Each year the women’s contributions to the world are recognized in a month-long event known simply as “Women’s History Month.”

Each year the women’s contributions to the world are recognized in a month-long event known simply as “Women’s History Month.”

To celebrate those significant contributions that have forever altered societal standards and upheld the belief that all are created equal, the 14th Military Police Brigade on behalf of Fort

Leonard Wood and MANSCEN held a ceremony to honor those who have come before and those who are still blazing trails today.

“This is such an important occasion,”? said Col. Randall Twitchell, 14th Military Police Brigade Commander. “It has been my privilege through those years to serve with many great women who wear the uniform.”

Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, a Rolla High graduate, spoke at the event, telling those in attendance that the gains made by women in both the military and in society have not been made easily, and the work that is being done is encouraging.

“When I think about the strides that women have made during the course of America's history, there are two words that come to mind. And those are perseverance and determination,”?Carnahan said.

Sharing a story about a group of soldiers who were shot down during World War II, she relayed the importance of those two qualities. 

While all those on the plane survived the crash, though many were badly injured, they found out that rescue would not be possible. The nearest American post was 300 miles away.

Unsure of how they would make it, their commander asked if they could walk just 10 miles. And he did that everyday until they had walked all 300 miles, Carnahan said.

“It’s not always accomplished in one, giant leap,”?she said of change. “It is more often accomplished when we know the direction we want to go, and continue to take a series of steps, however, small, to get in that direction.

“And if you look at the history of women in our country those same concepts hold true,”?she continued. “There have been women throughout history and throughout our time that have made terrific contributions, but certainly have been no great leap.”

“It wasn't that long ago that the number of women in the military was almost nonexistent,” she said, praising the military for its efforts in making equality between the sexes the status quo.

“Women today are military officers, they're commanders, they're generals, they're senators, they're governors,”?she said. “There is no more fitting place to recognize women’s history than Fort Leonard Wood, where so many women serve our country everyday.”?

Today, about 15 percent of the military police force is female and statewide there are more than 35,000 female veterans.

Sgt. Hallie Crawford and Staff Sgt. Jennifer Martin, both Marines, spoke after the event, sharing their perspective of how women have advanced in the military.

“We’ve come a long ways,”?Crawford said.

Martin agreed and recognized that the changes that have been made are positive ones that make the future of women in uniform bright.

“I’m proud every day to wear the uniform and stand right next to the guys,”?she said. “We have come a long way and it is because of the women who have come before.”?

Command Sgt. Maj. James Schultz said he felt many of the strides women in the military have made have happened recently and relate to the current conflict.

“From my experience, it has come a long way and I think a lot of it has to do with the Global War on Terror. (Women)?have shown and proven themselves in battle,”?he said. “I just think very hightly of how we’ve integrated females in the military. We’re all brothers and sisters.”?

President Barack Obama issued a proclamation recognizing those very contributions, and the countless others that have shaped the world.

“With passion and courage, women have taught us that when we band together to advocate for our highest ideals, we can advance our common well-being and strengthen the fabric of our Nation,”?the proclamation reads.

“Each year during Women’s History Month, we remember and celebrate women from all walks of life who have shaped this great Nation...

“Their achievements inspired generations of American women and men not only to save our planet, but also to overcome obstacles and pursue their interests and talents.They join a long and proud history of American women leaders, and this month we honor the contributions of all women to our Nation.”