54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2019


Gail Armstrong









     WHEREAS, women have been involved in the United States military since the beginning of the Revolutionary War in 1775, originally in the fields of nursing, laundering, mending clothing and cooking; and

     WHEREAS, during the American Civil War, women served in a variety of roles, including nurses, cooks and spies and soldiers disguised as men; and

     WHEREAS, Mary Edwards Walker became the first and only woman to receive the medal of honor for her service during the American Civil War; and

     WHEREAS, during World War I, women served as nurses and support staff, and Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee, United States navy nurse corps superintendent, received the navy cross for her service; and

     WHEREAS, more than three hundred fifty thousand women served as mechanics, pilots, clerks, nurses and ambulance drivers during World War II, while hundreds of others served as field intelligence agents; and

     WHEREAS, in 1948, congress passed the Women's Armed Services Integration Act, permitting women to serve as permanent members of the military, when, prior to the act, women only served in times of war; and

     WHEREAS, some one hundred twenty thousand women in the United States were on active duty during the Korean conflict, with the majority serving as nurses; and

     WHEREAS, although relatively little official data exists about female Vietnam conflict veterans, the Vietnam women's memorial foundation estimates that approximately eleven thousand military women were deployed to Vietnam, ninety percent of whom served as military nurses; and

     WHEREAS, servicewomen serving during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm were the largest deployment of military women in United States history, with more than forty thousand women deployed; and

     WHEREAS, in January 2013, the United States ended the policy of barring women from units that were tasked with direct combat, and in 2016, all combat jobs were opened to women; and

     WHEREAS, in 2016, the first female soldiers became infantry soldiers; and

     WHEREAS, also in 2016, United States Air Force General Lori Robinson took over as leader of the United States northern command, becoming the first female service member to lead a unified combatant command and thus the highest-ranking woman in the United States military; and

     WHEREAS, in January 2017, the first three female marines graduated from infantry school; and

     WHEREAS, in June 2012, female enlisted sailors deployed on submarines for the first time ever; and

     WHEREAS, women continued to make strides in the military as firsts to command navy ships, command a United States air force fighter squadron, achieve four-star officer rank and establish female engagement teams; and

     WHEREAS, today, the United States military has opened all positions to women, as long as the qualifying requirements are met; and

     WHEREAS, in New Mexico, as of 2016, there were one hundred forty-two thousand one hundred eighty-seven veterans living in the state, according to a workforce solutions department 2018 veterans profile; and

     WHEREAS, of the total, there were twelve thousand six hundred seventeen female veterans, or eight and nine-tenths percent of all veterans; and

     WHEREAS, in New Mexico, women made up five and seven-tenths percent of veterans age sixty-five years or older in 2016; and

     WHEREAS, women face considerable challenges during and after military service, and women veterans are entitled to the same veterans' benefits as men, as well as some that are tailored to the particular needs of female veterans; and

     WHEREAS, resources such as the university of New Mexico veterans resource center and women veterans of New Mexico are available to female soldiers and veterans, offering support networks and safety nets; and

     WHEREAS, a tribute to women in the military will be held March 1, 2019 at American legion post forty-nine in Albuquerque; and

     WHEREAS, the tribute to women in the military honors all military women, past, present and future, and is open to everyone;

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that the contributions of women in the United States military service and their sacrifices and bravery be recognized; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be transmitted to the office of the adjutant general of the department of military affairs, the secretary of workforce solutions, the university of New Mexico veterans resource center and the president of women veterans of New Mexico.

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