Story and Photo by
BAGHDAD — The 25th Infantry Division recently hosted a celebration of Women’s Equality Day, at Camp Liberty, here, Aug. 26.
Celebrated annually in recognition of the ratification of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote, the event at Camp Liberty focused on the accomplishments of women in the armed services.
“It is nice to pay tribute to women that touched other people’s lives and to also generally see that there are female leaders out there that are mentoring their Soldiers and setting an example,” said Capt. Victoria Starks, trial counselor, 25th ID. “I think it’s good that everyone is acknowledging equality and being there for each other.”
More than 200 service members attended the event that highlighted ways in which women have played a major part in the military.
“I learned to put a hand out to get to know your teammates, even though you may think you already know them,” said Lt. Col. Emily Schiffer, deputy Staff Judge Advocate, 25th ID. “We’re mothers, wives, role models (and) single parents, but we are also motivated leaders and Soldiers accomplishing the mission with dedication and perseverance.”
The event also provided an opportunity to reinforce leadership. It reminded many troops that to accomplish the mission is imperative, regardless of whether the leader is a male or female.
“We are all Soldiers, and we all should be setting the example, regardless of gender,” Starks said. “We all need to make sure that we are dedicated to the mission and that we accomplish the mission together as a team.”
The event was open to both men and women, and it allowed many to reflect on how far America has come in the fight for equality.
“We are all equal, and to me, it is a day to recognize the equalities that we have fought to obtain for men and woman,” said 1st Sgt. Catalina Lacuesta, first sergeant, Signal Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 25th ID. “It’s a great time to reflect as a team that (we are) not a band of brothers or a band of sisters. I call (us) a band of Soldiers.”