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Women's History Month: Past challenges becoming future dreams

THULE AIR BASE, Greenland – Capt. Danielle Garner, 821st Support Squadron clinic administrator, makes a phone call to help a fellow Airman, Tech. Sgt. Stephanie Martinez, 821st Support Squadron transportation contracting officer representative, March 20, 2015. March is Women’s History month, a time to reflect on the hardships of dedicated women of the past, how they paved the way for women today and serves as a reminder there is always room to grow, push and dream of a better, stronger future. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

THULE AIR BASE, Greenland – Capt. Danielle Garner, 821st Support Squadron clinic administrator, makes a phone call to help a fellow Airman, Tech. Sgt. Stephanie Martinez, 821st Support Squadron transportation contracting officer representative, March 20, 2015. March is Women’s History month, a time to reflect on the hardships of dedicated women of the past, how they paved the way for women today and serves as a reminder there is always room to grow, push and dream of a better, stronger future. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

THULE AIR BASE, Greenland – Tech. Sgt. Stephanie Martinez, 821st Support Squadron transportation contracting officer representative, and Capt. Danielle Garner, 821st SPTS clinic administrator, pose for a photograph, March 20, 2015. March is Women’s History month, a time to reflect on the hardships of dedicated women of the past, how they paved the way for women today and serve as a reminder there is always room to grow, push and dream of a better, stronger future. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

THULE AIR BASE, Greenland – Tech. Sgt. Stephanie Martinez, 821st Support Squadron transportation contracting officer representative, and Capt. Danielle Garner, 821st SPTS clinic administrator, pose for a photograph, March 20, 2015. March is Women’s History month, a time to reflect on the hardships of dedicated women of the past, how they paved the way for women today and serve as a reminder there is always room to grow, push and dream of a better, stronger future. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

THULE AIR BASE, Greenland -- On July 8, 1948, the Air Force authorized women to become Airmen. Esther Blake wasted no time and on the first minute of the first hour of authorization, she became the first woman in the Air Force.

Since then women have paved the way to success for future women in the Air Force. Women who once could only dream of leading a life of their choice are now able to lead units, squadrons, bases, major commands and more. Women are leading the lives they have dreamed whether it is on the front lines, handling multi-million dollar equipment or making executive decisions.

According to the Air Force Personnel Center, as of Dec. 31, 2014, there are 58,560 women in the Air Force or 18.9 percent of the total force.

"When I put this (uniform) on, I am Captain Garner, but I still like to get pedicures," said Capt. Danielle Garner, 821st Support Squadron clinic administrator. "You can still be who are in your uniform as a respected tech. sergeant or captain, and a woman at the same time."

Throughout the years the challenges have changed but only to motivate individuals to become better, faster and stronger Airmen in today's Air Force. Jobs that were once only open to men, including pararescue and tactical air control party, will be open to women by January 2016 according to Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James.

"Just coming up through the ranks, being in for about 15 years, I think the challenges make you a better person all around and what you have to give not only to the Air Force but also to society," said Tech. Sgt. Stephanie Martinez, 821st Support Squadron transportation contracting officer representative. "As women progress through the ranks and are faced with adversities, the result is a more confident person, woman, mother, friend, coworker, etc."

Women's history month serves as a reminder of all the hardship from the past to build a better future. A reminder there is always room to grow, push and dream for the future yet to come.

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