The Virginia Arts Festival hosted the Courage, Commitment, and Leadership Forum, Extraordinary Woman in the U.S Military – In Their Own Words as a part of the Virginia International Tattoo on April 26th in cooperation with the Hampton Roads Chamber. The Women’s Panel consisted of incredible women leaders ranging in background and ranks including Captain Diane Carlson Evans, Captain Laura Glover, Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer, Rear Admiral Ann Phillips, General Lori Robinson, and Fleet Master Chief Susan Whitman.
The woman, through proudly serving in different branches of the military, have each had a hand in changing the trajectory of how woman are viewed, respected, and recognized within the military. Captain Laura Glover began the introductions speaking on her time in the Army and the hard work and dedication that it took to become the first female Drill Commander for the U.S. Army Drill Team.
Captain Diane Carlson Evans spearheaded the implementation of the first national monument, the Vietnam Woman’s Monument, to recognize women in the military in Washington D.C. “We need to step up and do our part, I think woman have been doing that since the birth of our nation. We went where we were not wanted but we were very needed. We want to do our part that’s what really shows as citizens, mothers, and women,” said Captain Diane Carlson Evans.
After her own experiences dealing with sexual orientation as a woman in the military, Colonel Margaret Commermeyer, dedicated her time to lobby Congress to overturn the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy. She has been a major influencer for the large strides the military has taken in accepting different sexual orientations. These are just a few of many ways in which these women have influenced the United States military.
The woman then took the time to take questions about their military experience and explain why they joined the military. The answers mirrored the values commonly found in the U.S. military including, protecting families, having a sense of military community, and the want and need to serve. “I wanted to do more, be more, so I did. Sometimes we do it because we do our job and we do it well and sometimes we do it regardless of the barrios to make it happen” said General Lori Robinson.
The Courage, Commitment, and Leadership Forum, Extraordinary Woman in the U.S Military – In Their Own Words was a welcomed part of the Virginia International Tattoo and provided a way to celebrate the service and impact of the decorated woman’s military careers. The Hampton Roads Chamber is proud to support this initiative as a sponsor.
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