By unitedweroll on Mar 2, 2012 | In Military News and Support
A salute to some incredibly brave and dedicated American women who certainly made history as we begin the celebration of Women's History Month. I learned a lot from this article and it is one I will keep to read again and again in honor of the women who stepped up when our country needed them - as so many do today, even in the face of duty in harm's way.
Air Force women trace history to World War II
by Martha Lockwood
Defense Media Activity
3/2/2012 - FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (AFNS) -- The Air Force's acceptance of women into the force dates back to long before the first "Women's History Week" celebration in 1978.
In 1942, the U.S. Army Air Corps (USAAC) took the unheard-of step of forming and employing two women's aviation units. That same year, a unit of flight nurses who had not yet quite finished their training, were sent into North Africa on Christmas Day following the Allied invasion in November of that year.
And the history of women--civilian and military--was forever changed.
WASPS, WAFS and a Willingness to Serve
Originally, the idea of using women pilots was first suggested in 1930, but was considered "unfeasible," according to information maintained at the National Museum of the Air Force in Dayton, Ohio.
Then, in mid-1942, an increased need for World War II combat pilots, favored the use of experienced women pilots to fly aircraft on non-combat missions.
Two women's aviation units--The Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS--with a capital S) and the Women's Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) were formed to ease this need. More than 1,000 women participated in these programs as civilians attached to the USAAC, flying 60 million miles of non-combat military missions.
These two units were merged into a single group, the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) program in August 1943, and broke ground for U.S. Air Force female pilots who would follow in their footsteps decades later.
Of the more than 25,000 women who applied for pilot training under the WASP program, 1,830 were accepted, 1,074 were graduated, and 916 (including 16 former WAFS) remained when the program was disbanded in December 1944. WASP assignments were diverse--as flight training instructors, glider tow pilots, towing targets for air-to-air and anti-aircraft gunnery practice, engineering test flying, ferrying aircraft, and other duties.
Although WASPs had the privileges of officers, they were never formally adopted into the USAAC. In November 1977--33 years after the WASPs program was disbanded--President Carter signed a bill granting World War II veterans' status to former WASPs.
It was a slightly different story for flight nurses who were members of the military from the beginning. As it was with so many advances and innovations resulting from World War II, the USAAC radically changed military medical care, and the development of air evacuation and the training of flight nurses were advanced to meet this need.
After the invasion of North Africa in November 1942, the need for flight nurses exceeded the supply, and women who had not yet finished their training were called into action and sent to North Africa on Christmas Day. Finally, in February 1943, the first class of Army Nurse Corps flight nurses graduated.
Unlike their stateside-stationed counterparts in the WASPs, flight nurses (nicknamed "Winged Angels") in the Army Nurse Corps served in combat. They were especially vulnerable to enemy attacks because aircraft used for evacuation could not display their non-combat status.
These same aircraft were also used to transport military supplies. In anticipation and preparation for almost any emergency, flight nurses were required to learn crash procedures, receive survival training, and know the effects of high altitude on a vast array of pathologies.
Of the nearly 1.2 million patients air evacuated throughout the war, only 46 died en route. About 500 USAAC nurses (only 17 died in combat) served as members of 31 medical air evacuation transport squadrons throughout the world.
When President Harry Truman signed The National Security Act of 1947, creating the Department of Defense, the U. S. Air Force became a separate military service. At the time, a number of Women's Army Corps (WACs) members continued serving in the Army but performed Air Force duties.
The following year, some WACs chose to transfer to the Women's Air Force (WAFs--with a lower case s) when it finally became possible to do so.
Originally, the WAFs were limited to 4,000 enlisted women and 300 female officers, all of whom were encouraged to fill a variety of ground duty roles--mostly clerical and medical--but were not to be trained as pilots, even though the USAAC had graduated the first class of female pilots in April 1943, during wartime.
In 1976, when women were accepted into the Air Force on an equal basis with men, the WAF program ended, but not before many milestones were achieved and marked along the way in preparation for today's Air Force woman.
The WAFs in Evolution
The first WAF recruit was Sgt. Esther Blake who enlisted on July 8, 1948, in the first minute of the first day that regular Air Force duty was authorized for women. She had been a WAC, and she transferred in from Fort McPherson, Ga.
The first recruits reported to Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, in 1948. When basic training was desegregated in the Air Force the following year, many African-American women recruits joined, even though the integration of quarters and mess had not yet been achieved.
