JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Aug. 23, 2019) -- The Joint Base San Antonio community celebrated Women's Equality Day with its annual observance Aug. 22 at the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston Theater.

This year's theme, "Celebrating Women's Right to Vote," is based on the U.S. Congress designation of Aug. 26 as Women's Equality Day in 1971. The date commemorates the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which gave women the right to vote in 1920.

Brig. Gen. Christine Beeler, the commanding general of the Mission and Installation Contracting Command, was the keynote speaker. Beeler took command of the MICC July 9.

"The observance of Women's Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but also calls attention to the necessity for continuing active pursuit of a future that allows every member of the human race to become fully functioning adults, to make choices at every level of society, to participate in decision-making that affects their lives, to be financially independent, to be safe on the streets, secure in their homes, to have a voice in the courts and constitutional bodies of the world -- to enjoy, in other words, full and equal civil rights," Beeler said.

Beeler also noted the right to vote was a great step in women gaining equality and resulted in historic change for every class forming our nation and allowed for women to seize that opportunity and shape America in all walks of life.

Those cultural changes the can be witnessed at JBSA today. From Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson taking command of U.S. Army North (Fifth Army) and Rear Adm. Tina Davidson commanding the Navy Medicine Education Training and Logistics Command to Brig. Gen. Wendy Harter leading Brooke Army Medical Center and Brig. Laura Lenderman commanding the 502nd Air Base Wing, women play vital roles in today's military.

From seats in Congress and military leadership to the rising numbers of leaders in business and other industries, the fight for equality has created numerous advantages for women today.

During the observance, members of the MICC presented the reading of the 19th Amendment and proclamation from the mayor of San Antonio. A special Women's Equality Day video featuring perspectives from local military and civilian leaders was also presented during the observance. The video featured Richardson, Delia Adams, the Installation Management Command senior contracting official; Harter, Chaplain (Col.) Leslie Janovec, and Chief Master Sgt. Sheris Poisson from the 802nd Force Support Squadron at Lackland.

Beeler ended the observance by encouraging attendees to not only remember the past contributions but also recognize the value of diversity.

"Celebrate the changes made to date, celebrate that the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard recognize not only the significance of women's contributions, but also value diversity in gender and thought to solve our toughest challenges and defend our constitution and our way of life," she said.

About the MICC:
Headquartered at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, the Mission and Installation Contracting Command consists of about 1,500 military and civilian members who are responsible for contracting goods and services in support of Soldiers as well as readying trained contracting units for the operating force and contingency environment when called upon. MICC contracts are vital in feeding more than 200,000 Soldiers every day, providing many daily base operations support services at installations, facilitate training in the preparation of more than 100,000 conventional force members annually, training more than 500,000 students each year, and maintaining more than 14.4 million acres of land and 170,000 structures.