MONTEREY, Calif. -- Information Warfare Training Command for Information Warfare Training
(IWTC) Monterey hosted a women’s equality equal opportunity (EO) observance at the Presidio of Monterey, California, Aug. 23.
In his opening remarks, Cmdr. Michael Salehi, commanding officer of IWTC Monterey, stated, “This is an opportunity to honor one of the most significant events in the history of our nation—women receiving the right to vote. This event aligns closely to the date of August 18, 1920, the ratification of the 19th amendment which allowed women this right.”
The base-wide event, organized by Chief Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) Wesley Fuller, differed from the typical EO observance, which usually centers on a guest speaker. Each person entering the event received a number between 1 and 12, which corresponded to an interactive learning station.
Each of the 12 interactive learning stations acted as living history display wherein female Sailors volunteered to role play as an important woman from history, reciting a 3-minute monologue as that person. IWTC Monterey Sailors portrayed key figures from the women’s rights movement, such as Sojourner Truth, an abolitionist and early women’s rights activist.
“I wanted to bring the theme of Women's Equality Day to life,” said Fuller. “What better way to do that than with living history displays, where our Sailors actually take on the role of significant figures from the struggle for women's equality and interact with the audience in a meaningful way.”
Notable female firsts in the military were also portrayed by IWTC Monterey Sailors, to include Loretta Walsh, the first female enlisted service member in the U.S. military. Walsh just so happened to be in the Navy, and eventually became the first female chief petty officer sworn in as a chief yeoman.
Seaman Apprentice Brooke Dahlstrom volunteered to portray Walsh. After the event she said, “As an enlisted Sailor, it makes me really proud seeing all these excellent females and what they have done to pave the way for us.”
Command Sargent Major Thomas Donehue, the Presidio of Monterey’s most senior enlisted leader, made closing remarks in which he stated, “This is one of the best and one of the most educational presentations that I’ve seen.” He then presented all twelve Sailor volunteers a challenge coin on behalf of the commandant.
IWTC Monterey, as part of the Center for Information Warfare Training, provides a continuum of foreign language training to Navy personnel, which prepares them to conduct information warfare across the full spectrum of military operations.
For more on Information Warfare Training Command Monterey, visit http://www.netc.navy.mil/centers/ciwt/IWTCmonterey/ and http://www.monterey.army.mil/Service_Units/IWTC_Monterey.html , or find them on Facebook.