At first, WAFs wore men's uniforms with neckties. It was "a look" that didn't last long, and winter uniforms for WAFs were modeled after flight attendants' uniforms, using the same material as the men's winter uniforms.
The necktie was abandoned early on, and was replaced with tabs on the collar. The summer uniform--a two-piece dress made of cotton-cord seersucker--didn't fare as well. Ill-fitting, it required frequent ironing. It would be years before a suitable women's uniform would be achieved.
Milestones Along the Way
In its 10-year lifespan, from 1951 to 1961, the 543rd Air Force Band (WAF) was served by 235 women musicians, with approximately 50 members at any one time. This band, the WAF Band as it was known, along with the all-male Air Force Band, served as ambassadors of the Air Force simultaneously.
The WAF band marched in both of President Eisenhower's inaugural parades, and they played for President Kennedy's inauguration, among other concert engagements throughout the nation. The band was deactivated in 1961. Some say that it was a victim of its own success.
It was during this same time period--1956--that a WAF section was introduced into the college-level Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program, and by 1959 four universities were running ROTC WAF sections. By 1970, they had achieved a national presence.
Concurrent with the expansion of the ROTC women's cadet program, Congress passed Public Law 90-130 in 1967, lifting grade restrictions and strength limitations on women in the military.
And with the end of Selective Service (the "draft") in 1973, recruiting practices changed. Shortly afterwards--1976--the separate status of WAF was abolished, and women entered pilot training as military personnel for the first time. (The WASPS and WAFS of World War II had come in to service as civilians with pilots' licenses.) Our country's bicentennial year also saw women entering the service academies, which had not been opened to them prior to President Ford's administration.
By 1993, women were receiving fighter pilot training, and Lt. Gen. Susan J. Helms (then Maj. Helms), member of the first class of the U. S. Air Force Academy to graduate women, was also the first American military woman in space as part of the Space Shuttle Endeavor team.
Coming, full circle, the final chapter for the WAFS and WASPS of World War II was achieved in 1977, when President Jimmy Carter awarded them full status as veterans, complete with benefits. A fitting epilogue was added in 2010 with the awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal. Today, there are approximately 300 of the original women air force pilots still living.
By the Numbers
The milestones cited above are just that--the highlights of women in service to their country. Each day, women in the Air Force distinguish themselves and honor those who have gone before them by doing the jobs that matter to us all--performing in professional, administrative, technical and clerical positions.
Women make up 19 percent of all Air Force military personnel and 30.5 percent of all civilian personnel. Of the female officers, 55 percent of the female officers are line officers, and 45 percent are non-line. Of the 328,423 active duty personnel, 62,316 are women, with 712 female pilots, 259 navigators and 183 air battle managers.
Women's History Month
Today, Women's History Month awareness for all the armed services is initiated by the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute headquartered at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla.. Among the tools and initiatives for observing this month-long celebration of the role women have played throughout history, the Institute is making available a free download of this year's Women's National History Project poster, "Women's Education--Women's Empowerment."
Empowerment of women has strengthened the services. Starting with the WASPS and WAFS of World War II, through the WAFs of the '50s and '60s, through the acceptance and promotion of women at the service academies, each generation of women and their evolved sense of service to their country, has prepared the future for generations of women seeking unlimited opportunity.
(Martha Lockwood is the chief of Air Force Information Products, Defense Media Activity)
By unitedweroll on Mar 2, 2012 | In Military News and Support
An outstanding commentary and life lesson to be shared with all ages by
Lt. Col. Oliver Leeds of the 92nd Air Refueling Squadron Commander
Leave your shell behind; the lesson of the lobster
Commentary by Lt. Col. Oliver Leeds
92nd Air Refueling Squadron Commander
2/29/2012 - FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. (AFNS) -- As a child growing up in New York City, I didn't have much, but I did have a pet lobster and an early philosophy lesson (okay, it was actually a crayfish, but in my youth I didn't know the difference).
Every morning when I woke, the first thing I did was run to the fish tank to see my "lobster." One morning, a rather appalling sight greeted me: a hollow shell. It looked like the lobster, but it had become transparent, it lacked tentacles and it was definitely not moving.
My father reassured me that he wasn't dead and gone; he had shed his shell and was watching us from behind a rock. But why was he hiding? My father explained the lobster was vulnerable without his shell, and he hid to seek safety.
