Each year on August 26 we commemorate Women's Equality Day, representing the date in 1920 that women were guaranteed the right to vote in the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In commemoration of this important milestone, the 7th Signal Command (Theater) turns the spotlight on one of our own: Mrs. Cynthia Stanley, a Department of Army Civilian and former Service member who epitomizes the pivotal role of women in the U.S. Army’s and 7th SC(T)’s mission success.
Mrs. Stanley comes from a long line of family military service—a combined 178 years to be exact. She enlisted in 1991 as a Multi-Channel Systems Operator and later reclassified as a Personnel Administration Specialist. “My favorite duty station was Fort Bragg now Fort Liberty, North Carolina, where I served as the XVIII Airborne Corps Assignments Manager and an Inspector General,” she remarked, adding, “My favorite duty assignment was serving as the Deputy Commandant of the NCO Academy at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.”
Today, Mrs. Stanley is an Operations and Plans Specialist for the 7th Signal Command (Theater) G-1. In this position, she issues orders, coordinates inspections, develops standard operating procedures, and in her own words, “analyzes complex issues regarding the spectrum of HR support and personnel management functions, all supporting the command’s strategic initiatives and missions.” Her outstanding performance in this role led to her selection in 2022 as the command’s Junior Civilian of the Year.
Women now make up roughly 19% of the Army and represent 38% of the Army's Civilians—and their contributions are critical to our fighting force's strength and effectiveness. However, getting to this point was not without struggle. During her career, Mrs. Stanley has faced challenges in securing equal pay for equal work, and in having the same access to opportunities as her male counterparts.
Having overcome these challenges, however, Mrs. Stanley is optimistic when asked to comment on the current atmosphere for women. “The future has no limits for women in the military, as we are constantly cultivating an environment with progress towards equity that embraces talent, regardless of gender,” she said.
Women's Equality Day not only honors the struggle of women throughout history to achieve equality, but it also inspires us to advocate for continued progress. As Mrs. Stanley stated, “Equality means ensuring that every individual has an equal opportunity to make the most of their lives and talents. No one should have less life chances because of the way they were born, where they come from, or what they believe.”