward full equality.
Col. Jana Nohrenberg, who currently serves as the Chief Nursing Officer for Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, remembers the first time she exercised her right to vote.
"The first time I voted was in 1992 in the presidential election," said Nohrenberg. "I was a little bit in awe of the power I had in the decision of who I voted for."
"I remember thinking, this is powerful and women through the ages haven't always had this right," she added.
Nohrenberg's role is an advisor to the LRMC commander with regards to nursing practice issues. She makes sure the nurses have the resources, knowledge, guidance and support to do their mission.
Women play vital roles in the Army as Soldiers and Army Civilians and are critical members of the Army team.
"I'm seeing more and more women move into traditional male roles in healthcare, areas like surgeons and radiologists," said Nohrenberg.
In December of 2015, the Army announced that all military occupations and positions would be open to women. As of this past April, more than 1,000 female Soldiers have been assigned to infantry, armor and fire support specialist occupations.
Today, female Soldiers make up almost twenty-percent of the U.S. Army and can serve in any military occupation as long as they qualify and meets the specific standards of the job.
"We wouldn't function if we lost one-fifth of the workforce," said Nohrenberg. "Thirty-three percent of the medical enlisted personnel here at LRMC are women. There is no limit in what women can do in today's military."
"As I've grown professionally, I've seen women break through the glass ceiling by trailblazers who came before me," said Nohrenberg. "Individuals like Gen. Dunwoody, the first female four-star general, and Dr. Antonia Novello, who was the first woman to become the Surgeon General."
"Growing up, I was never told there was something I couldn't do because I was a woman," she added.
To that point, Nohrenberg was inducted into the Order of Military Medical Merit in 2017.
The Order of Military Medical Merit recognizes excellence and promotes fellowship and esprit de corps among Army Medical Department personnel.
Membership recognizes those individuals who have clearly demonstrated the highest standards of integrity and moral character, displayed an outstanding degree of professional competence, served in the Army Medical Department for a minimum of 10 years with selflessness and have made sustained contributions to the betterment of Army Medicine.