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#IamSCHRIEVER Portraits

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Women's equality day, 97 years of progress

Women

U.S. Air Force photo illustration/2nd Lt. Scarlett Rodriguez

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

Women’s Equality Day is observed Aug. 26, and marks the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that provides men and women with equal voting rights.

Additionally, Jan. 24, 2013, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta lifted the official ban preventing military women from serving in direct combat roles. Since that time, the DoD has worked closely with the services to implement the policy, opening more than 110,000 positions to women.

Women play a crucial role in the success of the country. Here are a few Schriever female service members who support the 50th Space Wing mission and the Air Force in this nation’s defense.  

 
First Lt. Ranell Cavitt, 3rd Space Experimentation Squadron mission flight planner, smiles in front of the Jack Swigert Space Operations Facility at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. Cavitt has been at Schriever for about two years. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Arielle Vasquez) 


First Lt. Ranell Cavitt, 3rd Space Experimentation Squadron flight mission planner

Cavitt has been at Schriever for almost two years and although her squadron is small, she enjoys her job as a mission flight planner for the 3rd Space Experimentation Squadron.    

“It’s a family unit,” she said. “Everybody knows each other and everybody is supportive of each other. I have really enjoyed my time here (at Schriever) so far.”

Cavitt decided to join the 50th Space Wing to apply her prior education now, and in the future.

“I have an aerospace engineering degree, my degree field also included space, so I thought ‘this would be fun,’” Cavitt remarked. “I have plenty of opportunities to go into the space field after I get out of the Air Force.”

Although Cavitt’s career field is male-dominated, she has never had a problem working with males.

Cavitt’s advice for anyone wanting to join the Air Force and take on a role in space is that you have to enjoy it.

“You have to enjoy space, especially the big concepts. That’s the most exciting part of it,” she said. “The space career field is about the bigger picture of what we’re doing and supporting versus the day-today.

There’s starting to be a lot of females in upper levels and leadership,” she continued. “I think that’s really cool and really important.”

Despite Cavitt’s praise for the amount of females in officer roles in the Air Force, she believes there could be more.

Cavitt’s final words were, “Be yourself. Be a girl. Be a girl in the military.”

 
First Lt. Lindsey Gorski, 3rd Space Experimentation Squadron ANGELS mission planner/flight director and Mycroft transition ground system lead, illustrates a Natural Motion Circumnavigation drawn on a Radial-Intrack plot, which is used to visualize the trajectory of ANGELS in a relative coordinate frame, at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017. Gorski has been at Schriever for two years. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Arielle Vasquez)


First Lt. Lindsey Gorski, 3rd Space Experimentation Squadron ANGELS mission planner/flight director and Mycroft transition ground system lead

Like Cavitt, Gorski has been at Schriever for about two years, and agrees that though the base is small, the Airmen at Schriever are a close-knit group.  

“It’s a very small base compared to every other base you go, but in a way it brings everybody closer,” she said. “The events that Schriever (hosts) are amazing, the base picnics and all the family days brings everyone together in a way that I think a large base wouldn’t be able to do.”

Camaraderie is valuable to Gorski, and she decided she wanted to join the Air Force after watching her brother graduate from the Air Force Academy.

“Seeing the comradery and honor of being in the military inspired me in a way to follow that path but make it my own,” she said.

Gorski believes women are vital to military functionality, her advice to any woman thinking about joining the military is: “Do not let a man or any of the stereotypes of women determine how you act or say what you need to say. Be who you are, don’t let the stereotype hold you down.”

 
Senior Airman Kelly Branch, 50th Security Forces Squadron Base Defense Operations Center controller, has served as a 50 SFS member for four years at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Monday, Aug. 14, 2017. Branch enjoys her job because of the "exhilerating" aspects of it. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Arielle Vasquez) 


Senior Airman Kelly Branch, 50th Security Forces Squadron BDOC controller

Branch grew up in a small town in Wisconsin, and played basketball in college for two years.

Although Security Forces was not her first choice, she enjoys her job, and has been a part of 50 SF for four years. Branch enjoys her job because of the “fast-paced, exhilarating aspects.”

In basic training, officers make it known the Air Force doesn’t put up with discrimination.

“It gets sunk into your head pretty quick,” Branch said.

Branch has never been treated differently because of her gender, and trusts she and other females can do just as much as the males she works alongside.

“It’s definitely a confidence booster knowing that when it comes to the guys, you can do the same things they can do,” she said. “I’ve been deployed, and that helped me have a bigger outlook on things.”

Branch’s advice for any female wanting to join Security Forces is; “As long as you can hold your own and have your confidence, that’s going to help a lot. Patience is a big thing.”

 
Airman 1st Class Christine Myers, 50th Security Forces Squadron entry controller, prepares to scan identification cards at the North gate entrance at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Monday, Aug. 14, 2017. Myers has been a member of the U.S. Air Force since Nov. 17, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Arielle Vasquez)


Airman 1st Class Christine Myers, 50th Security Forces Squadron entry controller

Myers completed one year of college and did not feel she was headed in the right direction, so she decided to look into the military.

She has been a member of the Air Force since Nov. 17, 2015.

“A lot of my friends were joining the military at the time, so I thought, ‘I kind of wanted to do that.’”

Myers originally wanted to be an aviation specialist, but did not qualify.

“I saw security forces and I looked it up, did a lot of research, and I thought ‘this looks pretty good,’” she said. “I don’t like sitting around, so that’s kind of why I chose it.”

Security Forces has been rewarding for Myers because she continuously helps people.

“When we do security measures, you’re also helping with classified information. It’s rewarding that I’m helping be some part of the Air Force. I get to see all the stuff that goes down behind the scenes.”

If there’s anything the Air Force and Security Forces has taught Myers, it is patience.

To anyone wanting to join Security Forces, Myers said, “Have some thick skin, it’s not easy. It is male- dominated, so if you’re not comfortable with that, you should probably move along.”