I don't remember how old I was when this happened, but I found fault with this explanation: "If the lobster needs to be safe and he's safe inside his shell, then why would he ever leave his shell?" In answering this question, my father sprung my first philosophy lesson on me: "If he never leaves his shell, he never gets any bigger."
Throughout my life, the number of times I've reflected on that lesson is astounding. Safety is essential, but it's not our purpose. We are programmed for growth; it's in our DNA. People from all walks of life face frequent choices between these two imperatives: to leave our "comfort bubbles" and dare something new, or to play it safe? Tragically, many choose to deny themselves life's challenges in order to play it safe and, like Shakespeare's cowards, they "die many times before their deaths."
This is not to suggest we should be anti-safety. Safety is a mindset that serves us well -- especially when we "leave our shells" -- but pursued as an ultimate end, results in nothing. Like the lobster, we ought to think of growth as the given assumption and safety as a way to manage all the vulnerabilities that go with it.
The Air Force term for growth is "professional development." That kind of growth requires us to change jobs, take new assignments and even live in new countries. In each new environment, we listen more, and we learn fast. We harden our shells with the confidence of new knowledge, and, at the end of the process, we are "bigger" in our minds and safe, too. We thrive, we lead.
Until the itch to leave our shells begins again.
By unitedweroll on Feb 28, 2012 | In Military News and Support
United We Roll World Tour Show
Stardust Radio www.stardustradio.com
Tuesday 2/28/12 2:00pm- 4:00pm Central (Live)
Wednesday 2/29/12 6:30pm- 8:30pm Central (Repeat)
Welcome Stardust Listeners - We thank you for joining us here on Tuesday, February 28th. Though it is the 28th, it is not the last day of February for 2012 as this is Leap Year and we have one more day to go in this month.
This has been a tough week with the loss of lives in Afghanistan. In our area, we have 6 Fallen Heroes who are being greatly missed and our prayers are with the families, friends and unit members.
One very sad situation that happened this past week is a reflection on the technology that we have at our hands today - and that we need to be responsible in how we use it. One wife found out through Facebook that her husband had been killed in the line of duty before she could be properly notified.
Also, since this has made the news, it might be a good idea to be very cautious about any such postings on any social media. If you do hear something, do not post it until it is verified - sometimes being the first with the news is not the most important thing. We also know how sensationalism can bring out some real kooks, so again, please be responsible with the items that you post on Facebook or any such website. If it involves someone else, let them post their own news when they are ready.
Today, we are bringing you three wonderful interviews. We begin with a couple of visits from Transit Center Manas in the Kyrgyz Republic where so much goes on 24 hours per day. Then we will visit with a 1Sgt from our new Army unit, the 3rd ESC.
Our show will end at 4:00pm Central. Remember, if you are not able to stay with us through the afternoon, this show will repeat again tomorrow evening - that is Wednesday, Feb 8th at 6:30pm Central.
(2:12pm) This afternoon, our first interview comes to us from Transit Center Manas in the Kyrgyz Republic as we visit with SSgt Trinity Stevens, who is deployed with the 37rth AEW (Air Expeditionary Wing) in the Public Affairs Office. As a Broadcaster and Videographer, SSgt Stevens has wide ranging opportunities to cover stories from military business to local culture and human interest. Raised by parents who served in the Navy, SSgt Stevens carries on the family's patriotic legacy and brings us a wonderful visit. We wish this wife and mom a wonderful homecoming at the end of her deployment.
(2:50pm) Our next guest was with us just a few weeks ago and had such an outstanding visit, that we asked him to come back and give us an update before heading home. Joining us is Capt Steve Martin who is also stationed at TC Manas in the Kyrgyzs Republic with the 376th AEW where he serves as the Medical Director for the TSC Humanitarian Assistance Program. As you will hear, the projects that come out of the TSC and the volunteer hours that are put in by the men and women on deployment are amazing. It is no wonder that we needed Capt Martin to come back again before he heads home to fill us in and we look forward to more updates by his replacement in the future. Thank you for a job well done and we wish you a joyful homecoming.
(3:28pm) Our third guest represents our fourth visit with the 3rd ESC (Expeditionary Sustainment Command) that is in the process of preparing for their deployment to Afghanistan. 1Sgt Kevin Fields is the HHC 1Sgt for the 3rd ESC and will share with us what type of responsibilities his job involves as well as a soldier's view of preparing for deployment. We know from previous visits that being a 1Sgt takes a special person who is skilled on many levels, and we will hear from 1Sgt Fields how this applies to him and his duties. We will also hear about his experience as a Drill Instructor, which has to be an interesting duty in many ways.
