FORT BENNING, Ga. – Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning leaders, Soldiers, and Civilians celebrated the contributions of women to the U.S. Army during an observance ceremony at McGinnis-Wickham Hall, March 22.
Women have served in the Army since 1775 and remain an invaluable and essential part of the service today, comprising 19% of the Total Army and 35% of the Army’s civilian workforce.
Col. Whitney Jensen, the V Corps provost marshal assigned to Fort Knox, Ky., was the guest speaker for the event. Jensen has served in the Army since 1996, completing multiple combat deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as an operational deployment in Kosovo.
The Gilroy, Calif., native touched on four major points during her remarks: over-investment in people, legacy, building resilience, and opportunity. “The Army’s going to provide you opportunities and you need to take advantage of them,” said Jensen.
Jensen admitted she did not originally join the Army out of a sense of service, but “absolutely fell in love with the Army in basic training.” The camaraderie, discipline, and competition the service provided were eye-opening, she said.
“For those of you out there that decided to join the Army for three years or 30 years, the Army has a great impact on you, and the opportunities continue to come,” Jensen said. “If you do your job right, people will seek you out and they will put you into positions so that you can fulfill your great potential.”
Jensen concluded her remarks by saying America deserves an Army representative of its citizens. “As a woman in the Army, as a Soldier, I’m just proud to represent part of what America is and serve my country.”
The observance was an opportunity “to acknowledge the tremendous path women have paved for those in service,” said Maj. Gen. Curtis Buzzard, Maneuver Center of Excellence commanding general. He went on to discuss the importance of women in the military, particularly in the combat arms.
Col. Victor Satterlund, 199th Infantry Brigade commander, also spoke about the value of Women’s History Month stating it is “a dedicated (time) to reflect on the often-overlooked contributions of women to the United States’ history.”
Satterlund said the period of observance is “not just to note significant accomplishments of many women, but to continue to highlight and bring forward the value of (their) full inclusion in our society and our Army.”