FORT HOOD — III Corps and Fort Hood hosted a Women’s History Month event at the Phantom Warrior Center on Fort Hood Thursday.
This year’s theme on women who fight all forms of discrimination honors and celebrates women who have helped shape America’s history and future through their leadership in public service.
The ceremony began with the reading of a presidential proclamation designating March 2018 as Women’s History Month, followed by several examples of women throughout this country’s history that made significant contributions to end discrimination against women. Women like Sandra Day O’Conner, the first woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, to Kathy Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon.
So, it was only fitting that Brig. Gen. Susan Escallier, assistant judge advocate for Military Law and Operations, who also ran in the Boston Marathon, was this year’s guest speaker.
“I am very mindful of the fact that I am here where I am because of those who have gone before me,” Escallier said. “I am very grateful for women who served in the Women’s Army Corps, I am mindful of the fact that women hadn’t had the right to vote in this country for 100 years.”
Escallier said while it’s important to remember the contributions of those early trailblazers, it was equally important for others to follow in their footsteps.
“We gain strength through our diversity and inclusion,” Escallier said. “I don’t think of myself as a female officer, I’m a soldier and I’m a judge advocate.”
Escallier talked about compartmentalizing, dividing people into categories by gender rather than on their competency and leadership attributes, and the importance of not just celebrating and remembering the different monthly observances during their respective months, but throughout the entire year.
“We celebrate the Fourth of July every year, but we don’t put our patriotism on the shelf for 364 days, then dust it off the next year,” Escallier said. “Treat women’s history, and the other histories the same way.”