FORT McCOY, Wis. –
March is Women's History Month. It is important to look back on how far we've come - both to realize that distance and to see what direction we need to go. Women have a rich history of supporting the armed forces dating back to the beginnings of this country. Whether it be supporting the early American militia, providing supplies and medical care, or even disguising themselves as men on the front lines, women's role in the military has always been a reflection of their position in society at large.
In the Army, that mission has continued to evolve from the more traditional role of administration and medical support to present day combat arms. Every Soldier is required to perform infantry skills alongside their specialty duties. This means training in weapons marksmanship and qualification as part of their readiness requirements, allowing them to deploy wherever they are needed.
The 410th Medical Logistics Company (MLC) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, hosted a weapons qualification at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, from March 17-18, 2023 as part of force readiness.
U.S. Army Reserve Sgt. Ana V. Munoz, a Milwaukee native, serves with the 410th MLC as an automated logistics specialist. She spoke of the months planning for an event like this; it is less about having a person or a team than it is about having a network involved in lining up all the pieces.
"We need to make sure that every Soldier has all the tools they need when they come to the range. We all are very cohesive; we act as a team," said Munoz. "Everything from ordering supplies to getting new soldiers their equipment."
After 21 years in the Army, Munoz also spoke of why she enlisted.
"I would have never thought in my life to get into the Army, but after 9/11, a lot of things changed," she said. "I wanted to get in and serve."
When asked what advice she would give to other women following in her footsteps, she said that while there were some things she had found difficult, any woman should "just keep doing [her] best" and "keep [herself] moving."
Women's History Month is when we take a pause in that journey forward – to readjust our direction and acknowledge those that have come before. History is not just the large sweeping movements that shift countries, but the small, step-by-step improvements by hundreds of women. Those women, such as Munoz, continue doing their best and leading the Army and their fellow Soldiers into the future.