MacDill honors trailblazing women during Women’s History Month


In 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued the first presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 8 National Women’s History Week.

By 1986, a petition led by the National Women’s History Project successfully expanded the event to cover the entire month of March.

This year’s Department of Defense theme, “Honoring Trailblazing Women,” highlights various women who have broken down barriers, and changed the role of women in military and government sectors.

At MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, service members, both male and female, came together to celebrate and honor Women’s History Month with a luncheon at the base chapel, March 9, 2017.

“Who Am I?” was the theme during the luncheon tea, and guests were encouraged to attempt to guess the trailblazing women being spoken about based on their life and achievements.

“We decided as a committee to use this theme because it garners more participation from the guests,” said Master Sgt. Tabitha Harris, the superintendent of chapel operations and chair of the Women’s History Month committee. “The idea to have guests guess who the woman being spoken about was created as a collective in the committee.

“We wanted to keep it diverse, to include women in the military as well as in business.”

During the event, guest speaker Stephanie Reed, shared her words of encouragement with the attendees.

“I am extremely humbled to be here today, to help honor so many women in history and to be in the presence of so many amazing women here on MacDill,” said Reed. “In this room, we already have trailblazers of our own, because for the first time in the 6th Air Mobility Wing’s history, we have a female wing commander, vice commander and command chief.”

Later, Reed offered advice to all women in attendance.

“If you are not where you want to be, figure out how to get there, and find someone who can help you make a plan to meet your goals,” said Reed. “Don’t sell yourself short, because you can do anything you put your mind to.

“Because of the women we are honoring today, we are no longer hired to fill a quota.”