Posted in Veterans News

Veterans Legacy Program: Pfc. Rose F. Puchalla, a woman’s sacrifice during World War II

Photograph of Pfc. Rose F. Puchalla in her Army uniform.

Pfc. Rose F. Puchalla was one of the nearly 150,000 women who served in the Women’s Army Corps during World War II. Her service contributed an important part to both the war and the future generations of women in the military. In recognition of Women’s History Month, the National Cemetery Administration honors the service and sacrifice of Pfc. Puchalla and the thousands of other women who served during the war.

On April 13, 1944, Puchalla enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps, a newly established branch of the U.S. Army. For the first time, the Army allowed women to serve in hundreds of occupations other than a nurse. The Women’s Army Corps proved to be a very valuable addition to the Army. General Dwight D. Eisenhower praised the servicewomen for their “immeasurable efficiency, skill, spirit and determination.” These early servicewomen laid the foundation for the opportunity of greater military service for future generations of women.

The Army assigned Puchalla to the 1202nd Army Air Force Base Unit. She arrived in West Africa in November 1944 with 158 other servicewomen. The Gold Coast in West Africa served as…

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By the Numbers: Crowdsourcing a Veterans History Project

The following is a guest blog post by Owen Rogers, a Liaison Specialist for the Veterans History Project (VHP). This is the final post in a six-part Women’s History Month series.

Through VHP’s online database, we learn about the women veterans who make history. What about the women who record it?

In addition to the veterans featured in both product and process, VHP participants shape history through a “do it yourself” methodology. Crowdsourced collections, the product of VHP, are as fascinating as its process, namely, the decisions that influence individual acts of preservation. Ultimately, the organic pairing of veterans and volunteer interviewers determines whose voices are historic.

There are several critical considerations when crowdsourcing veterans’ collections. Whereas the Library of Congress reduces barriers to participation through a permanent repository, pedagogical support and program evaluation, the entire effort balances on two critical populations: willing veterans and volunteer interviewers. Altogether, veterans comprise less than 1 percent of the national population. There are, however, more veterans now than when the project was legislated in 2000. Though a minority…

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VA to host first women-owned small business industry day


VA will host an industry day March 28 in Springfield, Virginia, aimed at attracting women-owned small businesses to learn more about initiating and conducting business with VA.

The industry day, also open to service-disabled Veteran-owned small businesses and Veteran-owned small businesses, will include presentations, panel discussions and one-on-one sessions with VA program and small-business experts.

Presenters will include representatives from VA’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, General Services Administration and the Small Business Administration.

“VA is committed to expanding contracting opportunities to women-owned small businesses,” said VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin. “It is fitting that we hold this event during National Women’s History Month in March as we celebrate the significant contributions of women and reflect on VA’s proud history of serving women Veterans.”

The event is sponsored by VA’s Customer Advocacy and Vendor Advisory Service in conjunction with the Strategic Acquisition Center.

For more information, visit Federal Business Opportunities.

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Women in the Armed Forces: A Century of Service by Faircount Media Group

Published on Mar 7, 2018

Women in the Armed Forces: A Century of Service

Women in the Armed Forces: A Century of Service

Published on Mar 7, 2018

Women in the Armed Forces: A Century of Service publication captures the history of 100 years of women in the military, both formally and in…

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As the Army turns to functional fitness testing, is the end of gender standards near?

“You can’t use that excuse, because we’re all held to the same standard,” Maj. Nick Barringer, a former nutritionist for the 75th Ranger Regiment and member of the Ranger Athlete Warrior team. “You can’t say, you know, ‘So-and-so shoots better, but they don’t have to run as fast.’ You’ve taken that out of the equation now.”

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Military Changing Body Armor to Accommodate Women’s Hairstyles

As women enter ground combat fields in larger numbers, the military services are working harder to make gender-specific accommodations for their gear — even down to tweaking protective equipment to fit around longer hair.

