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Leaders mobilize (influence) others to want to struggle for shared aspirations. (16:29-30) Leaders become credible by challenging, inspiring, enabling, modeling, and encouraging.
(16:31) This paper focuses on these attributes as demonstrated by some of the women serving America over the last 224 years: those of great purpose that were able to inspire followers' (group) emotions and energize collective action, and whose courage modeled the way.
Visionary Leadership Leaders realize that people are inspired by something to believe in. (56:29) Good leadership knows how much of the future can be introduced into the present to accomplish that feat. Great leaders think beyond their boundaries. They are never satisfied with their current level of performance. (2:102) The visionary leader transcends the status quo and bridges the present and the future to make fundamental change. (21:18) (10:184) They have a vision of something that could (or should) be, and then work to make it reality. (2:103) Their vision is a realistic, credible, attractive future for the organization—a better future, more successful, or more desirable for the organization. Their vision is where tomorrow begins. It moves people to action, so the organization evolves and makes progress. It jump-starts the future by calling forth the skills, talents, and resources to make it happen. It grabs the attention of those both inside and outside the organization and focuses that attention on progressing to a desired outcome that makes sense and provides direction. (21:8,17) Drill Sergeants of the Year “Lead by example” Jill Henderson was the first active duty servicewoman to win the Army’s Drill Sergeant of the Year award. Her impeccable devotion to the military’s core values is clear, and she lives Women's History Month 2001: Inspiring Stories of Vision and Courage 2 them. “I try to lead by example, by being what I want privates to be. And I expect as much out of them. I lead from the heart. The more I take care of people, the more they take care of me.” (16:220) Her words to her boot camp trainees: “A soldier does all the work. If somebody looks down at you, remember inside that you are the one who carries out the mission. If you stay in the Army, you will be a leader. Just never forget where you came from.” (16:220) It’s not just her words that Henderson uses to convince and teach the privates she trains; it’s her behavior–the match between what she demands of her people and what she demands of herself. (16:220) (17:47) Sergeant First Class Teresa Belles was the first reserve servicewoman to win the Reserve Army Drill Sergeant of the Year award. When she went to drill sergeant school at Fort Knox, she was the only woman among 93 students. She scored the highest on the Army Physical Fitness Test at the beginning of the course. She also scored the highest on the physical fitness
test during the Drill Sergeant competition. Belles also epitomizes leadership by example:
“When you've got those 18-, 19-year-old privates saying, I can't do it, Drill Sergeant, you drop down and just start doing it with them.” (53) Diane Carlson Evans Vietnam veteran's vision becomes reality During the Vietnam War, it is estimated that 265,000 women served their country all over the world in a variety of occupations in support of the war. (34) (8) Approximately 11,000 American military women were stationed in Vietnam during the war. Ninety percent of these women were nurses in the Army, Navy, and Air Force. (34) All received combat pay; many received combat decorations; some were wounded. Eight servicewomen died in Vietnam.
(11:242) Navy women were stationed aboard the USS REPOSE and USS SANCTUARY hospital ships off the coast of Vietnam. Air Force women served both in country and on air evacuation missions. Thousands of other servicewomen served in Japan, Guam, the Philippines, Hawaii, and stateside hospitals caring for the wounded and dying who had been flown out of the war zone. An unknown number of civilian women served in Vietnam as news correspondents and workers for the Red Cross, the U.S.O., the American Friends Service Committee, Catholic Relief Services and other humanitarian organizations. Like some of their military counterparts, many of these women were wounded or killed in crossfire. Records indicate that at least 50 civilian women died in Vietnam. (34) These quiet heroes were virtually unrecognized until 1984 when one lone former Army nurse, Diane Carlson Evans, initiated efforts to acknowledge their valiant service. (8) Evans, a veteran who served at Vung Tau and Pleiku, Vietnam in 1968 and 1969, founded the Vietnam Women's Memorial project. Her vision was for the country to recognize the courageous women who were there and those women who served behind the scenes as well. She was soon joined by many others to fight for a statue honoring women's service in support of the Vietnam War near the nation's Vietnam War Wall memorial in Washington, D.C. This statue would accompany the statue of the three male soldiers that already complemented the National Vietnam Memorial Wall. Despite great resistance, Evans' vision overcame in the end. (33) The American public endorsed her vision in 1988 when Congress approved the memorial.
This crowning act was achieved in November 1993 when the statue was formally dedicated, Women's History Month 2001: Inspiring Stories of Vision and Courage 3 honoring the thousands upon thousands of women that willingly volunteered in support or service with their male counterparts in Vietnam. Although a memorial to honor all military nurses who died in the service of their country had already been dedicated in 1983 in Arlington National Cemetery, the Women's Vietnam Memorial was the first in our nation's capital honoring women's patriotic service in a war as a whole. In his remarks at the ground breaking ceremony for the memorial, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin Powell, validated Evans’ vision when he pointed out the difference and the importance of this special
recognition for Vietnam women veterans:
I realize for the first time that for male soldiers the war came in intermittent flashes of terror, occasional death, moments of pain. But for the women who were there, for the women who helped before the battle and for nurses in particular, the terror, the death and the pain were unrelenting, a constant terrible weight that had to be stoically carried. (33) Diane Evans championed the challenge of achieving this recognition. She knew the cause was just, even while facing the negative emotions of the Vietnam War memories in our country.