Once again we are very grateful to have the opportunity to bring you these beautiful visits with our Heroes of Freedom today and every Tuesday. We hope that you have enjoyed them and will join us again next week, Tuesday, February 21st for more interviews and news from our military members as they stand guard over our country and our freedom.
As always, our hearts and our prayers go out to all of our military members and Veterans, our first responders and to all their families, who also serve.
Of course, we thank all of you, our Stardust Listeners, for tuning in to United We Roll and to all of our programs here at Stardust Radio today and over the past ten years.
MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL & MAY GOD BLESS AMERICA!
TRANSIT CENTER MANAS
BRINGING YOU WEEKLY VISITS FROM DEPLOYED MEMBERS
WHO SUPPORT A CRITICAL MISSION AND STILL FIND
TIME TO REACH OUT TO THE LOCAL COMMUNITY
SCHOOLS, ORPHANAGES, ELDERLY AND MORE.
"SUSTAINING THE LINE!"
JOIN US FOR INTERVIEWS WITH THE
US ARMY 3d ESC (EXPEDITIONARY SUSTAINMENT COMMAND)
AS DEPLOYMENT PREP WINDS UP AND
MEMBERS HEAD TO AFGHANISTAN
Stardust Radio Network Inc
To hear our broadcasts - go to www.stardustradio.com and click the Listen Live button. A sound box from Live 365 will appear where you can adjust the settings to suit your listening pleasure. If you see red colored bars in the volume indicator, that means that station sound is buffering and it will turn to green and begin to play shortly. There is no fee for the service as provided.
Local Area Riverside, Iowa - Tune in to 1690 AM radio
Past Show MP3 Tapes - Are available on our show archive site at www.stardustradio.info. Go to the main page, click on the show name button on the left, then scroll down to the show you wish to hear or download.
For more news & articles on current happenings, please visit our United We Roll sites at:
Stardust Radio – www.stardustradio.com
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By unitedweroll on Feb 27, 2012 | In Military News and Support
Release No: 040
Feb. 27, 2012
Health professions officers to be considered for command
by Debbie Gildea
Air Force Personnel, Services and Manpower Public Affairs
RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Medical career field development teams are slated to meet in May and June to consider eligible officers for medical squadron command, Air Force Personnel Center officials announced this week. Officers selected will fill command vacancies between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2013.
Eligible officers include regular Air Force lieutenant colonels and lieutenant colonel-selects who have been on station since Sept. 1, 2011 or earlier. Aerospace medicine residents and in-residence senior developmental education students who will graduate in 2013 are also eligible, as are nurse corps and medical service corps SDE equivalent program students slated to graduate in 2013. Dental corps, medical corps and medical service corps officers who have successfully commanded once already may compete for a larger squadron, depending on their development team recommendation.
Airmen who want to be considered for command must indicate that interest on the Airmen Development Plan statement of intent, said Lt. Col Angie Ogawa, AFPC Medical Force Management Branch chief. The statement must be endorsed by the candidate’s senior rater or senior rater’s designee, and the senior rater must submit it to AFPC no later than April 6.
The biomedical sciences corps development team will meet May 13-19, and the dental corps board will meet the following week, May 20-26. Medical corps DT members will meet June 3-9; the medical service corps DT will be June 10-16; and nurse corps DT members will meet June 24-30.
Command is not for everyone, so some eligible officers will decline consideration, and some who apply will not be selected. Those who do not want to be considered must submit their declination by April 6, Ogawa said.
“We have fewer command openings than interested candidates, generally, so not all officers who apply will be selected. Command is a critical component in developing Air Force leaders, and the responsibility inherent in the position demands that we carefully assess every candidate and select those who will serve the Air Force’s needs,” said Ogawa.
Officers selected for the command candidate list are considered volunteers for worldwide command opportunities, including indeterminate temporary duty positions, and those named to the command candidate list who are not initially selected for a command position will remain on the list and may be considered for an unanticipated command opening.
For more information about command opportunities and other personnel issues, visit the Air Force Personnel Services website at https://gum-crm.csd.disa.mil.
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Follow us on Facebook at US Air Force Life and Career or on Twitter at AFCareers and USAF_Services.
For more news and information, visit: Air Force Manpower Agency, Air Force Personnel Center, and Air Force Services Agency.
