News: Fort Wainwright observes Women's Equality Day
Story by Sgt. Michael Blalack
FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska - On Aug. 26, 1971, the U.S. Congress announced that the anniversary of the 1920 passing of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote, would serve as a yearly observance of women’s equality.
The 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, hosted Fort Wainwright, Alaska’s Women’s Equality Day observance, Aug. 23.
The observance, held at Fort Wainwright’s Physical Fitness Center, featured Linda Witt, state president of Alaska’s League of Women Voters, as the guest speaker.
Command Sgt. Maj. Frank Leota, U.S. Army Pacific senior-enlisted adviser, Command Sgt. Maj. Bernie Knight, U.S. Army Alaska senior-enlisted adviser, Col. Brian Reed, 1/25 SBCT commander and Command Sgt. Maj. Ray Lewis, 1/25 SBCT senior enlisted adviser, as well as command teams of the Brigade’s seven battalions, attended the event.
The event focused on the struggle for equality and how to continue to make a difference.
“We have the vote, now what are we going to do with it? It takes a lot of work and care to raise an involved citizen,” said Witt. “With folks of all persuasions and descriptions, both men and women, actively engaged and exercising that fundamental and precious right to vote.”
The military has worked to ensure equality, recently opening combat roles to women.
“Equality is a very important topic in the military, where women don’t have such a large presence,” said 2nd Lt. Lindsay Springer, a platoon leader in 184th Military Intelligence Company, 1/25 SBCT, who attended the ceremony. “I appreciate the opportunities I can get today as a woman and a soldier. I feel very blessed that I get a fair opportunity in the Army.”
The observance concluded with Reed and Lewis presenting a gift to the guest speaker.