The 21st Century Army
The Army underwent a remarkable transformation in the early twenty-first century with the beginning of the global war on terror. The modern battlefield blurred distinctions between rear and forward operating areas. This circumstance, combined with evolving cultural conditions resulted in a profound transformation of roles for Army women.
In Afghanistan female soldiers formed Cultural Support Teams and Female Engagement Teams, these were found to be an invaluable aid and greatly needed. As women demonstrated their capabilities in these volatile situations, the Army moved to eliminate unnecessary gender-biased barriers to service. A measured and deliberate movement towards a standards-based system was adopted. The Army eventually rescinded exclusionary policies and in December of 2015 the Department of Defense declared that all military jobs, units, and training schools would officially be opened to women with “no exceptions”.
Set the Phraselator!
Major Sherry Womack broke ground by serving with all-male green beret units. She was the first female physician’s assistant to accompany Army Special Operations Forces into Afghanistan. New and untested equipment such as this phraselator were used by Major Womack to assist in translating phrases into the local language, Pashto.
Staff Sgt. Theresa Blue Bird was presented with this Sioux warrior blanket by her Lakota Tribe of the Sioux Nation after completing 20 years of service and combat deployments. Included within is important imagery such as the American buffalo and also an eagle. Can you see the buffalo? What about the eagle?
On the Battlefield
Soldiers, trained in explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), operate a Talon during Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. The robot is developed to protect against explosive threats. It is controlled by a two-way radio and features a quad screen display that projects images from several cameras. The robot can climb stairs, negotiate side slopes and snow, and navigate through rubble.