Dr. Bonnie Dunbar “What does being part of the team mean?” Dr. Bonnie Dunbar is an American astronaut, but as a leader she inspires full appreciation of the importance of teamwork. She has flown on five space shuttle missions. She was the payload commander for space shuttle missions in 1992 and 1998. In the summer of 1995, she flew a shuttle that docked with a Russian spacecraft. (44) Above all, she believes the success of a space flight depends upon teamwork, within the crew and between the ground controllers and the crew.
As Payload Commander I have tried to convey to the non-career payload specialists the importance of being part of the crew... that we will share both successes and the failures of the flight. So, what does being part of the team mean? It doesn't always mean being the smartest or the fastest. It does mean recognizing that big-picture goal and the contribution that each individual brings to the whole. It may not mean being the life of the party, but it does mean being able to get along with people and to tread a fine line... knowing when to compromise and knowing when to stand firm. And, in an organization such as ours with competitive individuals used to being on top of the hill, it means knowing when to be a [leader] and when to be [led]. (12:351) Brigadier General Wilma Vaught A memorial to “... envision the future” Brigadier General Wilma Vaught, U.S. Air Force (Ret.) is a Vietnam veteran and one of the most decorated military women in U.S. history, including a Vietnam Service Medal with four service stars, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. In 1966-67, she became the first woman to deploy with a Strategic Air Command bombardment wing on an operational deployment. (6:121) As a visionary, she led the national effort to memorialize nearly two million American women who volunteered in every U.S. military conflict since the American Revolution and the Women's History Month 2001: Inspiring Stories of Vision and Courage 4 women who served with organizations such as the American Red Cross and the U.S.O. Vaught headed the Board of Directors of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation and was the driving force in the building of the Memorial. The Memorial, opened in October 1997 at the entrance to Arlington National Cemetery, culminated ten years of planning and work by Foundation President Vaught and her staff. (4:176) Her leadership provided American women who served their country the recognition they richly deserved. Concurrently, this work set a foundation for continual inspiration of future generations, which will not only benefit our military human workforce but the also the strength of our nation. The Memorial enables all Americans to learn and expand their perspectives on the powerful impact of diversity.
Vaught said the project,... realized a unique memorial where all the women who have served our nation are individually and collectively honored, and... relives the past, experiences the present and envisions the future of America's Servicewomen. (38) This collective heritage is brought to life through computers, exhibits, film, and the Memorial Register, which guarantees each registered woman's individual story a permanent place in America's history. The Register is an interactive computer database that allows Memorial visitors access to military histories, photographs, and memorable military experiences of registered servicewomen. (5:2) (38) To visit the Women in Military Service for America Memorial online, refer to http://www.womensmemorial.org/.
Clara Barton, 1821-1912 Humanitarian visionary Clara Barton taught school and worked as a clerk in the U.S. Patent Office. With the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, at the age of 40, Barton embarked on her life's work and vision. During the Civil War she began to assemble and distribute supplies to Union soldiers.
Knowing that nurses were urgently needed at the battlefield, she went into the field. At the famous battles of Cedar Mountain, Second Bull Run, Fairfax Court House, Fredricksburg, Antietam, and the Wilderness, she assisted the surgeons in stitching up wounds and in bloody amputations. Clara Barton gained national acclaim as “the angel of the battlefield.” After the war she coordinated a national effort to locate soldiers who were missing in action. (24) (4:16) Also at that time, she was responsible for establishing the first National Cemetery at Arlington, where she personally marked twelve thousand graves. (11:7) Barton threw herself into relief work in Europe and was impressed with the International Red Cross. Although not permitted to work with the International Red Cross because she was a woman, she volunteered as an independent relief worker in Strasbourg, France, during the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871). She was restricted to only providing aid to civilians because the German government would not permit her to assist its soldiers. (24) (39) On May 21, 1881, many dignitaries (including Frederick Douglass) joined Barton at her own modest residence in Washington, D.C. to develop the American Association of the Red Cross, which later became the American Red Cross. Created to serve America in peace and in war, during times of disaster and national calamity, Barton’s organization took its service beyond that of the International Red Cross Movement by adding disaster relief to battlefield assistance. She served as the organization’s volunteer president until 1904. Today, the organization’s actions, guided by its dedication to humanity and a desire to promote mutual understanding, friendship, Women's History Month 2001: Inspiring Stories of Vision and Courage 5
cooperation, and lasting peace amongst all peoples, follow these fundamental principles:
humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality. (39) Barton also lobbied tirelessly for the United States ratification of the Geneva Convention, also known as the Treaty of Geneva. On March 1, 1882, President Chester A. Arthur signed the treaty. The Senate ratified it on March 16, 1882. The United States was the 32nd nation to sign the document, agreeing to protect the wounded during wartime. (24) (39) Oveta Culp Hobby, 1905-1995 “A debt to democracy, a date with destiny” Throughout her professional career, Oveta Culp Hobby held many leadership positions, shaped major institutions and influenced large numbers of people. At age 21, Hobby became an expert in the intricacies of parliamentary law, serving as the first woman parliamentarian for the Texas House of Representatives. She served from 1925 to 1931, and then again from 1939 to