By unitedweroll on Feb 27, 2012 | In Military News and Support
I know that I am only one of millions of Americans who is concerned for the health and welfare of our military
members and their families. I wish I could actively do something so this breaking heart will begin to feel
that it is reaching out and letting our Heroes of Freedom and their families know how very much I care and
how much I want to help them to have a secure, healthy and happy life.
Well, maybe I can't be hands on, but I can certainly participate through one or more of the many organizations
who can reach out with our help. So, folks, instead of saying how much we wish we could help - LET'S DO IT!
And let's start by saluting these Vet Centers and the people in them who are there to help our Vets and their families!
300 Vet Centers Here for Vets Who Served in Combat Zones
Combat Zone Vets: Recognize any of these?
„X My marriage is falling apart.
„X I have trouble sleeping.
„X I am always on edge, always tense.
„X I think my kids are afraid of me.
„X I am drinking more every day.
„X I can¡¦t find a job.
You can find the support you need at your local Vet Center.
If you are a Veteran who has served in any combat zone, you can receive a broad range of counseling, outreach, and referral services at Vet Centers to help you make a satisfying post-war readjustment to civilian life.
This benefit is prepaid through your military service.
There are 300 Vet Centers across the US and surrounding territories.
In 2010, the Vet Center program provided 1,273,035 visits to 191,508 Veterans and their families.
Not sure if you want to go in and see people face-to-face? Want to talk about it first?
1-877-WAR-VETS (927-8387) is an around the clock confidential call center where combat Veterans and their families can call to talk about their military experience or any other issue they are facing in their readjustment to civilian life.
The staff is comprised of combat Veterans from several eras as well as families members of combat Veterans. Meet them here.
In Fiscal Year 2010, the Vet Center program provided 1,273,035 visits to 191,508 Veterans and their families.
The Vet Center Program was established by Congress in 1979 out of the recognition that a significant number of Vietnam era vets were still experiencing readjustment problems.
The programs now covers Veterans who served during other periods of armed hostilities after the Vietnam era, including Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, the Persian Gulf, Somalia, and Kosovo/Bosnia. WWII and Korean Combat Veterans are also eligible.
Vet Center services are also available to Veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and subsequent operations within the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT).
The family members of all Veterans listed above are eligible for Vet Center services as well. Bereavement counseling services are provided to surviving parents, spouses, children and siblings of service members who die of any cause while on active duty, including federally activated Reserve and National Guard personnel.
Vet Centers are community based and part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. For all the details on the programs available, visit the Vet Center site.
Vet Centers on the Road
In addition to the 300 Vet Centers around the world, VA is making health care and readjustment counseling more accessible for Veterans in rural and underserved communities with Mobile Vet Centers.
Read about the unveiling of a new Mobile Vet Center (MVC) at the Indianapolis Vet Center.
MVC vehicles are maximized for multi-use and include confidential counseling space to be used for outreach and remote counseling. They also provide VA enrollment capabilities and can even be used for preventive care health screenings.
By unitedweroll on Feb 16, 2012 | In Military News and Support
Hampton VA Medical Center
The Salvation Army, working with the Hampton VA Medical Center and in partnership with the City of Hampton, will relocate Veterans currently housed in a leased building on the medical center campus. The building, which is planned for demolition, currently houses about 50 Veterans residing in the facility as part of The Salvation Army’s transitional housing program.
“We are faced with a 100-year-old building that is not feasible to repair,” said Major Kim Feinauer, corps officer for The Salvation Army VA Peninsula. “Our joint task force is looking at every option available to ensure the well-being and security of our Veterans as we move forward.”
The lease for the current facility expires May 31 and efforts are underway by The Salvation Army, the city and the medical center to create a comprehensive plan to relocate these Veterans within the local area.
“The Salvation Army provides an important service to the community that we would not want to do without,” said DeAnne Seekins, director of the Hampton VAMC. “Our relationship with community partners is very strong and, together, we will ensure that our homeless Veterans seeking The Salvation Army services do not fall through the cracks.”
In January, a survey team determined that building repair costs would be in excess of $3.4 million.
“Veteran homelessness is a community issue,” said Bruce Sturk, director of Federal Facility Support for the City of Hampton. “A community team effort is necessary and we are embracing this approach.”
Seekins said that she and her staff are committed to eliminating Veteran homelessness and that homeless coordinators will continue to work hand-in-hand with all local organizations toward that goal.
Organizations offering ideas or opportunities to provide alternative housing should contact The Salvation Army at (757) 838-4875.
By Public Affairs