Service members in formation listening to a news update
SPEECH | March 31, 2021

Our Commitment to the Women of the Indiana National Guard

Women's History Month Celebration

Every institution displays its wall of leaders—walls that have historically excluded women and people of color. Not because there haven’t been such qualified individuals who have wanted or deserved to be on those walls, but because traditionally, that’s the way things have always been. Ingrained in our society is the prototype of the American warrior. And it has taken a very long time for us to picture that leader, that commander, that pilot or that warfighter, as both our brother AND our sister.

We celebrate Women’s History Month in the Indiana National Guard to honor the women who are serving among us, and those who have served before us. This month we also honor the women who enable all of us to be successful: the wives, partners and other family members and the federal and state civilian employees whose contributions to this organization have been both impactful and immense.

We do not undertake this exercise to be politically correct. As military leaders, and as Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen, it is our duty to ensure that we acquire, develop, employ and retain the talent we need to maintain readiness to meet our community, state and national commitments. And to do that, we must draw upon and recognize ALL the talent within our community.

Every woman in uniform -- whether she has carried a rifle or risen to a position of leadership -- has been part of writing Women’s History Month. The Indiana National Guard has many notable women in current leadership roles and women in junior ranks aspiring to leadership positions. To all our full-time and traditional Soldiers and Airmen: Our organization is committed to your continued development and achievement. We will work to provide you with professional military and civilian education and training, and to broaden your assignments based upon your abilities, career path and demonstrated expertise. Women comprise 17 percent of the Indiana National Guard, or greater than 2,200 Soldiers and Airmen. You provide the model for countless other women to seek military careers, to go the distance and to achieve success.

As for our Indiana National Guard civilians, whether you are a family member or civilian employee, prior service or retired. We could not be successful in our missions without your support.

I would be remiss if I failed to recognize Indiana’s first female general officer Brigadier General Margaret S. Washburn, who served as the Assistant Adjutant General, Indiana Army National Guard from 2007 through 2008. My hat is off to those outstanding individuals who have broken and who are breaking this nation’s most persistent barrier. To all women in the Indiana National Guard: Thank you for your service.

R. DALE LYLES
Brigadier General, U.S. Army
Adjutant General of the State of Indiana

Always Ready, Always There,
Always in Your Pocket.

Did you know the Indiana National Guard has a mobile phone app?

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