For the first time in history, a woman will lead the largest command in the United States Army. While this may not seem like a major deal, this serves as a considerable moment of female empowerment and a reminder that despite how far we’ve come, we still have a long way to go when it comes to gender equality.
Lt. Gen. Laura J. Richardson is next in succession to be the commanding general of the U.S. Army Forces Command. She will represent 776,000 soldiers and 96,000 civilians, according to CNN.
In a country where the Vice President has previously denounced women serving in the military, this accomplishment means more now than it ever would have. Richardson’s victory is an example of female liberation at its finest; overcoming insurmountable odds and proving women are just as qualified and capable as men.
Shockingly enough, according to the Boston Globe, it has only been five years since women in the military were allowed to formally serve in combat. Richardson’s success speaks volumes to the evolution of the military regarding women.
Nevertheless, putting a woman in charge of such a massive group of people should not be groundbreaking nor innovative. It should just be common sense and should have happened long before now.
Gender equality, especially in the military, has been a topic of debate for decades. Giving Richardson the largest command in the army, a job she is more than equipped to handle, is an accomplishment to be celebrated.
Still, it is 2018 and putting a woman in a position of power is seen as advanced and inventive; the battle for gender equality is still far from over.