WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio — Since 1987, the month of March has offered a unique opportunity to highlight the accomplishments of women throughout the United States. Members of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base gathered March 22 to celebrate the contributions, accomplishments, and perseverance of women in the community.
The luncheon, hosted by 88th Air Base Wing Commander Col. Bradley McDonald, opened with a powerful statement about the women who defend our nation.
“Women’s History Month celebrates the honors and achievements of American women throughout the United States. The Department of Defense joins the nation in celebrating women who, through their unrelenting and inspirational persistence, have shaped American history and our future,” said Airman 1st Class Dezaree Webb, narrator of the event.
With a theme of overcoming discrimination, the guest speaker, Heidi Bullock, director of contracting for Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command, spoke about her experiences as a young officer in predominantly male career fields. Bullock commissioned into the Air Force in 1985 as an Adjutant, and she worked as the sole female member of a fighter squadron among 85 males. She later cross trained into the Minuteman missile field, where she was a member of the pilot program for mixed gender missile crews.
“I was asked when I was on missile duty whether I wanted to pull alerts with girls or with guys. I said I didn’t care — I wanted the best crew member who had competency and character,” recounted Bullock.
In her speech, Bullock notes three characteristics that determine success, regardless of gender.
“The first is competence. If you are the best at whatever your career field, I have no doubt that you will succeed. Why? Because we want the best there is,” said Bullock. “And you need character, because your competence has to come about ethically, honestly, and without taking shortcuts. And you have to have persistence. You have to be resilient, and you can’t give up.”