Are Women Pulling Rank?

This Memorial Day, we take a look at the progress women have made in the armed forces, and how that experience turned them into leaders. Before 1973, women made up less than two percent of the military, compared to 14 percent today.

Lt. Col. Vicki Merryman served in Desert Storm preventing US troop exposure to chemical and biological attacks, and had a three year tour in the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) Division for the U.S. Army. Now, a board member for the U.S. Army Women’s Foundation, she applies the skills she learned in the military to her work as a financial advisor and family restaurant owner at the Tuckahoe Inn.

“It was quite a change going from military mentality to the restaurant industry,” Merryman says. But, she learned to be comfortable with change, the value of ethics and being technically competent. “A lot of the things I learned in the military carry over, from working with people to dealing with changes.”

Today, there are 1.8 million women veterans of the armed services. Many of them develop skills like loyalty, respect, integrity, and how to work as team members.

This year, Brig. Gen. Colleen L. McGuire put the leadership skills she learned to use when she assumed responsibility as the first woman provost marshal general and major command of the Army.

Military leaders tend to hold high levels of responsibility and authority, even in lower level positions, and inspire trust and confidence in their followers.

Bonus PINK Link: Carol DiBattiste shares her experience in the military and how it helped her leadership skills.

By Cynthia Good

“You cannot manage men into battle. You manage things;
you lead people.” Grace Murray Hopper

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