A routine day in the office for four Soldiers was a notable day for women in Army aviation.
For the first time since 16th Combat Aviation Brigade made Joint Base Lewis-McChord its home 10 years ago, an all-female flight crew took to the skies in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter on July 29.
Capt. Kayla Carpenter, the pilot in command and a platoon leader assigned to 46th Aviation Support Battalion, 16th CAB, wanted her final flight in the unit to be one for the history books.
“It meant a lot to me to fly with this crew because I arrived to this unit as the only female pilot,” said Carpenter. “Female-to-female mentorship is so important, and this flight displayed that female mentorship was alive and well.”
Proudly serving alongside Carpenter was 1st Lt. Sydney DeWees, a platoon leader, Spc. Kayla Noyles and Spc. Nicole George, both crew chiefs, all assigned to 2-158th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 16th CAB.
“Whether we like it or not, women have a different experience than men in the Army. Kayla has been a mentor to all of us on how to navigate the experience in a flight company,” said DeWees. “She is an example of what we can accomplish, and for me, she is a role model for the type of leader I want to be.”
This month, 101 years ago, the 19th Amendment was added to the U.S. Constitution, which guaranteed women the right to vote. This action marked the culmination of the long struggle by women to gain an equal voice in their government.
The 19th Amendment continues to be a testament to the courage and tenacity of the women and men who challenged the nation to live up to its founding principles.
The U.S. Army celebrates Women’s Equality Day by recognizing the service of women to the nation since 1775, and who remain an invaluable and essential part of the Army.
The Army recognizes not only the significance of women’s contributions, but also the value of diversity and inclusion.
“As intimidating as being in a male dominated field sounds, it's not,” said Noyles. “We are more than capable of doing this job just as good as the males, and a lot of the time, a heck of a lot better.”