Local

March 31, 2012

Female Airmen reflect Air Force’s future

Tags:
By 1st Lt Ken Lustig
99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brett Clashman
U.S. Air Force Maj. Jennifer Aupke, 88th Test and Evaluation Squadron helicopter pilot, poses with an HH-60G Pavehawk Jan. 6, 2012, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Aupke is responsible for operational testing and evaluation of new equipment and systems.

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – “Women don’t get as far as men do because they fritter around. They have to spend money and time on clothes and cosmetics and things like that. They just about get started and they fall in love, too. Men are different. When they start flying they stick to it. If they have a girl, they bring the girl to the field. Pretty soon she’s flying, too “” sometimes.”

Evelyn Kilgore, a flight instructor at Tri-City Airport in southern California, made this assessment of female candidates for wartime pilot instruction in 1942, at the beginning of U.S. mobilization for World War II. According to the Smithsonian Studies in Air and Space publication United States Women in Aviation, 1940-1985, Kilgore was a Civilian Pilot Training Program instructor, training women as pilots, many of whom would go on to support critical military training, ferry and supply missions. Though her comments are ironic in context of her position, these words reflected the prevailing views of American society at the time.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Cynthia Bryant, 99th Security Forces Squadron security response leader, stands in front of her military vehicle March 23, 2012, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Bryant maintains security of Air Force resources around the installation from sabotage, espionage, subversion and attack.

Kilgore’s words ignored the achievements of pioneering women, who had advanced every area of aviation from the infancy of heavier-than-air aircraft to the “hero age” of flight in the 1920s and ’30s. Women had competed right alongside men in breaking records and expanding the horizons of flight at a dizzying pace, just as they had taken on the unsung roles that made flight safer, more useful and widespread. And — though they were seldom recognized by their contemporaries — women had served the military in every conflict, sometimes in combat, from the Revolutionary War onward.

Despite her own prejudices, female pilots such as Kilgore were actually laying the foundations for women to serve in the future U.S. Air Force. They faced parallel challenges to the service itself, which was, at the time, also exceeding expectations and overcoming biases on its path to become a separate service in 1947.

Women would continue to overcome challenges, from the time they were accepted in limited roles into the military through President Truman’s Women’s Armed Services Integration Act in 1948, to the time the separate status of military women was ended in 1976 and beyond.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Heather Jones, 99 Civil Engineer Squadron fire protection journeymen, poses in front of a P-23 aircraft rescue fire fighting vehicle at the east-side fire station March 22, 2012, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Jones is a first line responder for structural fires, aerial crashes and medical emergencies.

Today, in another time of armed conflict for America, women are an integral part of the Air Force. It is important to highlight their role because the biased viewpoints of the past, and even those of the present, must continue to be challenged for progress to be made in the future. History is full of cases where those who said something cannot be done are proven wrong by those who are already doing it.

These women’s service represents the huge number of roles now performed by Air Force women with the same integrity, personal sacrifice and excellence expected of all Airmen, male or female. Collectively, they reflect their hard-won place in the history of the service, history which continues to be made through their service to our nation.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Charles Larkin Sr.

First sergeant provides health, welfare for warriors

U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Charles Larkin Sr. Master Sgt. Phelipe Salinas speaks to his athletes during the 2014 Warrior Games at the Garry Berry Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colo., Oct. 2. Salinas is the first sergean...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis

Armory: A home for weapons

U.S. Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis Senior Airman Jaime Romo, 99th Security Forces Squadron armorer, puts a M-240 rifle away after clearing the weapon at the 99th SFS armory at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev...
 
 
DT2

57th MXG locked, loaded

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika Airman 1st Class Maurice Isom, 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Strike Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons loader, tightens the connection between an inert missile and an aircraf...
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Stan Parker

Nellis Open House returns Nov. 8-9

U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Stan Parker The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds perform the Diamond Clover-Loop Opener to kick off their performance during the final day of the Artic Thunder air show at Joint Base Elmendorf-Ric...
 
 
New-pg3-photo

Nellis AFB hosts Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek, an internationally renowned speaker and author, uses a metal detector to locate a mine set up by Explosive Ordinance Disposal Airmen at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Oct. 1. Sinek’s visit also included interaction...
 
 
DT2

From Airmen to Rangers: RAC first step to coveted Ranger tab

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler Ranger Assessment Course students wait for their turn to complete the water survival portion of the course at the Municipal Pool, Las Vegas, Oct. 2. Airmen from any Air F...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin