By 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public AffairsSeptember 2, 2010
FORT KNOX, Ky. (Sept. 2, 2010) - The 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) hosted Fort Knox\'s Women's Equality Day Celebration on Aug. 27, at the Patton Museum's Abrams Auditorium.
The celebration commemorated the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote.
Speaking during the celebration was Brig. Gen. Robin B. Akin, the 3d ESC's commanding general and one of only 22 female general officers in the U.S. Army. Akin spoke of women's roles and importance to the military.
"Today, women have critical roles across our Army and their daily sacrifices underscore their commitment and dedication," said Akin. "There are thousands of women in our Army today who are performing critical roles that would have been unthinkable to those women who first voted in 1920."
Akin, who's served for 28 years, was an obvious choice to speak during the Women's Equality Day celebration because throughout her career she has had a lot of firsts for a female.
She was the first female to be a company commander as a parachute rigger, the first female brigade commander for her unit when she served in Germany, and the first female general officer for the 3d ESC since its move to Fort Knox.
Through her accomplishments, Akin said that she hoped to serve as an inspiration to women in all services.
"Take pride in the fact that there are opportunities for women to lead and serve in our Army each day," said Akin. "We continue to this day to have a critical role in the Army and our sacrifices in this noble effort underscore our dedication and willingness to share great sacrifices."
Women's Equality Day, which is celebrated every year on Aug. 26, came about as part of a peaceful civil rights movement by women in 1848 at the world's first women's rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York. Women have served in the Army since 1775 in various capacities and now serve in 93 percent of all Army occupations. Today, women make up 13.4 percent of the active Army.
For those in attendance, the Women's Equality Day celebration served as an inspiration that anything could be accomplished, regardless of gender.
"I feel it's great for women to know that one of only 22 female general officers in the Army is right here on Fort Knox," said Sgt. 1st Class Rodney Weathers, the 3d ESC's equal opportunity advisor.
Weathers, who organized the event, said that having Akin in attendance displayed to females that her level of leadership is attainable for them.
With standing room only, the celebration was attended by Fort Knox leadership, Soldiers, civilians and students from schools on post.
"Overall, the Women's Equality Day celebration went really well," said Weathers. "It was a really nice surprise to have the children show up. This celebration exceeded my expectations."