“Passion is a gender-neutralizing force.”

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Recently Yahoo announced that their new CEO will be former “Googirl” Marissa Mayer.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/16/tech/web/marissa-mayer-bio/index.html

Mayer at the same time is pregnant and has announced that she will take two weeks of maternity leave.  After reading this article I find that Marissa Mayer is a great role model and mentor for career oriented women.  She has the right attitude and refuses to give up her sense of self for her “geek like” job.  She is quoted as saying:

“You can be good at technology and like fashion and art. You can be good at technology and be a jock. You can be good at technology and be a mom. You can do it your way, on your terms.”

I feel like no one could have said this better.  How does this relate to being a female in the military?  I feel some women feel that they lose their sense of femininity being surrounded by men 24/7.  It is not necessary to throw away your makeup and refuse to wear rings or act like a male in order to fit in with your surroundings.  You can be a driving force and maintain your femininity as Mayer proves herself. 

Some women in the military feel that throwing away their “ladiness” will help them succeed.  I find this false.  I do wear makeup to work, I own a pink cell phone cover, I throw a little pink ribbon on my black backpack and I paint my nails BECAUSE I CAN.  No one ever said I will be a weaker leader if I don’t fit in with the guys, and I don’t see how that would hinder any military-minded female from success.  It is even more respectable to be able to maintain your female sense of self and be well-respected by your male counterparts.  In conjunction with this, Mayer is also quoted as saying:

“If you can find something that you’re really passionate about, whether you’re a man or a woman comes a lot less into play. Passion is a gender-neutralizing force.”

Well played Mayer.  Passion and drive are the root of success.  If you come to work every day with a smile on your face and a strong agenda you will succeed whether you have your hair down and in curls, or pulled back in a bun.  I come to Physical Training every morning knowing I’m not the fastest runner or the strongest soldier in my platoon of 31 men, but I also come to play hard.  I push myself and in turn push my soldiers, because I feel strongly that the better shape you are in the more likely you are to succeed in a fire fight.  I also bring that same passion to the administrative side of my job.  If I know that work will be slow before the day starts, I start to become innovative and devise a plan of action that will either create new projects for my platoon or myself. Everyone appreciates a go getter and you should never feel bad about going the extra mile…and the only way to push that extra mile is with PASSION.

Props go out to Marissa Mayer…she has strong support from GIRLS IN GREEN!

Women in Ranger School

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This post is in regards to the recent hoopla about women being admitted to Ranger school in the class of 2013.  Read the following article in the Army Times before reading the rest of this post.

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2012/05/ap-army-leaders-mull-sending-women-ranger-school-051612/

Following this article I read an even more interesting blog in the Wall Street Journal linked below.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303830204577448821376681662.html

First let me discuss my stance on women being admitted to Ranger school.  I think that the Army has picked up on this way too late in the game.  From the start of the War on Terror and the missions in both Afghanistan and Iraq, beyond popular belief many women have served on the front line.  The first and most courageous of those women being the combat medics who serve in infantry units, engineer units and other combat units who are out of the wire and involved in fire fights daily.  These women carry a weapon, run to the rescue and save lives day in and day out on mission.  I myself was a combat platoon leader for 31 men in Afghanistan.  I drove outside the wire with my platoon 5 out of 7 days of the week searching for and blowing up any potential Improvised Explosive Devices.  Most of the time our platoons would be on the road ahead of the other combat units in order to clear a route for travel on Main Supply Routes.  With this in mind I think that women have the potential to succeed in Ranger school.  I know many peers from the military academy who have the physical stamina and mental strength to succeed in Ranger school.  Keep in mind, these women serve in a world surrounded by men and feel that every day when they come to work they have something to prove.  Most of us strive to run faster, be stronger and fight harder than all of them to show that we have what it takes to stand next to them and in most cases be a better leader.  Women have been able to apply for Sapper school which is the Engineer’s version of Ranger school.   I particularly know two females who have graduated in the top of their Sapper school class.  If women can be selected and succeed at Sapper school, I find it hard to say that they wouldn’t be able to succeed at Ranger school.  With that in mind, I strongly believe that the Army is taking a step in the right direction by admitting females into Ranger school.

Secondly, let me discuss the blasphemy that the WSJ columnist has posted.  First and foremost I feel he needs to first check his facts because he states that women can not serve on the front lines and that is clearly not the case.  The Army has created a program called the Female Engagement Team where female volunteers go through a vigorous selection process where they can be peered out in order to determine the best females who would then be chosen to go through a three month long program that trains them to be embedded with Ranger platoons and Special Forces units and deploy as the sole female with these tough men.  Their mission is to interact with females and bridge the cultural gap in the Middle East as men are not allowed to interact with females in both Afghanistan and Iraq.  These women have brought a whole new dimension to the war as many of the women who fear their lives in the Middle East open up to the women of these units and often provide intel to the embedded females that aid American Forces.  He belittles the fact that women serve in the front lines and often put themselves in harms way. 

Thirdly, I would like to address the only piece of this selection process that does bother me.  I do not believe that Ranger school should drastically change standards for women who intend to go through the selection process.  The Darby phase of Ranger school is rigorous but some females have the physicality to make it through with the same standards as men.  Yes, women have different genes that do make them slower and prohibit them from being as strong as their male counterparts, but who is to say that there aren’t women in the Army who can’t pass along the same standards.  I know they are there…and I personally know some of them.  I think the strongest argument that men of this “Ranger fraternity” will have against females in the selection process is the difference in standards.  Therefore, eliminating this piece of the puzzle gives men no excuse to whine and complain.  Face it, women are strong and are getting stronger.  If we can stand next to you, than we sure as hell can fight with you.

I have much more to say on this topic, most of which will come in future posts.  I invite you to comment and post your preference on this topic.

More power to the GIRLS IN GREEN!

Girls in Green!

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First and foremost I want to welcome you to my blog.  I have been debating for years how I want to relay my adventures as a female in the Army and share it with other strong minded females.  I finally am taking the dive and starting the dangerous adventure of starting a blog about topics and issues that regularly come up in or out of work with me and my female Armed Forces counterparts.  This blog isn’t meant to be a platform for feminist bloggers but instead a sounding board and a way for females who struggle to be the best in a male dominanted community to share their experiences and learn from each other. 

I have valued every memory, adventure and even every hardship I have had while in the military.  Every day is a new adventure and I feel as if every moment I learn and grow from my experiences.  There are some experiences, though painful, I wish I could never relive but I  have grown stronger from them.  though the hardest struggle I have had in the Army is the battle to win over my male competition.  Day by day I learn how to better interact with my male counterparts and I consistently study how to dominate my field in a predominantly male setting.  The upcoming topics discussed in this blog are not meant to bash on the male race, but instead to aid and advise strong career focused women on how to get a step ahead. 

I want to thank you for reading and welcome you to my world.  Get ahead…GO GIRLS IN GREEN!

Hello world!

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Happy blogging!

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