Written by Dabney B. on Friday, June 1st, 2012
It’s been a complicated week for women in the United States Air Force. One woman is breaking records and challenging gender stereotypes, while a few other women are in hot water for taking a stand.
Let’s start with our best foot forward, shall we? Col. Jeannie Leavitt is a big name for women in the USAF. Not only did she become the USAF’s first female fighter pilot back in 1993, but she also just secured the honor of being the first woman to take command of a fighter wing. The ceremony, which is taking place today, will give Col. Leavitt command of the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina. This will put 5,000 duty men and women and 12,000 civilians under her instruction. If we may be so bold: You go, girl!
Maj. Gen. Lawrence Wells, Leavitt’s superior, had only good things to say about her: “She’s a great wingman. She has everything she needs to be a great commander.” Wells flew with Leavitt in Iraq.
But don’t read this as a crusade by the Department of Defense or the US government against breastfeeding. The USAF does not particularly care about breastfeeding one way or another and does not have an official policy about breastfeeding in uniform. The problem, according to Capt. Keith Kosik, is that they were endorsing an outside cause.
Overall, it sounds like an ever-so-slight loss and a major win for the fight for women’s rights in the military.
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