First Woman Appointed to Lead Army Drill Sergeant School
Command Sergeant Major Teresa King takes charge of the Drill Sergeant School, the Army's largest training institution for drill sergeants, in Fort Jackson, SC today and is the first woman ever appointed to head the school. As Commandant of the school, King will oversee 78 instructors and supervise drill sergeant training for the entire Army.
In an interview with the Associated Press King attributed her strong work ethic to her upbringing; her father was a sharecropper in North Carolina and she was the eighth out of twelve children. She says she learned early to "give a hard day's work for whatever I earned and not take short cuts." Willie Shelley, a retired command sergeant major who supervised King told the New York Times, "it would not surprise me that she could become the first female sergeant major of the Army," which is the highest ranking enlisted soldier.
King is a 29-year veteran of the Army whose first military job was as a postal clerk, which was a traditional position for women at the time. She later served as an aide to the Secretary of Defense and in various senior enlisted positions in Korea, at the XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, and at NATO headquarters in Europe.
The Army continues to be male-dominated: only 14 percent of the 550,000 of those enlisted are women. Although ground conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan has changed the nature of modern warfare, women are still barred from direct combat roles in the infantry or Special Forces.
Media Resources: Associated Press Online 9/18/09; New York Times 9/22/09
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .