Adder celebrates Women's History Month

Story and photo by Pfc. Lisa A. Cope
139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs

CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq — The 732nd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 36th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) hosted a Women's History Month observance on March 8, which was International Women's Day, at Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq.

International Women's Day is a global celebration of the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.

Women's History Month is something to be celebrated universally, not just by women, said Command Sgt. Maj. Elizabeth Shockley, the senior enlisted adviser with the 36th Sustainment Brigade out of Temple, Texas, the guest speaker and a Richardson, Texas, native.

"Women are everywhere in our lives," she said. "They are someone's mom, someone's sister, someone's little girl, someone's auntie or grandmother. Women have been a huge source of inspiration for people throughout time."

Shockley said women sometimes face different obstacles than men in the military.

"It is very hard coming up as a female Soldier," she said. "You have to get past that stigma of wanting to prove yourself in every circumstance. I would encourage young female Soldiers to find that comfort of who they are and what they find important, and strive to always … live the Army values."

On Nov. 14, 2008, General Ann E. Dunwoody became the first female four-star general in the Army. Shockley said Dunwoody is a great example of a female leader, and that women should follow her example and strive to be in leadership positions.

"(Women should) always strive to improve their education and their training, so that they too can be in positions of leadership," she said. "That is where other female Soldiers will get their sources of inspiration. We need to keep seeing women in leadership positions, and General Dunwoody is an outstanding example of that in the U.S. Army."

Staff Sgt. Manny Rodriguez, the equal opportunity representative and operations noncommissioned officer with A Company, 412th Aviation Support Battalion, 12th Combat Aviation Brigade out of Ansbach, Germany, sings with the Tallil Gospel Choir, who performed during the ceremony. She said she tries to set a good example of what a woman should be to her children.

"I think that a woman should have some form of foundation," she said. "I consider my foundation (to be) God, so I pray a lot and my children pray a lot."

Rodriguez said the ceremony was a good way to recognize females in the military.

"Being a woman and a mom in the military, I think that it is good for women to get some sort of recognition for the things that they do," she said. "I consider myself a part of history every day."

At the conclusion of the event, the winners of the art, poetry and writing contests presented their work, and each was presented with an Army Achievement Medal for their contribution.


news photo
Spc. Kriztine L. Mancilla, a petroleum supply specialist with the 40th Quartermaster Company, 732nd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 36th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) out of Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, and an Anchorage, Alaska, native, shares the inspiration for her winning illustration in the art competition at the women's history month observance, March 8 at Memorial Hall at Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq.