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March time to recount women’s history, military achievements

RENO -- March is Women's History Month, a perfect time to remember the contributions of women to America's military history.

Women have been on the front lines of every American conflict since the earliest days of colonization. In many cases, women were nurses and provided logistical support.
In some famous cases, women in support roles rose to action when the men in front of them fell in battle such as Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley, who went on to be known as Molly Pitcher. McCauley became a figure of pride overnight for women in the military.
Women have become so engrained in the military that it's impossible to picture our military services without both genders.

Operations Group 1st Sgt. Angela Ash said women's his­tory month is meaningful to her both personally and professionally.
"It's an important month for every­one," she said. "It's a time we can highlight all the accomplishments women have given to our society."

In 1948, the U.S. Congress passed the Women's Armed Services Integration Act, granting women permanent status in the regular and reserve forces of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force. Today, women serve in almost every capacity in the armed forces, including in combat zones on land, at sea and in the skies.

More than 100,000 women have served as fighter pilots, medics, mili­tary police, and in other frontline positions since the beginning of the Global War on Terrorism.
Ash said women bring a different perspective to the military. She used the ex­ample of family:

"Family is important to service members, and I think family assistance re­sources have grown exponentially as more women gain influence in the military," she said.
Ash said she'd like to see more women in the upper echelons of military leadership, but she's optimistic more women will attain leadership positions in the wake of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Everything women have accomplished since the War on Terrorism began has opened the doors for women in the military for the future," she said. "It's interesting to see how far we've come in the past 10 years."

The Nevada Guard will host a Women's History Month Presentation in the 152nd Airlift Wing Auditorium, 1776 National Guard Way in Reno, on March 28 at 3 p.m. Military identification is required.