Be All You Can Be
The period of the “Be All You Can Be” Army—the 1980’s and 1990’s—was one of rapid change and transition for those in uniform. New career opportunities opened for women as they found themselves serving globally in multiple locations and varying types of operations. Restrictions on women’s service remained, but changing policies on the utilization of women in combat operations illustrated the Army’s effort to tackle never-before-faced challenges. Combat aviation was the first combat arms field to open to women in 1993. Women were deployed for the first time into fully gender-integrated units throughout the Army’s organizational structure and often for humanitarian purposes.
A Professional Army
In the 1980s some specialties opened to women but then were closed again. In 1982 Sgt. Andrea Motley (Crabtree) became the first Army women to graduate from the Second Class Diver Course. She was assigned as a diver in Korea but was soon forced to reclassify when the military occupational specialty for diver was once again restricted only to men.
A scene depicting a female combat aviator conducting pre-flight checks on an OH-58 helicopter. Female pilots had been flying Army rotary wing aircraft since the 1970’s, however, in the early 1990s women were allowed to fly all aircraft.
Serving Around the World
Throughout the 1990s the U.S. Army deployed men and women around the world to support numerous contingency operations, some multi-national and others as part of larger United Nations (UN) or North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) missions. Seen here are artifacts used by Army women while being deployed in locations such as: Somalia, Honduras, and Bosnia.
11 September 2001
11 September 2001 marked a pivotal changing point for the nation and the Army. Nearly 3,000 people were killed and 6,000 injured in the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in western Pennsylvania. Subsequently, the nation engaged in a war on terrorism during which more than two million soldiers deployed. More than 255,000 were women and the debate over their roles in combat was again in the forefront.