HomeNewsArticle Display

Military women highlighted at summit

Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Air Force Gen. Lori J. Robinson, commander of U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command, speak with Defense Secretary Ash Carter at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., May 13, 2016. Robinson provided remarks at the United State of Women Summit in Washington, D.C., June 14, 2016. DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro

Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Air Force Gen. Lori J. Robinson, the commander of U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command, speak with Defense Secretary Ash Carter at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., May 13, 2016. Robinson provided remarks at the United State of Women Summit in Washington, D.C., June 14, 2016. (Department of Defense photo/Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro)

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The American people need to know that the U.S. military is a true meritocracy that’s open to all citizens who meet service standards, Air Force Gen. Lori J. Robinson said at the White House-sponsored United State of Women Summit here June 14.

Robinson, the commander of U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command, spoke at the summit before thousands of women at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. She is the first female U.S. combatant commander.

The general highlighted the critical role women play in the defense of the nation, and she used her own story to illustrate her points.

The Constitution

Robinson told the audience she was from an Air Force family, but had no intention of having a military a career. She was commissioned out of ROTC when she graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1981.

At the summit, she reflected on the oath she took in 1981, especially the line “I solemnly swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

“Think about how powerful that is,” she said. “Think about how amazing that is -- the fact that we are pledging our allegiance not to a person or an idol or a gimmick, but to an idea -- the idea of freedom and that all people are created equal.”

Robinson said changes made in the U.S. military with regard to the employment of women in the ranks has been incredible, but there are things that haven’t changed.

“The United States military is a meritocracy on day one,” she said. “Every person raises their right hand and says, ‘I solemnly swear,’ and at that moment can pick a career and service of their choosing.

“And, a lieutenant is a lieutenant is a lieutenant, starting out day one with equal pay, starting out day one with paid leave, and starting out day one with the opportunity to dream about an adventure,” she continued.

Previous restrictions

When Robinson entered active duty, she said, military specialties in which women could serve were severely restricted. That has changed, and she pointed to women commanding fighter air wings, combatant ships and becoming Army Rangers as proof.

“As I’ve watched over time, I’ve noticed it’s about attitude,” she said – striving to be the best and thinking about the glass as being half-full as often as possible.

Along with attitude goes aptitude, the general said.

Robinson noted that all jobs in the U.S. military are now open to all service members, regardless of gender. And, the military continues to maintain a high standard to serve for a reason, she said.

“Everybody lives up to that standard, and it is so important because we ask our young Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen to defend this country every day, and sometimes we ask them to fight and win our nation’s wars,” Robinson said. “It’s about duty, honor, country, character, and it’s about sacrifice.”

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @KadenaAirBase: #Airmen from #TeamKadena and Japan Air Self-Defense Force trained together to enhance partnership and better respond to…
RT @DeptofDefense: Defenders, assemble! @usairforce airmen with the 442nd Security Forces Squadron hone their lethality and team-building…
RT @AFResearchLab: Let's celebrate the beginning of Fall and the changing of leaves with this optical microscopy of deformation twins in hi…
RT @624RSG: Are you facing a challenge or dealing with a struggle? People find hope in many different ways, whether it's through family, fa…
RT @AF_Academy: You can’t beat this view. You just can’t. 📸@USAFWingsofBlue https://t.co/JLZcPVp7uP
RT @AirMobilityCmd: #Mobilty #Airmen will move heaven and earth to keep America’s promises to its service members. Check out this story of…
RT @DeptofDefense: Bringing them home. More than 82,000 Americans remain missing from #WWII through the Gulf Wars and other conflicts. The…
RT @USAF_ACC: Today is POW/MIA Day. We will forever remember and honor the lives lost fighting for our country. 🇺🇸 #USAF #POWMIARecognitio
Weren't able to make #ASC19 this year? No problem. We've got the goods. Push ▶️ to hear from first-time attendees a… https://t.co/rEOE1eukwz
Howdy Texans! #AmerciasAirForce is heading to the #lonestarstate on Sept. 27. Hear this #Airman share his love for… https://t.co/BS1ysk4ST3
The return of great power competition requires the U.S. military services to change and adapt quickly. Hear from De… https://t.co/kKiNeHywzp
RT @AirMobilityCmd: The four fans of freedom are blowing strong as a U.S Air Force C-130J Hercules from Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansa…
RT @ActingSecAF: Kudos to @AirForceAssoc on #ASC19 👏🏻 What a wonderful professional opportunity for #Airmen & industry to expand our compe…
.@ACC_Commander designates the 16th Air Force as a new information warfare numbered #AirForce at #ASC19. As… https://t.co/LMiMJ3rWNO
RT @AstroHague: Thank you to the Airmen across the globe who make the human exploration of space possible. Wishing the @usairforce a happy…
RT @Hanscom_AFB: “The @usairforce is leading the charge across @DeptofDefense. No one else in #government has as much ... of this software…
RT @PACAF: Commanders from Australia, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Philippines, Thailand and the U.S. met for the 2019 Logistics and Safet…