WASHINGTON (Army News Service, March 4) -- Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy, the highest-ranking woman in the history of the Department of Defense, was presented with a joint Congressional resolution March 3, honoring the service of women in the armed forces.

The presentation was made at a Women's History Month luncheon on Capitol Hill, "Celebrating Women Serving in Defense of the Nation."

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) presented Flournoy with the resolution recognizing women's accomplishments and contributions to the U.S. armed forces since the American Revolution.

"Women need to participate in the security sector of our nation, and women all over the globe should participate," Boxer said. "Women in the United States are sending a strong message."

Flournoy enlightened the audience on the history of women to honor those who paved the way for the success of women today and accepted the resolution with humility.

"I am deeply honored and humbled to accept this resolution on behalf of our women serving in defense," Flournoy said. "I would simply not be in my shoes at the Pentagon if it were not for so many other women who have been true pioneers in the military service."

Women from all branches of service were invited to be recognized for this accomplishment, including women who were wounded in combat.

Lt. Media Raad, an Iraqi training officer at the High Institute Police Academy, expressed the great opportunity that was given to the group of Iraqi police women.

"It was a great opportunity to come from Baghdad to the U.S today, and it was a major honor for us to be a part of this luncheon and represent Iraq," said Raad. "It was my dream to become a woman in service and the doors didn't open for women until 2004 to become a police officer."

Key facilitator for the event was Col. Laura Richardson, the Army's liaison officer to the Senate.

"It is really nice to have the opportunity to put something like this together to recognize women's achievements in the military," said Richardson. "I think the resolution was wonderful, and the House should pass the resolution pretty soon which will then make it a full concurrent resolution."

"I have been in the Army for over 24 years and I have seen a lot of things happen," she said. "I am really excited of what I see and how women are a part of the team and do a great job."