According to presentations prepared by the Army and the Marine Corps for the Pentagon’s Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services, both services are making independent changes to ensure gear fits correctly for women with hair buns.

A presentation prepared by Army Lt. Col. Ginger L. Whitehead, product manager for Soldier Protective Equipment, shows a recently introduced version of the Female Improved Outer Tactical Vest, or FIOTV, includes a yoke-and-collar assembly that dips in the back to accommodate a hair bun, along with other fit improvements to offer better ballistic protection for women.

Feedback from soldiers is also leading to helmet improvements, the presentation shows.

Women in uniform complained that the “X-Back” design of the apparatus holding the chin straps interfered with hair buns, making it difficult for the helmet to fit securely on the head, with the straps in the proper places. According to the presentation, the Army is…

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Navy’s first female flag officer Alene Duerk turns 98

Duerk, who is celebrating her 98th birthday Wednesday, was born in Defiance, Ohio. She entered the Navy in 1943, initially as a ward nurse at the Portsmouth and Bethesda naval hospitals. She also served on the Benevolence in the Pacific, helping repatriate U.S. prisoners of war.

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Newburg VA Clinic adds specialized facilities for women and geri

LOUISVILLE,Ky. (WDRB) — A new clinic will deliver more health care options to veterans, and it’s right in their own neighborhood.

The Newburg VA Clinic on Newburg Road had a ribbon-cutting Friday to unveil two new clinics — one for women and another for Geriatric and Extended Care.

The expansion includes new exam rooms and specialized services. Mammograms, ultrasounds and bone density tests will be offered, along with nutrition and weight loss classes for women.

There will also be a “memory” clinic will help treat dementia and other needs for seniors.

Lee Handel from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says the clinics should be much more convenient for vets.

“They provide lots of different care that they can’t necessarily get. It’s also localized here in the community, so they don’t have to worry about driving to Zorn Avenue for that care. It’s right there in their own neighborhood,” said Handel.

The project also includes a renovation of the clinic’s primary care space.

Copyright 2018 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.

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Kate Germano Talks About Hew New Book, “Fight Like A Girl,” and #MeToo

In 2015, Kate Germano became the first woman to be fired from the Marine Corps Fourth Recruit Training Battalion. Why? After one year, the 1,000 women under her command equaled their male counterparts in shooting qualifications, injuries and behavioral issues had decreased, and their quality of life had improved, reasons she maintains led to her firing.

Her removal sparked controversy widely covered by the press, partly due to an article she penned before her firing, “When Did It Become an Insult to Train Like a Girl?” that was pulled from being published in the Marine Corps Gazette and later published in full in the New York Times. The article calls out what she saw as institutional patterns that ensured female recruits weren’t trained as tough as their male counterparts, leading them to lower performance and fewer opportunities.

We talked to Germano, who lives in National Harbor, about her new book, Fight Like A Girl: The Truth Behind How Female Marines Are Trained and what she considers systemic gender bias in the Marines (which remains the only branch to separate men from women during training), its particular resonance in light of the Me Too movement, and what she’d say to Trump.

Why…

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VA recognizes female veterans, anticipates future needs | The Daily Courier

Photo by Max Efrein.

The Northern Arizona VA Health Care System hosted an event on Tuesday, March 20, to recognize female veterans and discuss their healthcare needs moving forward.

Beltran Steele joined the U.S. Marine Corps at a time when women were just starting to be recognized as a permanent part of the military service.

It was 1950, only two years after Congress passed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act. The law permitted women to serve as full members of the U.S. armed forces. The positions open to them, however, were severely limited.

“I went in hoping I would get combat training, but in those days it was clerk typist or mechanic,” Steele said. “So while my brothers were in Korea, I was at a supply depot in San Francisco.”

Additionally, as part of the legislation, women could only make up 2 percent of the enlisted force and 10 percent of officers. This limit wasn’t repealed until 1967; and it wasn’t until the military transitioned to an all-volunteer force in 1973 that woman began to see a dramatic increase in the number of military roles…

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