Women's Equality Day

Friday, August 25, 2017

What is it?

Women’s Equality Day celebrated in the United States on August 26 each year commemorates the addition of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which guaranteed women the right to vote. The passage of the 19th Amendment was the first step towards shaping gender equality in today’s work force. President Harry Truman signed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act into law. It granted women permanent status in the Regular and Reserve forces of the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps, as well as the newly-created Air Force in 1948.

In celebrating Women’s Equality Day the Army recognizes not only the significance of women’s contributions but also the value of diversity and an inclusive environment.

What has the Army done?

Current Army Policy ensures equal opportunity to serve for both genders and is consistent with Department of Defense guidance. The Army celebrates Women’s Equality Day by recognizing that women of the highest caliber have served in the Army for generations and have proven that sacrifices and selfless service are genderless.

The Army has lifted and overturned the 1994 Pentagon decision that explicitly prohibited women from serving in combat. The Army is in the process of integrating women into previously closed units and has begun the next phase where they have recruited over 500 women to potentially serve in combat and physically demanding jobs.

The Army continues to celebrate and commemorate the diversity of the Army and leverage and draw strength from the rich variety of personnel within the ranks by recognizing the critical role played by all in strengthening the nation’s presence around the world.

What continued efforts are planned for the future?

The Army will continue with its efforts to:

  • Build a diverse pool of talent.
  • Build upon the tremendous advancements made in the struggle for equality for Soldiers and Civilians.
  • Remain diligent in enforcing the nation’s laws which assist women and men in balancing work and family responsibilities.
  • Eliminate barriers that prevent people from reaching their professional aspirations.

The Army will continue to celebrate and commemorate its diversity. It will leverage and draw strength from the rich variety of personnel within the ranks by recognizing the critical role played by all in strengthening the nation’s presence around the world.

Why is this important to the Army?

American’s Army is a world-class force. The Army recruits the best talent regardless of gender or race and ensure the integration of diverse attributes, experiences and backgrounds in ways that enhance decision making and inspire high performance.

Women have served in the United States Army since 1775 and remain an invaluable and essential part of the Army today. Women make up 16.4 percent of the Army. They play vital roles in today’s Army; as Soldiers, Army Civilians and Family members– all critical members of the Army team.

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